Eric Carlson


Professor in History


Eric Carlson joined the Gustavus faculty in 1990 after teaching for three years at Denison University. He teaches the first half of the European history survey and the department's required methods and historiography course, Thinking Historically, as well as courses on medieval and Tudor-Stuart England, Medieval Christianity, the Reformation, Modern Germany, and European Jewish history. Carlson received his BA in history from UCLA in 1976, MA from UCLA in history (British studies) in 1978, and PhD from Harvard University in 1987. He has also been a visiting graduate student at the University of Cambridge, where he was affiliated with Clare Hall.

Carlson has published three books: Marriage and the English Reformation (1994), 'Practical Divinity': The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham (with Kenneth L. Parker, 1998), and (as editor and contributor) Religion and the English People 1500-1640: New Voices/New Perspectives (1998). He also published several articles and essays on aspects of 16th and 17th century English religion, most notably the controversial "Clerical Marriage and the English Reformation, Journal of British Studies 31 (1992), "The origins, function, and status of the office of churchwarden, with particular reference to the diocese of Ely," in The World of Rural Dissenters, 1520-1725, ed. Margaret Spufford (Cambridge University Press, 1995), "The Boring of the Ear: Shaping the Pastoral Practice of Preaching in England, 1540-1640," in Preachers and People in the Reformations and Early Modern Period, ed. Larissa Juliet Taylor (Brill, 2001) and "Good Pastors or Careless Shepherds? Parish Ministers and the English Reformation," History 88 (2003). His most recent publications are "Confession and Absolution in Caroline Cambridge: The 1637 Crisis in Context" in Retribution, Repentance, and Reconciliation, ed. Kate Cooper and Jeremy Gregory, Studies in Church History 40 (2004) and an article on "Teaching Elizabeth Tudor with Movies: Film, Historical Thinking, and the Classroom" which was based on his experience in a January Term class at Gustavus (Sixteenth Century Journal 38 [2007]). Carlson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1996 and served as an elected member of the North American Conference on British Studies council from 1999 to 2003, Associate Editor of the Journal of British Studies from 2005 to 2010, and a member of the Committee on the Morris K. Forkosch Prize in British History (awarded by the American Historical Association).  He received the Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award in 2009.

His current research is on the Seven Deadly Sins in post-Reformation England.  He has presented aspects of this research at the Center for Medieval Studies of the University of Minnesota, the Honors Program of Central Michigan University, and the Early Modern History seminar sponsored by the University of Southern California and the Huntington Library.  In May 2011, he presented invited lectures in the United Kingdom at the Universities of Durham, Oxford, and Warwick.  In September 2012, he gave the keynote address to the Western Conference on British Studies.  In Fall 2013, he presented a paper on Reformation ideas about 'just anger' (i.e. anger that isn't a sin) at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (San Juan, PR) but then didn't get much else done because of becoming department chair.  He is currently on sabbatical (for the 2016-17 acaddemic year) and is returning to work on his research.  For his sabbatical project, he will begin writing a book specifically on anger (both as emotion and as sin) in medieval and early modern England, as well as finishing a couple of long-gestating articles and a conference paper to be presented in November.

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HIS-221The Reformation132018/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2009/SP, 2006/SP, 2004/FA, 2004/SP, 2003/FA, 2002/SP, and 2001/SP
HIS-110Europe 1000-1648102017/FA, 2016/SP, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2004/SP, and 1999/SP
HIS-200History Seminar102015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2010/FA, 2008/SP, 2007/FA, 2005/SP, 2004/FA, 2000/FA, and 2000/SP
HIS-223Medieval England82017/FA, 2012/FA, 2010/FA, 2007/FA, 2005/FA, 2003/FA, 2001/FA, and 1999/FA
HIS-397Honors Tutorial II72015/SP, 2014/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, 2007/JN, 2006/SP, and 2001/SP
FTS-100First Term Seminar72008/FA, 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2002/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/FA
HIS-220Medieval Christianity62015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
HIS-224Tudor & Stuart England52014/SP, 2011/FA, 2006/FA, 2004/FA, and 2000/FA
HIS-228Women in Pre-Industrial Europe52009/SP, 2007/SP, 2004/SP, 2002/SP, and 2000/SP
HIS-120Modern Europe II, 1789–Present42008/FA, 2005/SP, and 2000/FA
HIS-308Europe Jews 1000-195532018/SP, 2016/SP, and 2015/SP
HIS-229Witches 1400-170032018/JN, 2011/JN, and 2008/JN
HIS-225Modern Germany32015/FA, 2013/FA, and 2012/SP
HIS-396Honors Tutorial I22014/FA and 2007/FA
HIS-310European Lives22012/SP and 2008/SP
HIS-345Queen Elizabeth I22006/JN and 2004/JN
HIS-312The Family in Pre-Industrial Europe22003/FA and 2001/SP
HIS-311Crime and Punishment in Pre-1800 Europe22001/FA and 1999/FA
HIS-344ST:Euro Jews 1000-195512013/SP
HIS-205Holocaust: History and Memory12002/JN

Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.