Alberts, Tara

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History

University of York, United Kingdom


United Kingdom

Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2011/2012

Ph.D. Institution

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


My research focuses on cultural, religious and scientific exchange between Europeans and Southeast Asians in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

My Ph.D. thesis, ‘Conflict and Conversion on the Catholic missions of Southeast Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’ (Cambridge University, 2010) explored early modern Catholic evangelism in (what are now) Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. I examined the activities of five Catholic religious orders, and analysed the evolution of missionary methodologies and local responses in these three very different regions.

In 2008-2010 I was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, where I used my fellowship to develop my Ph.D. thesis into a monograph. I undertook further research in archives in Goa and Manila and sought to delve deeper into the hidden world of lay Catholicism in Southeast Asia.

My research project at the EUI will build on one area that emerged in the course of my previous research. Tentatively titled ‘Spiritual healing and medical exchange in Southeast Asia, 1500-1770’, it will consider the roles of medical knowledge and resources, and of religious concepts of health and wellbeing, in early modern intercultural encounters.
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