Elisa Jones

Assistant Professor, Affiliate Faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Program

Address: Maybank 329
Office Hours: Th 2:00-4:00, F 8:00-10:00, & on Zoom by appointment
Phone: 843.953.1420
E-mail: jonesej@cofc.edu

Elisa J. Jones earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She specializes in French history and the history of rights, with related research interests in the history of the book and censorship. Elisa’s book project The Right to Be Seen and Heard: Liberty of Conscience and the Practice of Citizenship in Early Modern France is a counter-intuitive history of liberty of conscience during the civil and religious wars in late sixteenth and early seventeenth century France known as the Wars of Religion. The unanswered questions this project addresses about how liberty of conscience functioned are nested within the current – and increasingly urgent – scholarly reassessment of the origin and nature of universal human rights. In addition to her two articles in progress, Elisa is planning a new research project that approaches the relationship between religion, liberties, and civil authority through the conflicts over marriage and rape during the Wars of Religion.

Through her previous role as the Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library, Elisa is involved with several ongoing digital history and pedagogy projects. She is currently coordinating the development of a new digital resource for the Newberry’s vast digitized early modern French pamphlet collection, as well as editing and developing content for the Newberry’s Digital Collections for the Classroom. Elisa has worked extensively in libraries and archives, and has taken graduate courses at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2019

M.A., History, The University of Chicago, 2009

M.A., History, The Catholic University of America, 2005

B.A., Political Science, The Johns Hopkins University, 2000

Research Interests

Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World

Early Modern French History

Renaissance and Reformation Studies

History of Rights, Toleration, and Political Thought

History of Information and Censorship

History of the Book

Digital History and Methodology

Archival Theory and Practice

Courses Taught

The Renaissance: Past, Present, Future.

Information Revolutions: The Radical History of Reading and Knowledge.

Race and Religion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

The History of Human Rights in Global Early Modern Europe

Digital History: Methodology, Practice, and Outreach

Honors and Awards

Center for Renaissance Studies Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship (Newberry Library), 2019-2020

Doris G. Quinn Dissertation Fellowship (University of Chicago), 2017-2018

Von Holst Prize Lectureship (University of Chicago), 2017-2018

The Divinity School Martin Marty Center Junior Fellowship (University of Chicago), 2016-2017

Bessie Pierce Prize B.A. Preceptorship (University of Chicago), 2015-2017

Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust Fellowship (France), 2013-2014

Institute for the History of the Reformation Summer Course Fellowship (Switzerland), 2013

Fulbright Institute of International Education Doctoral Fellowship (France), 2012-2013


  • The Right to Be Seen and Heard: Liberty of Conscience and the Practice of Citizenship in Early Modern France (in progress)
  • “The Citizenship of Jean Bodin in Word and Deed: Property, Pluralism, and the Polity in the French Wars of Religion” (in progress)
  • “Pamphlets beyond Polemics: Cheap Print and Negotiating in Public during the French Wars of Religion” (in progress)
  • Catalogue entries in Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s Nova Reperta (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2020).

Digital Projects

  • “French Pamphlets Digital Initiative.” Coordinator and new content creator, Newberry Library (in progress).
  • “Premodern Censorship, Public Dissent and the Unexpected Histories of Rights.” Author and coordinator, Digital Collections for the Classroom, Newberry Library (in progress).
  • “French Renaissance Paleography.” Contributor and editor, Newberry Library (ongoing). https://www.newberry.org/french-renaissance-paleography
  • “Italian Paleography.” Metadata creator and editor, Newberry Library. https://italian-paleography.library.utoronto.ca/