Melissa Franklin-Harkrider, Ph.D.

History Department

Associate Professor of History
On Faculty since 2003

Office: Blanchard Hall 210
Phone: (630)752-5973
Email:

Education

Ph.D., History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 2003

M.A., History, University of Rochester, NY 1996

B.A., English and History, Rollins College, FL 1995

About Melissa Franklin-Harkrider

Dr. Harkrider enjoys teaching students in a variety of fields including European history, religious history, world history, and women's and family history. She has supervised student honors theses and worked with students on a range of independent research projects including studies of nationalism, early modern Ireland, and women's history. Besides her academic interests, she cherishes spending time with her husband Curtis, an optical engineer, and their son Ethan. She and her husband have served together in college ministry through InterVarsity and their local church. Currently, they attend a church in Wheaton where they participate in a small group and in children's ministry. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and walking her dog Jasper, a squirrel-stalking, face-licking dynamo who is particularly fond of college students.

Dr. Harkrider's research focuses on early modern Europe. She is specifically interested in the dynamic and diverse responses of men and women to religious change in sixteenth century England. Her work examines the development of Protestantism among England's governing classes and studies how the process of religious change shaped kinship and patronage relationships in this turbulent period.

Her book entitled Women, Reform, and Community in Early Modern England: Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and Lincolnshire's Godly Aristocracy 1519-1603 was published in March 2008. This monograph examines the intermittent and complex process through which Willoughby, her family, friends, and neighbors embraced reform. It shows how they promoted religious change in their households, local parish churches, and political networks while maintaining close relationships with neighbors who held a wide range of religious views. It also demonstrates the importance of gender in the process of spiritual transformation, and shows how the changing religious climate provided new opportunities for women to exert greater influence in their society.

Courses Taught

  • World Civilization
  • Ancient History: The Rise and Fall of Empires
  • Medieval Europe to 1300
  • Renaissance Europe (1300-1700)
  • British History to 1688
  • Men, Women, and Society in Early Modern Europe

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Historical Association
  • Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
  • Conference on Faith and History
  • North American Conference on British Studies
  • Renaissance Society of America

Research

  • Religious Change in Early Modern England
  • Women's History
  • Family History

Publications

"Marian Catholicism: A Reassessment." Review of The Church of Mary Tudor: Catholic Christendom, 1300-1750. Edited by Eamon Duff and David Loades, H-Albion (Forthcoming).

Women, Reform, and Community in Early Modern England: Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and Lincolnshire's Godly Aristocracy 1519-1603 (Boydell and Brewer, 2008).

"Helping Forwardness': Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and Reform in Sixteenth Century Lincolnshire." Special Plenary Session. Mid-Atlantic Conference of British Studies (March 2008).

Chair and Convener. "Everyday Faith: Belief and Practice in the Christian Tradition," Conference on Faith and History (September 2006).

Panelist and Convener. "Plenary Session: Perspectives on Women's History," Conference on Faith and History (September 2006).

"Wilhelm der Eroberer," Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 4th edition (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 1550.
Panelist. “The Christian Historian and Women's History,” Conference on Faith and History (October 2004).

" 'Hot Zeal' and 'Godly Charity': Reform and Community Among the Aristocracy and Gentry in Sixteenth Century Lincolnshire," National North American Conference on British Studies, (October 2003).

" 'Tasting the Word of God': Evangelicalism and the Religious Growth of Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk," Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, (April 2002).

"Religious Authority and Evangelicalism in the Early Career of Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk," Authority and Authorities: The 3rd Annual North Carolina Colloquium in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, (February 2002).

" ‘Family, Faith and Favor in Sixteenth Century Manuscripts: Correspondence Between Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and Sir William Cecil," presented in Renaissance Paleography, Folger Institute Seminar (March 2000).

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