Jane Wickersham

Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Email: jwickersham@ou.edu

Professor Wickersham's book, Rituals of Prosecution: The Roman Inquisition's Prosecution of Protestants in Sixteenth-Century Italy, was published by University of Toronto Press in October of 2012. It is an examination of the Inquisition’s characterization of heresy and how the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Protestant message evolved in the decades after 1520. The book offers a detailed analysis of inquisitorial manuals, works that explained the theoretical underpinnings of prosecution, as well as an examination of the practical realities of inquisitorial trials, as revealed by inquisitorial trials conducted in different Italian settings. The work demonstrates that inquisitors developed a prosecutorial culture capable of identifying and punishing an elusive crime by joining a well-established intellectual tradition of focusing on ritual practice, or the kinds of acts that might be observed within the community by neighbors, friends, even relatives. She has also published articles in The Seventeenth Century, and contributed several entries to the Dizionario storico dell’inquisizione. Her next project will focus on examining the prosecution of crimes that were considerd to be mixti fori, or theoretically subject to all courts of law, both sacred and secular, such as sodomy, during the Counter Reformation. Professor Wickersham’s courses include the Reformation, the Renaissance, Inquisitions, modern Italy, the History Sleuth, and religious violence in early modern Europe. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, and was Assistant Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago.