Dr Maya Corry

College Lecturer in Early Modern History

Having studied History at Oxford and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute I then returned to Oxford to complete my DPhil.

Subsequently I spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge before returning to Oxford to become College Lecturer in Early Modern History at Oriel.

I teach courses covering British, European and world history in the period from 1400 to 1700. I also teach Gender and Art Approaches to History, Disciplines of History and more specialised courses in areas relating to my own research interests.

Research interests

I work at the intersection of history and the history of art, using visual sources alongside written ones to explore the social, cultural and religious history of early modern Europe. I am particularly interested in the interrelationships that existed between practices and beliefs relating to the body, religion and spirituality, gender, sexuality, the emotions, material culture and medicine in this period. For example, early modern attitudes to the body and its gendering were shaped by medical thinking, but also by the representation of the human form in images. My first book, which will be published with OUP, explores social and cultural life, spirituality and gender in Renaissance Milan in the period when Leonardo da Vinci was working in the city.

I believe that there is much to be gained by engaging with visual and material cultures of the past, and also that there are great benefits to communicating research beyond the boundaries of academia. In 2017 I co-curated a major exhibition (Madonnas & Miracles) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, which explored the material culture of domestic piety and devotion in Renaissance Italy. Reviews in the national press described the exhibition as ‘pioneering’, ‘revelatory’ and ‘the exhibition of the year’.

Selected publications

Madonnas and Miracles: the holy home in Renaissance Italy, Maya Corry, Deborah Howard and Mary Laven eds. (Philip Wilson, 2017).

‘The alluring beauty of a Leonardesque ideal: masculinity and spirituality in Renaissance Milan’, Gender & History, Vol. 25, Issue 3, November 2013.

Beautiful bodies: spirituality, sexuality and gender in Leonardo’s Milan (OUP, forthcoming 2018) 

‘Paintings and play: shaping the soul from birth in early modern Italy’ in Domestic Devotion in Early Modern Italy, (Brill, forthcoming 2018), Maya Corry, Marco Faini and Alessia Meneghin eds.

Contemplating angels: affective piety and devotional art from Renaissance Lombardyin The Announcement. Annunciations and Beyond (DeGruyter, forthcoming 2018), Hana Gründler, Itay Sapir and Alessandro Nova eds.