Vera Keller

Vera Keller

Associate Professor of History | 541-346-6903

Spring 2017 Office Hours: Professor Keller is on leave

Curriculum Vitae | Website

ACADEMIC AREAS: History of Science

Teaching Philosophy

In my teaching, I balance the sharpening of wit and skills with the deepening of passion for learning. I craft my syllabi in order to develop both student-faculty relationships and interactions among student peers. As they continue on to their other coursework, majors, theses, future employment, and lifelong learning, my students, I hope, will be noted for their clarity of expression, their precise argumentation, their ability to hone theses, and their polished manner of presentation and interaction. 

Past Courses

HC 231H Creation and Invention: Europe and the Middle East, 2000 BCE-1450 CE

HC 232H Europe and the Middle East: State and Society, 1453-1945

HC 231H Sources of the Self

HC 232H Multiple Modernities

HC 431H The History of Experiment

Opportunities for Students

 Burgess MS 43 (17th century). Sa’di (ca 1200–1292), Gulistan and Bustan.

Talk to me about research and internship opportunities working with rare books and manuscripts in Special Collections and University Archives.

Academic Background

Ph.D., History, Princeton University, 2008
B.A., History and Literature (summa cum laude, phi beta kappa), Harvard University, 2002

Professor Keller has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies of the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität (Munich), the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (Gotha-Erfurt), the Warburg Institute (London), the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel), and elsewhere. She serves on the international editorial boards of the journals Lias and Nuncius and of the book series, Universal Reform: Studies in Intellectual History, 1550-1700 (Routledge). She is co-editor of a new book series from De Gruyter, Cultures and Practices of Knowledge in History.

Keller is currently a Rare Books School-Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography. She co-founded the Oregon Rare Books Initiative at the University of Oregon, a group which seeks to publicize the wonderful early print and manuscript collections of Knight Library at UO, to encourage their use in the classroom, and to stimulate an intellectual community gathered around the history of the book.

Research Interests & Current Projects

A historian of science and an early modern Europeanist, Vera Keller is interested in the emergence of experimental science. Her first book, Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575-1725 (Cambridge, 2015), explored the co-production of science and politics by analyzing how new discussions concerning the public interested shaped scientific and political practice. She is currently completing a monograph on the alchemist, philosopher, and inventor, Cornelis Drebbel (1572-1633) and is looking forward to a third book project entitled Cultures of Citation on professionalizing practices of bibliography and museology circa 1660-1700.


  • 2016: Research Excellence - Outstanding Early Career Award, University of Oregon 
  • 2015: Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies
  • 2014-2016: Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School, UVA
  • 2012: Visiting Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies and Research Center, “Fundamente der Moderne,” Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Munich
  • 2012: American Philosophical Society/British Academy Postdoctoral Exchange Fellow
  • 2011: Herzog-Ernst Fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Gotha-Erfurt
  • 2010: Grete Sondheimer Fellow, Warburg Institute, London

Selected Publications

Cover of Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575-1725

For a complete publication list see Professor Keller's Curriculum Vitae.

Books & Edited Volumes

Selected Articles

  • 2016, "Art Lovers and Scientific Virtuosi? The Philomathia of Erhard Weigel in Context (1625-1699)," Nuncius, 31:3, 523-548.
  • 2015, "From the Archives of Scientific Diplomacy: Science and the Shared Interests of Samuel Hartlib’s London and Frederick Clodius’ Gottorf" (Vera Keller and Leigh Penman), Isis 106:1, 17-42.
  • 2014, "Nero and the Last Stalk of Silphion: Collecting Extinct Nature in early modern Europe," Worlds of Paper, a special issue of Early Science and Medicine (edited by Staffan Müller-Wille and Isabelle Charmantier), 19:5, 424-447.
  • 2013, "Re-entangling the Temperature Concept: Cornelis Drebbel's Description of his Self-regulating Oven, the Regiment of Fire, and the Early History of Temperature," Nuncius, 28: 243–275. 
  • 2012, "The 'New World of Sciences': The Temporality of the Research Agenda and the Unending Ambitions of Science" (Focus Section), Isis, 103:4 (December), 727–734.

Book Chapters