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Mark Waddell, Ph.D.

Mark  Waddell
  • Associate Professor
  • Affiliate Faculty


  • LB 133: Science and Culture: The Social Life of Facts 
  • LB 133: How Magic Became Science
  • LB 133: Food in Modern American Culture 
  • LB 133: Science and Religion 
  • LB 133: Representations of Science in Popular Culture
  • WS/LB 304: Introduction to LGBTQ and Sexuality Studies 
  • LB 324A: How Science Understands Gender and Sexuality
  • LB 327A: Magic, Religion, and the Origins of Science 
  • LB 332: Cyborg Nation: Technobiology and Transhumanism
  • LB 332: Technology and Spectacle 
  • LB 333: Magic, Science, and Religion 
  • LB 333: The Occult Laboratory: How Magic Became Science
  • LB 333: The Historical Relationship Between Science and Gender 
  • LB 333: The History of Natural History 
  • LB 492: Gender, Sexuality, and Science 
  • LB 492: The Boundaries of Nature in the Scientific Revolution
  • The Galileo Affair (Study Abroad in Italy; Summer 2012)


Dr. Mark Waddell studies science and medicine in early modern Europe. His research explores how early modern people navigated the complex intersections between religion, magic, and the natural world. In particular, he is interested in how imagery, persuasion, and trust were mobilized as part of efforts to study and understand nature's hidden forces. His first book, Jesuit Science and the End of Nature's Secrets (Ashgate, 2015), examines the myriad ways in which prominent Jesuit intellectuals revealed and explained a wide range of mysterious natural phenomena such as magnetism, optical illusions, and geological processes. His next book, which will be published by Cambridge University Press as part of their "New Approaches to the History of Science and Medicine" series, aims to educate a general audience (particularly undergraduate students) about the overlapping realms of science, religion, and magic in Europe between 1400 and 1750. At MSU, Dr. Waddell teaches courses on topics that range from European witchcraft and demonology, to cyborgism and transhumanism, to gender and sexuality in modern science.


  • Ph.D. History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, The Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A. (Honours), European History, History of Science, The University of Calgary


  • Allington Fellowship, The Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia. 2016. One-month research fellowship at CHF.
  • Distinguished Faculty Certificate, Lyman Briggs College, MSU. 2011. Student-nominated recognition of teaching excellence.


MSU HARP (Humanities and Arts Research Program) research development grant. $25,000 awarded for the project, “The Devil’s Cure: Magical Medicine and the Problem of Plausibility in the Seventeenth Century.” 2017.

MSU Science and Society @ State (S3) grant. $10,000 awarded for the project, “From the Asylum to the Lab Bench: Fostering Greater Inclusion for LGBTQ Individuals in STEM Disciplines Today.” 2014.



  • Jesuit Science and the End of Nature’s Secrets (Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2015) Magic, Science, and Religion in Europe, 1400-1750 (under contract with Cambridge University Press as part of their “New Approaches to the History of Science and Medicine” series) -
  • The Devil’s Cure: Proof, Plausibility, and Sympathetic Healing in Early Modern Europe (in preparation)


  • “Museums and Jesuits,” “Dictionaries and Jesuits,” “Encyclopedias and Jesuits,” and “Athanasius Kircher, S.J.” in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • “Science and Religion,” in A Companion to the History of American Science (Blackwell, 2016), pp. 528-540.
  • “Magic and Artifice in the Collection of Athanasius Kircher.” Endeavour. Volume 34, No. 1 (2010), pp. 30-34.
  • “A Theater of the Unseen: Athanasius Kircher’s Museum in Rome,” in A World Such As This I Dreamed: Cosmogony in the Early Modern Mind, ed. Allison B. Kavey (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 67-90.