Kathryn Taylor

Humanities in the World Postdoctoral Scholar

Kathryn Taylor (Ph.D., The University of Pennsylvania) is a historian of early modern Italy and the Mediterranean, with a focus on the history of cultural mediation, ethnography, and religious conversion. They are particularly interested in how people in the early modern Mediterranean thought about human diversity and how they imagined religious, ethnic, and cultural difference over time. Their articles have appeared in The Journal of Early Modern History, The Sixteenth Century Journal, and The History of European Ideas. 

Taylor is currently working on a book titled Ordering Customs, which examines the production and circulation of ethnographic knowledge in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Venice. The book shows how an interest in customs, rituals, and ways of life not only became central in how Venetians sought to apprehend other peoples, it also had a very real impact at the level of policy, shaping how the Venetian state governed minority populations in the city and its empire. Their next book project, Conversion and the Cosmopolitan Order in the Venetian Mediterranean, is a history of religious conversion in Venice’s Mediterranean empire.

Before coming to Penn State, Taylor served as the assistant editor for the Journal of the History of Ideas and held fellowships awarded by the Doris G. Quinn Foundation and The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.