Brian Sandberg

Disciplines: HistoryReligion
Title and home institution: Professor of History at Northern Illinois University, USA
Category of Fellowship: Research residency
Residency length: February – July 2022

Research project 

Crusading, Religious Violence, and Imperialism in the Early Modern French Mediterranean

Summary of the research project 

A 1621 book, entitled Histoire de Scanderbeg, called on French nobles to rise up and fight “against the detestable sect of Mohammed.” This book was dedicated to the entire French nobility, and many French noble readers may have indeed been interested in the possibility of launching a crusade against the Ottomans. Such publications open a window into French attitudes toward Muslims and French understandings of the Mediterranean world in the early modern period. My primary goal would be to conduct intensive research and writing on a book project concerning Crusading, Religious Violence, and Imperialism in the Early Modern French Mediterranean. Crusading, Religious Violence, and Imperialism in the Early Modern French Mediterranean delves into the crusading ideologies that motivated early modern French imperialism. Religious and political treatises, pamphlets, and correspondence of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries evoked Louis IX and his crusades in the Holy Land. The resulting book will consider connections between French experiences of domestic religious violence during the French Wars of Religion (1562-1629) and contemporaneous involvement in Mediterranean conflict. Fluid concepts of crusading could be deployed by French Protestants and Catholics against blasphemers, unclean, heretics, and infidels inside the kingdom and worldwide. Crusading impulses contributed to the formation of French imperialism and early notions of globalization, which arguably redefined the French relationship with the Mediterranean in lasting ways.


Brian Sandberg is a Professor of History at Northern Illinois University who works on religion, violence, and political culture during the European Wars of Religion. He authored a monograph entitled, Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). Sandberg has held fellowships from the Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (University of Wisconsin-Madison), the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the Medici Archive Project), and the European University Institute. He has published an interpretive essay, War and Conflict in the Early Modern World, 1500- 1700 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016) and a collective volume, The Grand Ducal Medici and their Archive (1537-1743), edited by Alessio Assonitis and Brian Sandberg (Turnhout: Brepols, 2016). He recently served a term as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at NIU, and is currently working on several research projects, including a monograph on A Virile Courage: Gender and Violence in the French Wars of Religion 1562-1629. 

Appels à candidature

Les résidences de recherche que propose l’Iméra, Institut d’études avancées (IEA) d’Aix-Marseille Université, s’adressent aux chercheurs confirmés – académiques, scientifiques et/ou artistes. Ces résidences de recherche sont distribuées sur quatre programmes (« Arts & sciences : savoirs indisciplinés », « Explorations interdisciplinaires », « Méditerranée » et « Utopies nécessaires »).