Merry Wiesner-Hanks
Merry Wiesner-Hanks
Merry Wiesner-Hanks

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My research, writing, and teaching have been closely related. I began my career as a historian of early modern Europe, with a research focus on women’s work in Germany. When I moved to UWM, my teaching responsibilities came to include the history of Christianity, and my research interests also increasingly focused on religion, especially issues of gender and the Protestant and Catholic Reformations. At the same time, I began to write and publish various types of source books designed for use in the classroom, generally working with co-authors whose areas of expertise complemented mine. These took me into geographic areas and time periods far away from early modern Europe, which was great fun. That led me to expand my focus for my own research to the early modern world rather than simply Europe, and ultimately to all time periods as well. Such brazen dilettantism in writing was accompanied by the same in teaching, as I switched from Western Civ to world history as my standard freshman-level course, and increasingly adopted a global focus in my upper-level courses. I was given the opportunity to write for a broader student audience with a book designed for middle-school students, and to shape pre-college offerings in other ways by working with the Advanced Placement program. My current research, writing, and teaching interests are thus everything, everywhere, at every level, though what I still know best and still feel my strongest kinship with are those working women in Renaissance Germany.