Dr. Brian Jeffrey Maxson

Dr. Maxson

(423) 439-6698
Rogers-Stout 206

Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean of the Graduate School

B.A., 2002, Michigan State University
M.A., 2003, Northwestern University
Ph.D., 2008, Northwestern University

About Dr. Maxson:
Dr. Maxson's research focuses on the political, social, and cultural history of the Italian Renaissance. He has published numerous articles in venues including Renaissance Studies and I Tatti Studies. His first monograph, The Learned World of the Florentines, 1400-1480 is currently under contract with Cambridge University Press with an estimated publication date of 2014. The book examines the learned interests of hundreds of so-called amateur humanists in Renaissance Florence and, using a case study of Florentine diplomats, argues that demands of political and social rituals motivated the spread, form, and success of the humanist movement. He has held fellowships from the Fulbright and Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Foundations as well as Northwestern and East Tennessee State Universities. He has given invited lectures at the University of Oxford and the Ludwig Maximilians Universitat in Munich.  


Areas of Academic Specialty   
  Europe between 1050 and 1700 
  Political, diplomatic, cultural, and social history



The Learned World of the Florentines: The Humanist Movement in Renaissance Florence, 1400-1480 (under contract with Cambridge University Press).


"The Vernacular and the Spread of the Humanist Movement in Fifteenth-Century Florence," in Latin and the Vernacular in the Fifteenth Century, a thematic issue of I Tatti Studies, edited by Andrea Rizzi and Eva del Soldato, (forthcoming in 2013).

"Florence, Pius II, and Jacopo Piccinino in 1458: A Case-Study of Gifts and Status in Diplomacy," in Languages of Power in Italy, 1300-1600, eds. Daniel Bornstein and Laura Gaffuri (Turnhout: Brepols Publishing, forthcoming in 2013).

"Tester: A Story of Class, Academia, and Generation X," in Generation X Professors Speak: Voices from Academia, ed. Elwood Watson, Marc Shaw, and John Kille (Meutchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, forthcoming in 2013).

"Establishing Independence: Ritual, Empire, and Leonardo Bruni's History of the Florentine People," in Foundation, Dedication and Consecration Rituals in Early Modern Culture, eds. Maarten Delbeke, Jan de Jong, and Minou Schraven, 79-98 (Leiden: Brill, 2012).

"The Many Shades of Praise: Politics and Panegyrics in Fifteenth-Century Florence," in Rhetorik in Mittelalter und Renaissance: Konzepte – Praxis – Diversität, eds. Georg Strack and Julia Knödler, 393-412 (Munich: Herbert Utz Verlag, 2011).

Feature Review: Histories of Florence: A Review of Seven Recent Publications on Renaissance Florence," Canadian Journal of History 45, no. 3 (Autumn 2010): 335-346.

"Kings and Tyrants: Leonardo Bruni's Hiero in Early Renaissance Florence," Renaissance Studies 24, no. 2 (April 2010): 188-206.