Department of History

MollenauerLynn Wood Mollenauer, Department Chair and Associate Professor


  • Ph.D., Northwestern
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • B.A. Amherst

Academic Interests

I am a cultural historian specializing in the history of France between the Renaissance and the Revolution. Both my teaching and my research reflect my interest in the complex interconnections between science, magic, and religion in early modern Europe. My current book project explores the construction and transmission of medical knowledge, practice, and goods in seventeenth-century France through an examination of the wonder drugs then in circulation: bezoar stones imported from India, potable gold distilled by alchemists, and compounds of precious gems prepared by apothecaries, among others.

Courses Taught

Significant Publications

  • "Breaching the Wall: Beyond the Convent in Catholic Reformation Europe," Journal of Women's History 26 2 (Summer 2014): 191-200
  • Strange Revelations: Poison, Magic, and Sacrilege in Louis XIV's France (Pennsylvania State Press, 2007)
  • "Popular Culture, Religion, Education, and Science," in A Day in the Life: Seeing Daily Life Through History, ed. Peter N. Stearns (Greenwood Press, 2006)
  • "The End of Magic: Superstition and "So-Called" Sorcery in Louis XIV's Paris," Studies in Law, Politics, and the Humanities 37 (2005): 35-56
  • "Justice v. Secrecy: Investigating the Affair of the Poisons, 1679-1682," Zeitsprünge: Forschungen zur Frühen Neuzeit 6 (2002): 179-205.