Hannah Marcus

Hannah Marcus

Assistant Professor of the History of Science
Hannah Marcus

Areas of Research: Early Modern Science

Hannah Marcus is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Science. Her research focuses on the scientific culture of early modern Europe between 1450 and 1700.

Marcus earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD at Stanford University in 2016. Before coming to Harvard she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the Galileo Correspondence Project, which she directs with Paula Findlen.

Marcus has two book projects underway. The first, Forbidden Knowledge: Science and the Paradox of Censorship in Early Modern Europe, explores the censorship of medical books from their proliferation in print through the prohibitions placed on many of these texts during the Counter-Reformation. This account explains how and why the books prohibited in Italy ended up back on the shelves of private and public Italian libraries in the seventeenth century. The second book, co-authored with Paula Findlen, is a study of Galileo’s correspondence called Galileo’s Letters: Experiments in Friendship. This book grows out of their collaboration on The Galileo Correspondence Project, a digital humanities project begun at Stanford.

Marcus teaches courses on the changes in scientific ideas and practice between 1500 and 1700 (often known as the Scientific Revolution), the early history of medicine and the body, art and technology in the Renaissance, and the relationship between faith and science in the early modern period.

Courses Spring 2018:

HISTSCI 117 - Inventing Science: Stars, Bodies, Books, and Beasts, 1500-1700

MW 11:00-12:00





Translation of Camilla Erculiani, Letters on Natural Philosophy. edited by Eleonora Carinci with a Forward by Paula Findlen. Under advance contract with the University of Toronto Press series “The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe.”


“Expurgated Books as an Archive of Practice,” accepted for publication in The Archive Journal (August 2017), online at http://www.archivejournal.net/essays/expurgated-books-as-an-archive-of-practice/.


(with Paula Findlen), “The Breakdown of Galileo's Roman Network: Crisis and Community, c. 1633,” Social Studies of Science (2017), Vol. 47(3), pp. 326-352.

“Bibliography and Book Bureaucracy: Reading Licenses and the Circulation of Prohibited Books in Counter-Reformation Italy,” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Vol. 110, No. 4 (Dec. 2016), pp. 433-457.

(with Paula Findlen), “Science Under Inquisition: Heresy and Knowledge in Catholic Reformation Rome,” Isis 103 (June 2012), pp. 376-382.

Contact Information

p: (617) 495-2298


Faculty Areas of Research