Associate Professor; Fabiano College Chair in Italian Studies; Associate Dean
Available to direct dissertations
Margaret Meserve studies the Italian Renaissance, especially the histories of printing and book production; history writing, diplomacy, and travel; and the city of Rome and the Papacy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. She is currently working on a book, The News Cycle in Renaissance Rome, that explores the circulation of news, information, propaganda, and disinformation in Rome in the first decades after the arrival of print (ca 1470-1527). Her previous book, Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought (Harvard, 2008), surveyed how fifteenth-century historians and political commentators tried to explain the rise and fall of Islamic empires, especially that of the Ottoman Turks. The book won the American Historical Association's 2008 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize and the Renaissance Society of America's Phyllis Goodhart Gordon Prize for 2009. Meserve has also published articles on anti-Turkish polemics in the Renaissance; European reports on Inner Asia in the centuries after Marco Polo; and the printing of crusade propaganda and news reports from the Orient in the first decades after Gutenberg. Two volumes of her translation of the crusading Pope Pius II's autobiographical Commentaries have been published in the I Tatti Renaissance Library. Meserve has won fellowships from the NEH, ACLS, American Academy in Rome, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. At Notre Dame she teaches courses on the Italian Renaissance, Early Modern Rome, Italian social history, and the history of the book.