Paul Dover

Professor of History

BA, PhD, Yale University

Paul Dover joined the KSU faculty in 2005, and is a historian of Europe and the Mediterranean world in the late medieval and early modern periods. An enthusiastic teacher who relishes exploring period texts and big questions with his students, he routinely teaches surveys of world and European history, Origins of Great Traditions, senior research seminars, and specialized courses in topics like Machiavelli and the history of information. His textbook The Changing Face of the Past: an Introduction to Western Historiography (Cognella, 2014) stems from his experience teaching this course. Dr. Dover’s research interests focus on the political, diplomatic and cultural history of Europe in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, as well as on the history of information. He has published articles in journals as varied as Mediterranean Studies, The Journal of Early Modern History, Renaissance and Reformation, The Journal of Urban History, Archival Studies, The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance History, The International Journal of the Classical Tradition, and Cahiers d'histoire. Revue d'histoire critique.

One thrust of his research focuses on diplomacy and international politics in the Renaissance - his most recent publication in this area is “Ambassadors as travelers in fifteenth-century Italy”, in Gabor Galleri and Rachel Willie, eds., Travel and Conflict in the Early Modern World (Routledge, 2020). He will be contributing a chapter under the title "The evolution of intelligence practices in early modern Europe" to the forthcoming The Cambridge History of Intelligence, edited by David Omand and Peter Jackson. He is the editor of, and a contributor to, Secretaries and Statecraft in the Early Modern World (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), a study of the role of secretaries, chancellors and favorites in early modern Eurasian diplomacy. He also contributed a chapter on diplomacy to The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern History (2015; ed. Hamish Scott).

Professor Dover has also written on the related "early modern information revolution," tracing the changing attitudes and practices of Europeans toward information acquisition, storage and management. On this topic he has written a manuscript entitled The Information Revolution of Early Modern Europe, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press as part of the press' New Approaches to European History Series, and expected in 2020. Also appearing in 2020 will be an essay on the role of information in diplomacy and espionage for The Princeton Companion to the History of Information, edited by Ann Blair, Tony Grafton and Anne Marie Goeing, as well as “Variété et abondance. La copia et l’histoire de l’Europe des débuts de l’époque moderne" in the French journal Cahiers d'histoire. Revue d'histoire critique.
A third area of publication has been the reception and publication history in the Renaissance of works of classical geography, in particular the Polyhistor of Caius Julius Solinus – most recent of his several articles on the topic was “How Heinrich Bullinger read his Solinus. Reading ancient geography in 16th-century Switzerland” in K. Brodersen, ed. Solinus: New Studies (Verlag Antike, 2014). He has also recently written an article, “Reading Dante in the Sixteenth Century: The Bentley Aldine Divine Comedy and its Marginalia”, on a book housed at KSU's own Bentley Rare Book Library - this will appear in 2020 in The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance History

In 2015, Dr. Dover won two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The first was a long-term residential research fellowship for 2015-6 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, where Dr. Dover researched The Information Revolution. The second funded the development of an original, interdisciplinary course on the question “what is the relationship between the past and present?”, as part of the NEH’s Enduring Questions program. This course was delivered as part of the KSU Honors curriculum. It also served as the seed for an interdisciplinary volume, Engaging with the Past and the Present, under contract from Routledge, which will bring together contributions from practitioners in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences reflecting on how their understanding of the reationship between past and present impinges on their methodologies and epistemologies. It is ecpected to appear in 2022.

His latest original research focuses on the emergence of pre-Cartesian pragmatic numeracy, as evidenced in the quotidian praxis of merchants, soldiers, statesmen, and burghers.
Prior to coming to KSU, Dr. Dover taught at the University of the South in Tennessee and at Georgian Court University in New Jersey. He lives in downtown Atlanta.