Tim Fehler grew up in rural northern Illinois before moving to Alabama for high school. After studying math and history at Baylor University, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Renaissance and Reformation history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined Furman’s history department in 1995, and he now also directs Furman’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Internships. His research has focused particularly on questions of poverty and social welfare as well as religious persecution and co-existence in early modern Europe. During his 20 years of teaching at Furman, Tim has directed several study away programs in Europe and the Mediterranean, most recently the semester-long program in Central Europe entitled “Repression, Resistance, and Remembrance.” His research also takes him to the archives in and around northern Germany, where he and his family have lived for four years in the past couple decades.

“My passion for history includes an emphasis on the relationship between ideals and lived experiences. ‘History’ is not a mere listing of past events. Rather, the purpose of reading sources is for us to ground our engagement with the actual, often complicated, experiences and perspectives of people in a variety of different contexts. Careful analysis allows us to develop an empathetic understanding of what happened to other people, what they did, why they (re)acted in that way, and whether those actions meshed with or contradicted articulated beliefs or ideas.”

Name Title Description

FYW-1168

First World War

An exploration of World War I -- the war itself as well as its impact on society and culture in Europe, the United States and the rest of the world.

FYW-1260

Tudor-Stuart Texts

The era saw significant social changes alongside political & religious revolutions. Because the rise of print culture enabled a pulp press, popular polemics, regular news reporting, and a famous Renaissance" in literary and dramatic works that recorded these changes

HST-102

Medieval Europe

European social, intellectual, political, cultural, and religious developments from the break up of the Roman Empire (c.500) to the Renaissance (c.1450).

HST-103

Early Modern Europe

The European social, intellectual, political, cultural, and religious developments from the era of Renaissance and Reformation through the Age of Absolutism. Key themes include: the Italian Renaissance, voyages of exploration, colonialism, printing press, Protestant and Catholic reformations, Scientific Revolution, religious wars, absolutism and constitutionalism, and the witch craze.

HST-104

Modern Europe

The history of Europe from the time of the Enlightenment to the present. Major themes include: the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, nationalism, socialism, liberalism, imperialism, the World Wars, fascism and communism, the Holocaust, post-WWII reconstruction and the Cold War, decolonization, citizenship, immigration, the end of communism, market integration, a common currency, and the evolution of the European Union, and globalization.

HST-206

European Reformations

European history in an age of evolving religious ideologies and increased interaction with the non-European world. Major themes include: matters of religious content, political, cultural, intellectual, and social history.

HST-207

Germany and the 30 Years' War

A study of the Thirty Years' War, which devastated early modern Germany, emerged out of particular religious/political constellations of the Holy Roman Empire but was shaped by complex European foreign policy and had long-term impact on European diplomacy.

HST-208

Tudor-Stuart England

Analysis of the period that witnessed England's emergence as a major European power. Emphasis on political, religious, constitutional, foreign policy, and socio-economic transformations of this transitional period.

HST-209

Episodes in British History

Sustained historical analysis of a particular event or theme relating to the British Isles. Possible topics include Anglo-Saxon Riddles, Trial of Charles I, Scottish wars, Elizabeth I vs. Philip II, Irish conquests, Bridewell and Bedlam - Prisons and the Mad, Whigs & Tories, Habeas Corpus, London's Apocalypticism, Cornwallis in India and America, the Street and the Sewer in Victorian England, Cultural History of Jack the Ripper, Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists, the Blitz, Brit Rock and Postwar Social Rebellion, Thatcher's Multicultural Britain.

HST-282

Wars, Rebellions & Revolutions

An in-depth exploration and historical analysis of the political, social, economic, cultural, and military background of a particular period of warfare, rebellion, or revolution in world history. Topics will vary.

HST-283

Urban History

In-depth historical analysis of cultural, economic, political, religious, technological, medical, & spatial factors intersecting at particular periods of urban development. Topics will vary.

HST-286A

500 Years Martin Luther

of the political, social, economic, cultural, and military background of a particular period of warfare, rebellion, or revolution in world history. Topics will vary.

HST-307

Social Hst of Erly Mdrn Europe

Major topics in this social history of early modern Europe will include women and the family, poverty and social welfare, disease and health care, criminality and punishment. Special attention will be given to experiences on the margins" of society."

HST-315

Interpreting the Past

The historian's craft and how history scholars think about and interpret the past. Exploration of topics, questions and methodologies used to write about history through reading historical works from a variety of times and places.

HST-475

Senior Seminar in History

A required course for all majors. Discussion-based meetings will explore a specific historical topic and the related historiography. Students will conceive, design, and execute their own research project connected to the main topic of the seminar. All seminars include an assignment encouraging students to integrate and to reflect upon their varied classroom, travel study, and internship experiences over the course of the major.

HUM-202

History of Ideas in Context II

Texts and ideas from a variety of disciplines and genres (including the humanities, fine arts, and political philosophy) in both Western and non-Western cultural contexts. Topics will vary.

HUM-451

Humanities Capstone Symposium

Second semester of year-long capstone experience for the Humanities Interdisciplinary Minor, meeting weekly. Having completed HUM-450, students will prepare and present their own research, and organize a concluding academic conference.

Books

Selected Other Publications

  • "Victims as Actors: Consistories," in Judging Faith, Punishing Sin: Inquisitions and Consistories in the Early Modern World, edited by Charles H. Parker and Gretchen Starr-LeBeau, 180-192 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  • Articles "East Frisia," "Emden," "Emser, Jerome," and "Social Ministry," in Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation, edited by Mark Lamport, vol. 1, 220-222, 235-238, 239-240; vol. 2, 716-717 (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).
  • "Creating Boundaries in Emden, Germany: Confession, Language, Poor Relief, and Spaces of the Dutch Reformed Refugees," in Early Modern Ethnic and Religious Communities in Exile, edited by Yosef Kaplan, 314-330 (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017).
  • "Armenfürsorge und die Entwicklung der Informations- und Unterstützungsnetzwerke in und zwischen reformierten Exilgemeinden," in Praktiken der Frühen Neuzeit. Akteure - Handlungen - Artefakte, edited by Arndt Brendecke, 245-255 (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2015).
  • "Pastors and the Poor in 16th-century Calvinist Emden, Germany," in Agir pour l'Église: Ministères et charges ecclésiastiques dans les églises réformées (XVIe-XIXe), edited by Didier Poton and Raymond A. Mentzer, 43-56 (Paris: Les Indes savantes, 2014).
  • "Calvinism and Anabaptism around Emden: Disputation and Discipline," in Politics, Gender, and Belief: The Long-Term Impact of the Reformation, edited by Amy Nelson Burnett, et al, 179-205 (Geneva: Droz, 2014).
  • "Coping with Poverty: Dutch Reformed Exiles in Emden, Germany," in Religious Diaspora in Early Modern Europe, edited by T. Fehler, G. Kroeker, et al., 121-135 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013).
  • "Le diaconat inconnu de l'Emden réformée: le consistoire et la découverte des « diacres des domestiques de la foy »" in Les œuvres protestantes en Europe, edited by Céline Borello, 207-219 (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2013).
  • "Conflict and Compromise in International Calvinism: Ysbrand Trabius Balck's Pastoral Mediations in Exile and Beyond," Reformation and Renaissance Review 10: 3 (2008): 291-313.

Recent Presentations & Invited Talks

  • "'These Troubled and Distracted Times': Prodigies, Prognostication, and Christian Astrology during the English Revolution," co-presented with Abigail Hartman at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Bruges, Belgium, August 2016.
  • "A Friendly Discussion on Baptism?: Bernhard Bowu and Reformed Responses to Anabaptists in East Frisia" and "A Dutch Pastoral Exhortation in Exile" as Roundtable participant: Defining Religious Exile in Early Modern Europe: Inner and Outer Exiles, at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Vancouver, October 2015.
  • "Creating Boundaries in Emden, Germany: Spaces, Confession, Language, and Poor Relief of the Dutch Reformed Refugees" at the "Early Modern Ethnic and Religious Communities in Exile" Conference, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, April 2015.
  • "Co-existence and Confessionalization: Emden's Topography of Religious Pluralism" and "Roundtable on Teaching Toleration" at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, New Orleans, October 2014.
  • Plenary speaker at the Ostfriesland Genealogical Society of America 2014 meeting.
  • "Armenfürsorge und die Entwicklung der Informations- und Unterstützungsnetzwerke in und zwischen reformierten Exilgemeinden," in panel on "Religiöser Praxis im Exil" at the conference of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft "Frühe Neuzeit" im Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands, Munich, 12-14 September 2013.
  • "Menso Alting und die Armenfürsorge in Emden," public lecture in Emden, Germany, as concluding keynote for exhibition Menso Alting und seine Zeit, 7 March 2013.
  • "'What Business are My Deeds to the Consistory?': Discipline and Agency before Reformed Consistories," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Cincinnati, October 2012.
  • "Responses to Poverty in the Immigrant Communities during the Dutch Revolt of the 16th Century," at the conference Early Modern Migrations: Exiles, Expulsion, & Religious Refugees, 1400–1700, Victoria College in the University of Toronto, 19–21 April 2012.
  • "Calvinism and Anabaptism around Emden: Disputation and Discipline," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Ft. Worth, October 2011.
  • NEH Summer Seminar participant in "Persecution, Toleration, Co-Existence: Early Modern Responses to Religious Pluralism" (4 weeks, Calvin College, 2013).
  • Mellon Grant for Faculty Career Enhancement to organize workshops on "Teaching Religion and Global Contact in the Medieval and Early Modern World" (2011-12 at Furman and Denison).
  • Princeton Review's The Best 300 Professors (Random House, 2012), 172-3.
  • Research fellowships include: Gerhard ten Doornkaat Koolmann Stiftung for cultural studies in East Frisia, Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek in Emden, Institut für Europäische Geschichte in Mainz, Fulbright Commission.
  • Furman's annual award for Meritorious Teaching (2001).
Education
Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A.
Baylor University

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