Yvonne Petry

Professor; Dean (Luther College)
Ph.D (University of Manitoba); MA (University of Saskatchewan); BA Honours (University of Regina)

Office: LC 200.2
E-mail: yvonne.petry@uregina.ca
Phone: 306-585-5039
Website: https://www.luthercollege.edu/university/academics/faculty-profiles/yvonne-petry

Current classes
Fall 2023: 373-L01 The European Witch Hunts

Research interests

  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • 16th Century France
  • Women and Gender
  • Witch Hunts
  • Early Modern Science and Medicine


Short Bio

Yvonne Petry is an Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean at Luther College at the University of Regina, where she has taught since 1998. She is a specialist in the history of early modern France, with a particular interest in the relationship between magic, religion and medicine in the late sixteenth century. Her work explores the intellectual boundaries of early modern thought. She has also published in the area of gender and Kabbalah in Renaissance France and collaborated on an interdisciplinary examination of social constructions of religion and science.


Current research is focused on the French medical establishment from 1560-1650 and the attitudes of early modern physicians regarding magic, witchcraft and demonic possession. She is working on a monograph entitled Illness and Infection in the Era of the European Witchcraft. This study examines the ways in which physicians and surgeons tried to understand physical and mental illness in an era when the role of the preternatural and supernatural realms in causing disease and distorting sense perception was widely accepted. She has presented her research at annual conferences of the Sixteenth Century Studies Society, the Renaissance Society of America, the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies (Toronto) and the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science.

Courses Taught

HIST 115: Issues in European History
HIST 270: Europe, 1400-1648: Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 271: Health, Disease and the Body: The History of Medicine in Western Culture
HIST 272: Gender and the Body in Early Modern Europe
HIST 370: The European Reformations
HIST 373: The European Witch Hunts
HIST 400: Theories of History
HIST 472: From Magic to Science: The Evolution of Early Modern European Thought

Recent Publications

“Vision, Medicine and Magic: Bewitchment and Lovesickness in Jacques Grévin’s Deux Livres des vénins (1568).In Sensing the Divine: Religion and the Senses in Early Modern Europe. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2012.

“Many Things Surpass our Knowledge’: An Early Modern Surgeon on Magic, Witchcraft and Demonic Possession.” In Social History of Medicine vol. 25, no.1 (February, 2012): 47-64.