Timothy Arthur Kircher
Adjunct Professor of History
I am an historian of Renaissance humanism, having examined in particular the writings of Francesco Petrarch (1304-74), Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75), and Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72). My interests lie in understanding the relation between literary expression and philosophical inquiry, and especially in appreciating how certain humanists formulated this relation in response to dominant cultural voices of their times: those of mendicant clergy of the fourteenth and of civic humanists of the fifteenth century. As a central concern I study the crossings of history, philosophy, and literature, in the effort to make manifest the way writers illuminate the freedoms and restrictions of Renaissance culture, in ways that foreground the developments of the philosophical essay and the modern novel.
I have been invested in understanding the critical role of the humanities past, present, and future. In order to voice this understanding in broader institutional venues, I have been Chair of the Humanities Division at Guilford College, President of the American Boccaccio Association, and Member of the Board of Directors for the Renaissance Society of America for Associate Organizations and International Cooperation. Since 2015 I have edited a website that charts the place of the humanities in contemporary culture (humanitieswatch.org).
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