Dr. Erik Heinrichs

Assistant Professor of History
PhD Harvard University

Professor Heinrichs is a historian of medieval and early modern Europe. He studied at Harvard University (Ph.D. and A.M.) and Marquette University (B.A.), as well as for three semesters at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria. He has held two Fulbright scholarships for research, one for Austria (2000-1) and one for Germany (2005-6), where he was affiliated with the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel) and the Leibniz Institute for European History (Mainz, Germany).

Professor Heinrichs teaches a wide variety of courses that investigate the pre-modern world as well as the broad histories of medicine and science. These include Western Civilization surveys stretching between the Big Bang and the French Revolution, as well as upper-level courses devoted to the Middle Ages, Reformation, and the Age of Exploration, Empires, and Piracy in the Early Modern World. In 2017 he is also launching a new general education course titled History of Medicine, Drugs and Life Sciences.

His research focuses on medical and cultural responses to plagues in late medieval and early modern Europe, particularly in German-speaking lands. He is 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 the impact of humanism, the Reformation, alchemy and print on the prevention and cure of plague. So far he has not attempted to recreate one of the early modern plague cures uncovered during his research, but looks forward to doing so some day as a class activity.

Professor Heinrichs is a Midwesterner, born and raised in a region called Michiana (appellation d’origine contrôlée), before ranging further afield to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Germanic Europe. Today he is native to the Upper Mississippi River Valley, especially Winona and its surrounding bluff lands.


View Dr. Heinrichs current CV (PDF).