Peter Burke

Life Fellow of Emmanuel College
Peter Burke
I was educated at St Ignatius’s College, Stamford Hill, London, and St John’s College Oxford. I was one of the first junior lecturers to be appointed at the University of Sussex, attracted by the interdisciplinary programme, and remained there for 17 years (1962-79). I moved to Cambridge in 1979, where I became Professor of Cultural History. I retired from the Chair in 2004 but remain a Life Fellow of Emmanuel College. I am married to the Brazilian historian Maria Lúcia García Pallares-Burke.

I have been a visiting teacher or researcher in Berlin, Brussels, Canberra; Groningen, Heidelberg, Los Angeles, Nijmegen, Paris (the EHESS), Princeton (IAS and Department of History) and São Paulo. I am a Fellow of the British Academy and Member of the Academia Europea; Ph. D (honoris causa), Universities of Lund, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Zurich, Brussels and Oviedo, Honorary Professor of the National University of Colombia, Honorary Fellow of St John’s College Oxford.

I have published hundreds of articles and chapters and 30 books, from Culture and Society in Renaissance Italy (1972) to A Social History of Knowledge (2 vols., 2000-2012) and Exiles and Expatriates in the History of Knowledge (2017). My work has been translated into 33 languages. For most of my career I worked on the cultural and social history of early modern Europe, but now extend my investigations more widely to include Brazil and the 20th century. My Cultural History of Polymaths is in the press and my current project (2020) is a social history of ignorance.
History of historical thought, history of knowledge,
I lecture and give seminar papers when invited, usually abroad
I am on the board of more professional journals than I can remember, and regularly read mss for publishers
I gave up in 2004 in order not to compete with younger colleagues

Key publications

besides the books mentioned above,
‘The Rise of Literal-Mindedness', Common Knowledge 2 (1993), 108-21
‘The Black Legend of the Jesuits: an essay in the history of social stereotypes', in Christianity and Community in the West: Essays for John Bossy, ed. Simon Ditchfield, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2001, 165-82
‘Context in Context’, Common Knowledge 8: 1 (2002) 152-77
'Western Historical Thinking in a Global Perspective', in J. Rusen (ed.) Western Historical Thinking, Oxford, Berghahn, 2002, 15-30
‘Reflections on the Cultural History of Time’, Viator 35 (2004), 1-10
‘Performing History: the Importance of Occasions’, Rethinking History 9, no.1 (2005), 35-52
‘Imagining Identity in the Early Modern City’, in Christian Emden, Catherine Keen and David Midgley (eds.) Imagining the City, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2006, vol.1, 23-38
‘Translations into Latin in Early Modern Europe', in Peter Burke and R. Po-chia Hsia (eds.) Cultural Translation in Early Modern Europe, CUP 2007, 65-80
‘L’espace public et privé à Gênes à la fin de la Renaissance: l’humanisme civique d’Andrea Spinola’, in G. Chaix (ed.) La ville à la Renaissance, Paris, Champion, 2008, 99-105
‘Representing Women’s Work in Early Modern Italy’, in Josef Ehmer and Catharina Lis (eds.) The Idea of Work in Europe from Antiquity to Modern Times, Farnham, Ashgate, 2009, 177-87
‘Publicizing the Private: the rise of “secret history”’, in Christian J. Emden and David Midgley (eds.) Changing Perceptions of the Public Sphere, New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012, 57-72
‘The Republic of Letters as a Communication System’, Media History (2012), 1-13
‘Diglossia in Early Modern Europe’, in V. Rjéoutski, G. Argent and D. Offord (eds.) European Francophonie, Oxford, P. Lang, 2014, 33-49