Yvonne Petry

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Dr. Yvonne Petry


Dr. Yvonne Petry has taught history at Luther College at the University of Regina since 1998. She graduated with a B.A. and Honours Certificate from the University of Regina in 1985, an M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1991 and a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1997. Her field is Early Modern European history, with a particular interest in the relationship between magic, religion, and science in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France. Her current research focuses on the attitudes of early modern French physicians and surgeons towards magic, witchcraft and demonic possession. She regularly presents her work at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, the Southern Association of the History of Medicine and Science and elsewhere. She supervises both masters and honours students in early modern history and teaches at all levels. She served as the Assistant Dean of Luther College from 2012 to 2017 and currently holds the position of Academic Dean of Luther College. She lives in Regina, Saskatchewan with her husband, Gary Diver. She is an avid fan of opera, the novels of Jane Austen and Scottish country dancing.

Courses Taught

HIST 115 – Issues in European History
HIST 270 – Europe, 1400-1648: Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 271 – Health, Disease and the Body: The History of Medicine in Western Culture
HIST 272 – Gender and the Body in Early Modern Europe
HIST 370 – The European Reformations
HIST 371 – Cultural Identity, Exchange and Conflict in the Early Modern Era
HIST 373 – The European Witch Hunts
HIST 472 – From Magic to Science: The Evolution of Early Modern European Thought

Current Research

  • Preparation of a book on sixteenth-century medicine, entitled Illness and Infection in the Era of the European Witch Hunts.
  • Preparation of a book on early modern midwifery and professionalization of medicine tentatively titled Midwives and Doctors: Knowledge Appropriation and Early Modern Medical Professionalization (co-authored with Kiegan Lloyd and Dr. Stephanie Spoto).
  • Preparation of two conference presentations on Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility for the Jane Austen Society of Australia.

Selected Recent Publications

“’What do they mean by a potent man?’ Medical Views of Impotence in Early Modern France,” (co-authored with Kiegan Lloyd), in The Male Body and Social Masculinity in Premodern Europe, ed. Jacqueline Murray. Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2022. 93-112.

Translation of excerpt from Guillaume Postel, De la république des Turcs, là où l’occasion s’offrera, des moeurs, loy de tous les Muhamédistes (Poitiers: Enguilbert de Marnef, 1560, 44-57) in Global Reformations Sourcebook: Convergence, Conversion, and Conflict, ed. Nicholas Terpstra. London/New York, Routledge, 2021. Section 3.1, “Can Christians, Jews, and Muslims learn anything from each others? (1560).” 67-70.

“The Peregrinations of Guillaume Postel: Journey, Religious Syncretism and Prophecy,” in Reframing Reformation: Understanding Religious Difference in Early Modern Europe, ed. Nicholas Terpstra. Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2020. 261-280.

“Event Series: Luther College, University of Regina” [Reflections on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation] Sixteenth Century Journal 48, no.4 (2017), 1017-1018.

"Vision, Medicine and Magic: Bewitchment and Lovesickness in Jacques Grévin’s Deux Livres des vénins (1568).”In Religion and the Senses in Early Modern Europe. Eds. Wietse de Boer and Christine Göttler. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013. 455-472.

“Many Things Surpass our Knowledge’: An Early Modern Surgeon on Magic, Witchcraft and Demonic Possession.” Social History of Medicine 25 (2012): 47-64.

Gender, Kabbalah and the Catholic Reformation: The Mystical Theology of Guillaume Postel (1510-1581). Leiden: Brill, 2004.

Webs of Reality: Social Perspectives on Science and Religion, co-authored with William Stahl, Robert Campbell and Gary Diver. Piscatawy, NJ: Rutgers, 2002.


Recent Conference Presentations

“Elinor Dashwood the Artist: Drawing and Perception in Sense and Sensibility,” Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) AGM, Victoria BC (September 2022).

“’What do they mean by a potent man?’ Medical Views of Impotence in Early Modern France,” (co-authored with Kiegan Lloyd) Premodern Masculinities Conference, Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, Toronto (Virtual) (November, 2020).

“Can a Person Live without Food? Early Modern Physicians on Fasting and Miracles,” Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Albuquerque (October, 2018).

“The Peregrinations of Guillaume Postel: Journey, Religious Syncretism and Prophecy,” Global Reformations Conference, Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, Toronto (October, 2017).

“Practicing Medicine in the Context of the European Witch Hunts,” Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, Toronto (June, 2017).

“William Pryor Letchworth and Nineteenth-century Epileptic Care” (co-authored with Dr. Gary Diver), Southern Assocation for the History of Medicine and Science (March, 2016).

“Early Modern Demonic Possession as a Response to Trauma,” Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico (October, 2013).

“The Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychic Trauma: A Comparative Analysis of Possession and PTSD” (co-authored with Regan Shercliffe, PhD) Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, Charleston (February, 2013).


Recent Supervision of Graduate and Honours Students

Honours Paper in History. Kiegan Lloyd, "Blessed is the man who has a virtuous wife: Rhetoric, Gender and the Art of Persuasion in the Malleus Maleficarum” (2022).

M.A. in History (co-supervised with Dr. John Meehan). Jessica Lohner, “Humanist or Exclusivist? A Critical Analysis of The Commentary of Father Monserrate S.J. on His Journey to the Court of Akbar” (2017).

Honours Paper in History. Conn Randall, “The Beggars of the Sea: Re-examining the Influence of the Sea Beggars during the Dutch Revolt” (2017).

M.A. in History. Katelyn Betker, “Fabricating Gender Identity: Analyzing the Evolution of the Highland Kilt and Tartan” (2016).

Honours Paper in History. Cole Hawkins, “Plague, Fear and Quarantine: The Social Impact of Moral Breakdown in Seventeenth-Century England” (2015).

Honours Paper in History. Laura Hochban, “’A Natural and Necessary Thing’: The Consequences of Martin Luther’s Marriage Reforms on Women in Sixteenth-Century Germany” (2013).

M.A. in History. Melissa Munro, “Studying Female Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century London: A Historiographical Analysis” (2012).

Honours Paper in History. Jill Kergan, “Portentous Propaganda: Interpretations of Monstrous Births in the Early Modern Era” (2010).

M.A. in History. Geoffrey Loken, “Lost Tribes and the Devil’s Army: The Changing Role of Native Americans in the Puritan Imagination” (2009).