Vera Keller

Vera Keller

Associate Professor of History | 541-346-6903 | 208 Chapman Hall

Spring 2018 Office Hours: Mon 1 - 3pm & Tues 2 - 4pm

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 231H Sources of the Self

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

HC 232H Multiple Modernities

HC 233H Alchemy and Magic

HC 431H The History of Experiment

HC 434H/431H: Global History of Color, 1400-1900

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.

Cover of Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575-1725


  • 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