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Professor Peter Burke FBA

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About this Fellow

During my teaching career, at the University of Sussex (1962-79) and Cambridge (1979-2004), I both lectured and wrote on the history, especially the social and cultural history, of Europe (from Galway to the Urals) from about 1500 to about 1700. One focus of interest has been the Renaissance; another, the history of historical thought and writing; a third, the social history of language and a fourth, the social history of knowledge. I have also been concerned, over the last half-century or so, with the relation (actual and ideal) between history and neighbouring disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, geography and the psychologies. Since my retirement I have continued to pursue the history of knowledge, extending my interests to the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and the Americas. My marriage to a Brazilian historian, Maria LĂșcia G. Pallares-Burke, has encouraged an interest in Brazilian history and led to a book that we wrote together about the Brazilian sociologist and historian Gilberto Freyre.



Current post

  • Formerly Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge

Past Appointments

  • Reader in Intellectual History, School for Global studies, University of Sussex, 1976 - 1978
  • Fellow, Emmanuel College University of Cambridge, 1979
  • Reader, Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, 1988
  • Formerly Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 2006
  • Formerly Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 2006


Popular culture in early modern Europe 1978


History and historians in the 20th century -2002


The European Renaissance 1998


A social history of knowledge 2000 & 2012


Other Early Modern History to 1850 Fellows

Professor Alex Walsham

The religious and cultural history of early modern Britain, especially the impact, reception and repercussions of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations

Professor Colin Kidd

Intellectual history of the British world from the 17th century onwards; history of race, ethnicity and nationhood; constitutional theory; Scottish history

Professor Sir Christopher Clark

The history of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century Prussia, Germany and Europe, especially the history of religion and religious conflict, the impact of the revolutions of 1848, the outbreak of the First World War and variations in the historical experience of

Professor Deborah Howard

The art and architecture of Venice and the Veneto; Renaissance architectural history and theory; the relationship between Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean; and music and architecture in the Renaissance