PROF Charles Zika

PROF Charles Zika


  • Late medieval and early modern Europe (Witchcraft, visual culture, print, religion, emotions)



  • Charles Zika is a cultural historian of late medieval and early modern Europe, who is a Professorial Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies and Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, 1100-1800, which is funded 2011-2018.
    Charles graduated BA (Hons) in History and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Melbourne, carried out research at the University of Tuebingen, West Germany, and was awarded an MA in History from the University of Melbourne in 1974.

    Charles has taught at Monash and Melbourne Universities, became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2003 and was promoted to Professor in 2004. He was Head of the Department of History from 2002 to 2006, and took early retirement at the end of 2007. Since then he has been a Professorial Fellow of the School, primarily engaged in research and supervision of graduate students. Since 2011 he has been one of the ten Chief Investigators in the ARC Centre of Excellence. He has held fellowships in Washington DC, Canberra, Wolfenbuettel, and most recently in 2010-11, at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Lichtenberg-Kolleg, University of Goettingen.


    Charles' research has focused on the cultural, religious and visual history of northern and central Europe in the late medieval and early modern periods, and especially on the German-speaking lands. His publications have covered topics such as humanism and magic, the German Reformation, the social construction of knowledge, sexuality and moral order, religious practices and authority, folklore and celebrations of the past, print culture and memory, cannibalism and images of witchcraft.

    His recent research interests lie in the intersection of religion, emotion visual culture and print in German-speaking Europe between the 15th and 18th centuries. His projects in the Centre for the His   


Member of

  • Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & EArly Modern Europe. Life Member 1994 -
  • Renaissance Society of America. Member 1990 -
  • Sixteenth Century Society & Conference. Member 1990 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Recent Major Grants
    • Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, Centre for the History of the Emotions, University of Western Australia, 2011-2018, one of the ten Chief Investigators: “Intersections of Religion, Emotion, Visual Culture and Print in Early Modern Europe”
    • Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant, 2009-12 (with Prof S. Broomhall & Dr J. Spinks): ‘Reading the Signs: disaster, apocalypse and demonology in European print culture, 1450-1700’
    • Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant, 2006-2009: ‘The Living Dead: witchcraft and apparition in European culture (3rd to 18th century)’
    • Australian Research Council Network for Early European Research (NEER), 2004-2009, one of 50 signatories

    Recent Minor Grants
    • Scholarly Information Innovation Grant, for ‘‘Recapturing and publicizing Renaissance and Early Modern print culture in Australia: scholarly documentation, conservation, and display of early prints and rare books from the Baillieu library’ (with Dr C Kovesi, Dr J Spinks & A/Prof R Sloggett), University of Melbourne, 2010
    • Australian Research Council, Network for Early European Research (NEER) grant ($10.000) to support Early Europe activity at the University of Melbourne, 2007-8
    • Faculty of Arts, Conference grant, to present papers at Witchcraft Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow conference, Vardø, Norway, June 2007; and Network for Early Europe Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, July 2007
    • Australian Research Council, Network for Early European Research (NEER) cluster grant: ‘Supernatural Powers and Social Relations in Early Modern Europe’ (team leaders Sarah Ferber and Jacqueline Van Gent) $4,000
    • Faculty of Arts, Visiting Scholar Award, to support a visit to the University of Melbourne of Emeritus Professor Patri   


Education and training

  • MA, University of Melbourne 1974
  • BA (Hons), University of Melbourne 1971

Awards and honors

  • Best Small Exhibition Catalogue, 2013 (Co-editor), Art Association of Australian & New Zealand, 2013
  • Fellowship in Residence, October 2010July 2011, Lichtenberg Kolleg, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Goettingen, 2010
  • Visiting Fellow, Research Centre for Early Modern European Culture, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbuettel, Germany, 2009
  • Honourable Mention, Roland Bainton Prize in History, Sixteenth Century Studies Society & Conference, 2008
  • Joint Runner-up, Katherine Briggs Award 2008, British Folklore Society, 2008
  • Co-editor, Late Medieval and Early Modern series, Brepols Publishers, Belgium, 2005
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2003
  • Visiting Fellow, Research Centre for Early Modern European Culture, Herzog August Bibliothek, Woldfenbuettel, Germany, 1996
  • Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, ANU, 1993
  • Visiting Fellow, Centre for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gellery of Art, Washington DC, 1992



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Emotions and Historical Change in Late Medieval & Early Modern Europe