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Standing Faculty

Thomas Max Safley

Professor of History
Undergraduate Studies Chair

Thomas Max Safley is Professor of Early Modern European History. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. A specialist in the economic and social history of early modern Europe, roughly 1450-1750, he has published extensively on the history of marriage and the family, of poverty and charity and of labor and business.

In addition to writing numerous essays, articles and reviews, Professor Safley is the author of Let No Man Put Asunder: The Control of Marriage in the German Southwest, 1550-1620 (1984), Charity and Economy in the Orphanages of Early Modern Augsburg (1996), Matheus Miller's Memoirs: A Merchant's Life in the Seventeenth Century (2000), Die Aufzeichnungen des Matheus Miller (2003), Children of the Laboring Poor: Expectation and Experience among the Orphans of Early Modern Augsburg (2005) and Kinder, Karitas und Kapital (2009/2011). He is co-editor of The Workplace before the Factory: Artisans and Proletarians, 1500-1800 (1993) and of Perspectives from the Past (1998), now in its fourth edition and Im Ringen um die Reformation: Kirchen und Prädikanten, Rat und Gemeinde in Augsburg (2011).  In addition, he has edited several volumes of essays, including The Reformation of Charity: The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief (2003) and A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World (2011).

He is currently at work on New Studies on the History of Bankruptcy and Bankrutpcy in History (Routledge 2012) and Failure at Idria: Business and Bankruptcy in a Capitalistic Age, which takes as its subject the economic and social history of failure in early modern Europe.  Forthcoming books include "Debito et Obligatio: Debt and Indebtedness in Early Modern Society" as well as textbooks on the history of family and household and on economic life in early modern Europe.

Professor Safley is a member of the Research Group on Self-Narrative in Trans-cultural Perspective at the Free University of Berlin and of the Institute for European Cultural History at the University of Augsburg.

At the University of Pennsylvania, he regularly teaches the introductory surveys of European history and advanced lecture courses on the Reformation, the Baroque, pre-industrial economic history and the early modern period. He also offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate seminars.

Courses Taught (As Schedule Allows)

For current course listings, consult the Course Directory.

Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World Im Ringen um die Reformation: Kirchen und Pradikanten, Rat und Gemeinden in Augsburg Children of the Laboring Poor: Expectation and Experience among the Orphans of Early Modern Augsburg Die Aufzeichnungen des Matheus Miller Matheus Miller's Memoirs: A Merchant's Life in the Seventeenth Century Charity and Economy in the Orphanages of Early Modern Augsburg Let No Man Put Asunder: The Control of Marriage in the German Southwest, 1550-1620 Geschichte in Raeumen: Festschrift fuer Rolf Kiessling zum 65. Geburtstag The Reformation of Charity: The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief Perspectives from the Past Kinder, Karitas und Kapital The Workplace before the Factory: Artisans and Proletarians, 1500-1800 The History of Bankruptcy: Economic, social and cultural implications in early modern Europe