Louis Gerdelan is a historian of early modern Europe and the Atlantic world. His interests span intellectual, cultural and environmental history and the history of science. His current book project is entitled "Calamitous knowledge: The languages of disaster in the British, French and Spanish Atlantic worlds, 1666-1765". This work examines the evolution of ideas and beliefs about disasters in the early modern era, spanning scientific, religious and astrological traditions. Gerdelan is also interested in the understanding of disasters within a broader interdisciplinary perspective.
In previous work Gerdelan focused on Italian Renaissance history, specifically the symbology of public spectacles and festivals. He has also published a book chapter on Alexander von Humboldt's scientific travel writing, and a journal article on Protestant pamphlet polemic in early modern England.
At present he is a postdoctoral fellow at the Fellowships and Writing Center of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a research associate of the Department of History.
Gerdelan has worked as a teaching fellow at Harvard and the University of Auckland, and has also designed and taught his own undergraduate course (History 14B: "Plague, Fire and Apocalypse: The Mentalities of Disaster from Genesis to Global Warming").