Anna Becker - New Professor (MSO) at the School of Culture and Society

We are happy to welcome Anna Becker as Professor MSO at the Department of Philosophy and History of Ideas.

I am a historian of early modern political thought and gender. I have studied in Bonn, Berlin, and Milan and hold an MPhil and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. I have published widely on topics in early modern political theory and political culture, on Machiavelli and on Bodin, on political Aristotelianism, on oeconomics and gender, on colonial masculinities and on continuities and change in medieval and Renaissance political thought. My book Gendering the Renaissance Commonwealth is due to come out with Cambridge University Press in November 2019.

 During the next years I aim to shape my research with two distinct foci. I hope to rethink the way historians of political thought understand the body and its flesh – both that of individuals and of the commonwealth – and the material foundations of life, and I aim to do so with a global perspective. My next book, tentatively entitled Politics that matters thus aims to turn upside down the focus of studies in the history of political thought by examining the rich but largely neglected thinking on the material foundations of a healthy body politic in early modern thinking. Reading well-known (and not so well-known) texts from Aristotle to Adam Smith against the grain, this project reverses the common practice in the history of political thought by favouring body over mind, and the material over the abstract, and locates the political in the seemingly mundane. It so aims to show how thinking about every-day life, and about bodies contributed to conceptions of the political and social in early modern Europe and shows that we can read the intellectual history of the political not as a history of insular and elite interest only but as part of a broader understanding of what early modern culture entailed. The project has a strong global perspective, examining the construction of foreign and colonial bodies and subjects in their material distinctiveness, and looking at the narrative entanglement of ancient Rome with the Incan empire and of ideas of fiefdom in medieval Europe with Moghul India.


Anna Becker
Institut for Kultur og Samfund
Jens Chr. Skous Vej 7
bygning 1465, 625
8000 Aarhus C