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Janis Gibbs

Janis Gibbs
Associate Professor
of History (1996)

Lubbers Hall 330
126 East 10th Street
Holland, MI 49423

B.A., William and Mary, 1981
J.D., University of Chicago, 1984
M.A., University of Virginia, 1991
Ph.D., University of Virgina, 1996

Janis Gibbs completed her undergraduate work at the College of William and Mary (1981), and went on to earn a law degree at the University of Chicago (1984). After practicing law for four years, she gave it up in favor of learning Latin and German and studying history. She received a Fulbright-Hays fellowship to support her dissertation research in Germany in 1991-92, and earned both her M.A. (1991) and her Ph.D (1996) in history from the University of Virginia. She is currently working on the revision and expansion of her dissertation, “Catholicism and Civic Identity in Cologne, 1475-1570.” Her research interests include popular religion in Reformation Europe, early modern cities, and the development of political and cultural identity. She is an officer in the national Society for Reformation Research.

Professor Gibbs joined the Hope faculty in 1996. She teaches Cultural Heritage II, as well as courses in medieval and early modenr European history, the modern Middle East, genocide, and civil liberties in wartime. She has also taught topical courses, including “Women in Early Modern Europe,” “Medieval Voyages,” and “From the Crusades to 9/11.” Her history methods course focuses on the religious and social history of Europe from 1500 to 1800. In the summer, she offers IDS 172 (Cultural Heritage II) as part of the Hope College Vienna Summer School. Professor Gibbs also serves as a pre-law advisor, and an advisor for the International Studies major. With Professor David Cunningham, she works with students applying for Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall and Gates Scholarships.

During the spring semester of 2011, she will be on sabbatical, conducting research on Hermann von Wied, a sixteenth-century Archbishop of Cologne, at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
When she is not teaching, planning classes, or deciphering sixteenth-century German handwriting, she enjoys reading (especially speculative fiction), traveling, listening to musical political satire, and writing letters and/or e-mail.


Courses Taught

IDS 100 Does Freedom Have Limits? Civil Liberties in Wartime
IDS 172 From Reformation to Revolution
HIST 131 Introduction to Modern European History
HIST 140 Religion, Politics and Society in Europe, 1500-1800
HIST 200 Women in Early Modern Europe
HIST 200 Medieval Voyages
HIST 218 The Middle Ages: Europe, Byzantium and Islam
HIST 248 Europe in the Age of Reformation
HIST 344 Genocide in the Modern World
HIST 370 Modern Middle East


Current Research
Professor Gibbs is currently working on the attempt of Hermann von Wied, a sixteenth-century Archbishop of Cologne, to reform his diocese. She will spend the spring semester of 2011 in Germany, conducting research at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. This is a part of her larger research project on the religious and civic identity of the city of Cologne in the sixteenth century.



Ph.D. Dissertation: "Catholicism and Civic Identity in Cologne, 1475-1560"
M.A. Thesis: "The Perception of Sanctity in Seventeenth-Century France"
B.A. Honors Thesis: "Truth, Justice and the American Way: United States Foreign Policy in Indochina, 1945-1954"

Works in Progress:
Revision and expansion of dissertation for publication
Articles in Progress: “The Parish as an Urban Nexus in Early Modern Cologne”; “Mayors and Mourning: Rituals of Burial and the Political Community in Late Medieval Cologne”
Review in progress: Paas, The German Political Broadsheet 1600-1700, for The Sixteenth Century Journal.

“Immigration and Civic Identity in Sixteenth-Century Cologne,” in Ideas and Cultural Margins in Early Modern Germany: Essays in Honor of H.C. Erik Midelfort, eds. Robin Barns and Marjorie E. Plummer, 49-62. London: Ashgate, 2009.
“’From Now On You’ll Be History’: The Transition from Memorization to Analysis,” in Beyond Tests and Quizzes: Creative Assessments in College Classrooms, eds. Richard J. Mezeske and Barbara Mezeske, 39-55. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons, 2007.
Article on “Cologne,” Europe, 1450-1798: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, Charles Scribner’s Sons (2004).
"Slavery: Annual Bibliographical Supplement (1995)," with Joseph C. Miller, Slavery and Abolition, 17: (December, 1996), 270-339.
"Slavery: Annual Bibliographical Supplement (1994)," with Joseph C. Miller, Slavery and Abolition, 16: (December, 1995), 398-460.
"Slavery: Annual Bibliographical Supplement (1993)," with Joseph C. Miller, Slavery and Abolition, 15: (December, 1994), 134-197.
"The Perception of Sanctity in Seventeenth-Century France," Essays in History, 31: (1988), 37-56.
"Overview of the Last Decade of State Antitrust Law," with Stanley M. Lipnick, The University of Toledo Law Review, 16: (Summer 1985), 903-918.



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