Michael T. Tworek is an associate of the History Department, a non-resident tutor at Eliot House, and an affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. Michael’s research and teaching focus on the intellectual and cultural life of early modern Europe, especially central and eastern Europe, from a transcontinental and global perspective.
Michael is currently working on two academic book projects. His first book project rethinks the impact of education and travel on the emergence of notion of meritocracy. The book focuses on the impact of educational travel on humanists from central and eastern Europe and how they understood notions of virtue, social mobility, and merit in the Republic of Letters in the sixteenth century. His second book project challenges scholarly narratives of Europe’s role in early modern globalization by exploring the encounters and “failures” of other Europeans from non-imperial polities in travels around the world. His other publications and presentations have covered topics such as Jesuits in China, Copernicus and nationhood, urban place in Socinian religious controversies, Ottoman mediation of knowledge, tolerance and cannibalism in Dutch Brazil, and Poland in the global Republic of Letters.
Michael earned his AM and PhD in History from Harvard University in 2014 and his BA and MAT from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. He has received research fellowships and grants from Fulbright (IIE/U.S. State Department), Villa I Tatti, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and Fulbright-Hays (U.S. Department of Education). Michael has also been awarded the Carl S. Meyer Prize for Best Paper by a Young Scholar at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Fort Worth, TX in 2012 and the Best Paper at the Boston Area Study Abroad Association (BASAA) in 2015.
Michael has held visiting fellowship at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS).