Dr Maya Corry

College Lecturer in Early Modern History

I am a historian of early modern Europe, with a particular focus on Italy. My approach is interdisciplinary, and I use visual and material sources alongside alongside written ones to explore the social, cultural and religious history of this period.

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, and believe that there is much to be gained by engaging with visual and material cultures of the past. 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, ideas about sexuality, and 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 enjoy communicating my research beyond the boundaries of academia, and think that it is important to do so. 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

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

‘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.

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.

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