University Profiles

William Connell

William J. Connell, Ph.D.

Professor and La Motta Chair

Department of History


His studies of Italian history explore the medieval and early modern roots of modern society, politics and culture.

I study a wide range of problems in Italian and Italian American History, and European history in general, with particular concentrations on medieval and Renaissance intellectual history, humanism, social history and statebuilding. In recent years I have been working on projects concerning interactions between 16th century Florence and northern Europe, Renaissance historical writing, Niccolò Machiavelli's political thought, early interactions between Italy and America, and prosecutions for blasphemy in early modern Europe.


  • Ph. D., University of California-Berkeley, 1989
  • M.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1984
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Yale University, 1980

Academic Distinctions

  • Presidential Award, The Columbian Foundation
  • Corresponding Fellow: Deputazione di Storia Patria per la Toscana; Societa' Pistoiese di Storia Patria
  • Editorial Boards: Annali della storia di Firenze; Bibliotheca Philosophica (Aracne Editrice); Centopassi (Pensa Editore); Italian and Italian American Studies (Palgrave Macmillan); Journal of the History of Ideas; Storia e politica; Reti medievali; Romanian Review of Political Science and International Relations; South-East European Journal of Political Science
  • Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
  • Harvard University, Villa I Tatti Fellow
  • Fulbright Scholar to Italy



Office Phone
(973) 275-2928



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