Dr. Erik Heinrichs

Assistant Professor of History
PhD Harvard University

I am a historian of medieval and early modern Europe, joining Winona State University in Fall 2013. As a native Midwesterner and outdoor enthusiast, I am thrilled to be in the Winona area. I teach Western Civilization as well as upper level courses devoted to pre-modern Europe and the wider world. Those upper-level topics include the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Discovery and piracy, Europe and the Middle East and the history of medicine, science and technology.    

I studied history at Harvard University (PhD and AM) and Marquette University (BA), and studied three semesters at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria. While researching in Germany I have also been affiliated with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Herzog August Bibliothek and the Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz (that fair city where printing was born in the 1440s).
My research focuses on plagues and epidemics in late medieval and early modern Europe, particularly in German-speaking lands. I am currently writing a book that details the innovative plague advice that German physicians crafted during the Renaissance, Reformation and the first flourishing of vernacular print. This book explores topics such as alchemy, consumer medicine and the impact of humanism and the Reformation on the prevention and cure of plague. So far I have not attempted to recreate one of the early modern plague cures that I have discovered, but look forward to doing so as a class activity.
For more on the forgotten plague cures of the sixteenth century see my article “The Plague Cures of Caspar Kegler: Print, Alchemy and Medical Marketing in Sixteenth-Century Germany” in Sixteenth Century Journal 43:2 (2012), 417-440.

View Dr. Heinrichs current CV (PDF).