Ellen Wurtzel

  • Associate Professor of History

Areas of Study


  • BA, Duke University, 1992
  • MS, education, Bank Street College, 1995
  • MA, Columbia University 1998
  • PhD, Columbia University, 2007


Teaching Interests: Medieval and early modern Europe, especially social, political, and cultural formation of the West from 1000-1700

Research Interests: Urban and legal history, state development, and gender.

Professor Wurtzel’s book project is about the transformation of urban jurisdiction and space in the context of early modern state formation in the southern Low Countries.

Spring 2024

Of Miracles and Microscopes: A History of Science from 1200-1800 — HIST 208
The Politics of Gender in Medieval and Early Modern Europe — HIST 301


Ellen Wurtzel Article Published in "French Historical Studies"

August 23, 2023

Associate Professor Ellen Wurtzel published an article in the August 2023 issue of French Historical Studies, entitled "Passionate Encounters, Public Healing. Medieval Urban Bathhouses in Northern France." Using medical treatises, trial records, literary sources, and archival documentation, the article argues that, far from being sites primarily associated with crime and prostitution, bathhouses encouraged sociability, brought disparate groups together, and were in fact essential to the circulation and well‐being of people in medieval cities as places of emotional community.

Ellen Wurtzel Interviewed

June 22, 2017

Ellen Wurtzel, associate professor of history, was interviewed for the Royal Studies Journal blog about her article "The Joyous Entry of Albert and Isabella in Lille: History, Conquest and the Making of Belgium” which appeared in a December 2016 issue of the Royal Studies Journal (RSJ) called Taking Possession: Royal Entries in the Early Modern Period. The piece was developed from a paper she delivered at the 2015 Sixteenth-Century Studies annual conference and investigates the way that the city’s history was used to establish loyalty to the prince and envision a new empire in the midst of war and religious conflict.


The Hectic and Gratifying Life of a CNN Producer

March 17, 2021

Matthew Kendrick’s passion for shooting and editing video led to a position as an associate producer with CNN political commentator Fareed Zakaria. Today, he reflects on his experiences and offers advice to students who have hopes of working in the broadcast journalism industry.

Jewish Studies Program Experiences Renewal

August 26, 2019

New faculty members and new programming offer students a robust experience in the study of Jewish history, culture, religious tradition, and literature.