Skip to main content
History Department

Tim Kircher

H Curt/Pat S Hege Professor of History


+1 (336) 3162348


Tim Kircher has been at Guilford College since 1989. He teaches courses in premodern European history, ranging from ancient Greece to the Renaissance and Reformation.

His courses include seminars in medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, and Tudor-Stuart history, and an historical survey of western Europe from 800 C.E. to the present. More recently, he has developed an introductory course in the field of health humanities.

He is an historian of Renaissance humanism. His interests lie in understanding the relation between literary expression and philosophical inquiry, and especially in appreciating how certain humanists formulated this relation in response to dominant cultural voices of their times. As a central concern he studies the crossings of history, philosophy, and literature in ways that foreground the developments of the philosophical essay and the modern novel.

He has been invested in understanding the critical role of the humanities past, present, and future. In order to voice this understanding in broader institutional venues, he has been Chair of the Humanities Division at Guilford College, President of the American Boccaccio Association, and Member of the Board of Directors for the Renaissance Society of America for Associate Organizations and International Cooperation. Since 2015 he has edited a website that charts the place of the humanities in contemporary culture (


Yale University, Ph.D., 1989
Yale University, A.B., 1982

Selected Scholarship

Tim has published three scholarly monographs, most recently "Before Enlightenment: Play and Illusion in Renaissance Humanism" (Leiden: Brill, 2021), two volumes of edited essays, and more than two dozen scholarly articles.

His current project involves analyzing humanist letter-writing as it conveys a twin sense of "humanitas": care and concern; and culture and learning. In this vein Tim has developed a course in health humanities and is working on a health humanities program at Guilford. I present the results of my studies to both academic and non-academic audiences.

Courses Taught

History 101/102: Europe 800-present (two semesters)
History 150 / Health Sciences 150: An Introduction to Health Humanities
History 233: Medieval Civilization: Chivalry and Crusades
History 235/Art 235: The Renaissance in Florence and beyond
History 236/Religious Studies 236: Reformations: Luther to Fox
History 336/English 336: The Elizabethan Age
History 402: Research Seminar
Interdisciplinary Studies 452: Cultural History of Ancient Greece from Homer to Socrates