Robert Clines

Department of History
Assistant Professor

Office: McKee 227A
Phone: 828-227-2605
Email: rjclines@email.wcu.edu

Dr. Clines teaches courses in European, Mediterranean, and global intellectual, cultural, and religious history. His research centers on Renaissance Italian intellectual culture and its relationship with identity formation in the early modern world. More broadly, his research and teaching explore cross-cultural interaction and its impact on individual and collective conceptions of belonging and difference. He is completing his first book project, A Jewish Jesuit’s Mediterranean: Giovanni Battista Eliano and the Early Modern Culture of Conversion, which uses the life of the only Jewish-born member of the Society of Jesus, Giovanni Battista Eliano, to unpack the myriad ways in which religious conversion manifested itself in early modern Mediterranean religious culture. Clines has also begun work on his second book project, Ancient Others: Barbarians in the Italian Renaissance, which interrogates Renaissance Italians’ depictions of non-Italians as the descendants of the barbarians of antiquity as a means of confirming Italians’ self-identification as the heirs and defenders of ancient Greek and Roman civilization. This project demonstrates that early modern Mediterranean identities were not split into East-West or Christian-non-Christian dichotomies, but instead were profoundly fluid and spectral. Clines has been awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, as well as fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Early Modern Conversions Project, the Fondazione Lemmermann, and the Fulbright Program I.I.E. He has published in a variety of scholarly journals such as Mediterranean Historical Review, Renaissance Studies, The Sixteenth Century Journal, and The Journal of Early Modern History.

Courses Taught:

HIST 181 - Religion in Europe
HIST 315 - Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 317 - Early Modern Europe
HIST 415 - Early Modern Travel
HIST 417 - Renaissance Republics

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