Professor Ulinka Rublack

Ulinka Rublack is Professor of Early Modern European History at the History Faculty. She was born in Tuebingen, Germany, and first came to Cambridge for one year as undergraduate. She returned for her PhD, was awarded a post-doctoral Research Fellowship at St John's College and after two years was appointed Lecturer at the History Faculty aged 29. Ulinka has taught at the Faculty and St John's College ever since. She co-founded the Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies and is sole founder of the History Faculty's Cambridge History for Schools outreach initiative.

Professor Ulinka Rublack

Ulinka's research focuses on three different research strands: Reformation History, the history of gender, state and society in the early modern period, and the history of visual and material culture. During the past years she has engaged in a series of highly innovative interdisciplinary collaborations with museums, makers and artists to explore aspects of her work in different media, and has also communicated her research to broader audiences, most recently through the ambitious opera project Kepler's Trial. Ulinka enjoys exploring new ways of connecting with past humanity and new historical methodologies. Methodologies are integral to her collaborative research projects, and she has edited the Oxford Concise Companion to History, which argues for the importance of world historical comparative perspectives, as well as recently the Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformations, which extends our account of the Reformations into the global and integrates the history of knowledge and anthropology into a pioneering methodology to understand religious change. Ulinka also enjoys collaborating with colleagues through research projects, in Cambridge and internationally. Most recently, she co-curated a major museum exhibition on material culture with her colleagues Dr Melissa Calaresu and Dr Mary Laven as well as with Dr Vicky Avery, Keeper of Decorative Arts at the FitzwilliamMuseum, Cambridge. She is currently co-investigator of a Swiss National Foundation Grant on Materialized Identities, which examines how commodities and specific materials, such as feathers, related to the emotional lives of people during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Ulinka's children were born in 2002 and 2003, and her husband, fellow historian Francisco Bethencourt, works in London.

Finding the right work-life balance is a huge challenge for everyone in my Faculty - we are all passionate about our research and teaching. I don't think that small children should be thought of as additional 'burden' , as they bring such incredibly rich experiences to one's life and provide great diversion. Of course every day also provides challenges, in ways which can be very hard to communicate to colleagues. It has been a great shock to me, for instance, to find myself excluded from the late afternoon seminar culture which I used to enjoy so much and which provided great inspiration and intellectual friendships. But things are changing. Many seminars now take place during core hours. And children grow up so much faster than one can ever anticipate.'

Ulinka Rublack is very aware of the female historians who have inspired her: ‘I have always been driven on by my intellectual and creative goals and continuously inspired by the work of wonderful male and female historians sensitive to the intricacies of exploring past subjectivities, often, but never exclusively, in their gendered dimensions.

Recognition of Ulinka's work includes

Descartes Fellowship, NIAS Amsterdam 2016

Leibniz Fellowship, Mainz, 2016

Spectator Art Book of the Year 2016 (for Hans Holbein: The Dance of Death)

Observer Book of the Year 2015 (for The Astronomer & the Witch: Johannes Kepler's Defence of His Mother)

Bainton Prize 2011 (for Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Germany)

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