Dr. Julia Rombough
I am a historian of gender, the senses, early modern Europe and the Mediterranean. I joined Acadia in 2022 after teaching at Cape Breton University. I completed my PhD (History) at the University of Toronto and my MA (Religion) and BA (Religion) at Concordia University in Montreal.
My interests centre around the gender, women’s histories, urban life, social history, bodily experience, and sensory experience in early modern Italy (1450 – 1700). I’m currently working on a book that examines the unique experiences of girls and women who lived in convents, charity homes, hospitals, and reform houses during this period and how their sensory experiences were closely regulated and monitored. I’m particularly interested in how studying the history of sound, smell, taste etc. can reveal important information about past societies and shifting ideas of gender. I mainly conduct research in Florence, Italy where I work in a number of archives and libraries. I am also a digital humanities scholar and use historical GIS tools to reconstruct historical cities and urban experiences. I collaborate on a number of largescale digital projects that strive to make the past more accessible and engaging for researchers and students. My most recent research focuses on environmental histories and considers how the intersections of gender, class, and race shaped premodern environmental experience.
TEACHING & PEDAGOGY
My teaching covers a number of themes and areas: early modern Europe, Mediterranean history, gender history, sensory history, history of the body, and digital history. I teach courses on the Renaissance, the Reformation, the sounds & smells of the past, and gender, race, and class in early modern Europe. While my teaching focuses primarily on Europe, all of my courses consider Europe within a global context. In my classes we examine European engagement in the Americas, Africa, and Asia and analyze themes of global trade, colonialism and decolonization, diplomacy and conflict. In my courses you can expect to analyze historical documents directly, examine lots of artwork and material objects, and engage in in-depth group discussions. As an instructor I strive to be clear, approachable, and engaging.