Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Rudolph M. Bell
  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., City University of New York, 1969, B.A., Queens College, 1963
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers from 1968-2020
  • Specialty: Medieval and Early Modern Europe: History of Religion and Gender
  • Research Interests: Prof. Bell worked in all aspects of Italian history but with particular attention to religion, gender, popular culture, mysticism, and the history of the book.


Rudy Bell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, died this past weekend.  He was 79 years old.  Rudy taught at Rutgers from 1968 until his retirement in 2020 and left an indelible mark on the department and on the university.  By training a scholar of the Early US Republic, Rudy became a leading historian of medieval, early modern, and modern Italy, who published pathbreaking works on sanctity and gender.  He was an inspiring and inventive teacher, who helped pioneer some of our first online courses.  He served as department chair and as a longtime leader of the AAUP.  He wasn't afraid of a political fight and always had a plan for how to work around the obstacles that deans and university presidents might throw in the way of departmental aspirations.  He helped build the department we know today; and he will be sorely missed.

Click HERE for an obituary.




  • 506:112 Patterns in Civilization: Love (with Prof. Roden)
  • 506:113 Patterns in Civilization: Death (with Prof. Roden)
  • 506:151 History and the News
  • 510:354 History of Italy's Peoples
  • Seminars and Honors Seminars on Death, on Early Modern English Advice Manuals, and currently on children


  • 510:509 The Teaching of History
  • Occasional seminars and colloquia


  • The Voices of Gemma Galgani: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Saint, with Cristina Mazzoni (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003)
  • How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999)
  • Holy Anorexia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985)


  • National Gallery, London, Guest Lecturer, 2002
  • Rutgers University Board of Trustees Award for Outstanding Research, 1987
  • Fulbright-Hays, 1971-72


  • Rutgers Junior Year Abroad Director in Italy, England, and Ireland
  • Director, Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank (website at RUL's SCC)
  • Former History Dept. Chair, 1988-1994
  • University Senator and Officer of New Brunswick Faculty Council
  • AHA member and former office-holder
  • Rutgers Council of American Association of University Professors, President

Upcoming Events

Mon Apr 03 @12:00PM - 01:00PM
Susan Grayzel: Rutgers British Studies Center
Tue Apr 04 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Halide Velioglu: RCHA Seminar
Thu Apr 06 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
2023 Phi Alpha Theta Initiation Ceremony
Fri Apr 07 @ 8:00AM - 06:30PM
45th Annual Susman Graduate Student Conference
Tue Apr 11 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Anna Richey: RCHA Seminar
Tue Apr 11 @ 5:00PM - 06:30PM
Francine Hirsch: Bonnie G. Smith Lecture in European History


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grad students History 1x1


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