Department of History

Sara Nalle


Office: Atrium 202
Phone: (973) 720-3049
Office Hours: MW 11:00-12:00; T 1:00-2:00

Department: History
Position: Full Professor, Emerita

Area Specialization
European History, Spain


Sara T. Nalle earned her Ph.D. in European history at the Johns Hopkins University and teaches courses on the history of Spain, the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Discovery, among others. An award-winning author, she has published two books and numerous articles on the history of religion, literacy, book publishing, the Inquisition, and insanity in Spain during the sixteenth and seventeeth century. Her current research focuses on the history of the family and ethnic identity in Spain during the same period


PhD, History--The Johns Hopkins University, 1983

MA, History--The Johns Hopkins University, 1978

AB, History and Spanish--Bryn Mawr Colege, 1975

Selected Publications


Loco por Dios: Bartolomé Sánchez, el mesías secreto de Cardenete. Madrid: La Torre Literaria, 2009. Translation of Mad for God.

Mad for God: Bartolomé Sánchez, the Secret Messiah of Cardenete. A book dealing with the connections between religious radicalism, rebellion, and perceptions of sanity in sixteenth-century Spain. University Press of Virginia, Jan. 2001. Second printing, fall 2001.

God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca, 1500-1650. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. Paperback edition; 2008. ¡Electronic publication, LIBRO, 2001 (

Articles and Essays

“Private Devotion, Personal Space: Religious Images in Domestic Context.” In María Cruz de Carlos, et al, eds., La imagen religiosa en la Monarquía hispánica: Usos y espacios. Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2008, 255–72.

“Self Correction and Social Change in the Spanish Counter Reformation.” In James D. Tracy, ed., Religion and the Early Modern State: Views from China, Russia, and the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, 302-23. Paperback edition: 2010.

“El Encubierto Revisited: Navigating between Visions of Heaven and Hell on Earth.” In Kathryn A. Edwards, ed., Werewolves, Witches, and Wandering Spirits. Kirksville, Mo.: Truman State University Press, Sixteenth Century Studies, 2002, 77–92.

“Spanish Religion in the Age of Velázquez.” In Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt, ed., The Cambridge Companion Volume to Velázquez. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 109–29.

“Entre la esperanza y el diablo: el tratamiento de los falsos mesías en el mundo ibérico." In José Manuel de Bernardo Ares, ed., El hispanismo anglonorteamericano: Aportaciones, problemas y persepctivas sobre Historia, Arte y Literatura españolas (siglos XVI–XVIII). Actas de la I Conferencia Internacional “Hacia un Nuevo Humanismo,” Córdoba, 9–14 de septiembre, 1997. Córdoba: Publicaciones Obra Social y Cultural Cajasur, 2001, 643–61.

"Printing and Reading Popular Religious Texts in Sixteenth-Century Spain." In Thomas Lewis and Francisco J. Sánchez, eds., Culture and the State in Spain, 1550–1850. Hispanic Issues, Vol. 20. New York: Garland Press, 1999, 126–56.

"The Millennial Moment: Revolution and Radical Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain." In Mark Cohen and Peter Schäfer, eds., Toward the Millennium. Leiden: Brill Press, 1998, 153–73.

"Moya busca nuevo señor: aspectos de la rebelión comunera en el Marquesado de Moya" in Moya: estudios y textos. Cuenca: Diputación Provincial de Cuenca, 1996, 35–44.

"Bones and Crosses: Recent Trends in Early Modern Spanish Historiography." Bulletin of the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, Winter, 1994.

"A Saint for All Seasons." In Mary Elizabeth Perry and Anne J. Cruz, eds., Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain. Hispanic Issues, Vol. 7. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991, 25–50.

"Literacy and Culture in Early Modern Castile." Past and Present, No. 125 (Nov., 1989): 65–96.

"Inquisitors, Priests and the People during the Catholic Reformation in Spain." The Sixteenth Century Journal, 18 (1987): 557–87.

"Popular Religion in Cuenca on the Eve of the Catholic Reformation." In Stephen Haliczer, ed., Inquisition and Society in Early Modern Europe. London: Croom-Helm, 1987; Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble, 1987, 67–87.

"Desde el olvido a la fama: el culto a San Julián en los siglos XVI y XVII." Almud, Revista de Estudios Manchegos, 1 (1981): 25–41.

Fellowships, Awards, & Grants

John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 2007-08. Total value of award: $45,000.

Sabbatical leave, William Paterson University, 2004–05. 

Award from the Joint Program IAN/TT-LADF to research in Lisbon for one month. 2004. Total value of the award: 2,000 euros.

NEH Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. 1995–96.

Roland Bainton Book Prize, Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, for best book on any aspect of the period 1400-1650 published in the preceding year. 1993

Sabbatical leave, William Paterson College. 1992–93

New Jersey Governor's Fellowship in the Humanities. 1989–90.

Harold J. Grimm Prize, Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, for best article published in the preceding year which reflects a broad understanding of the Reformation. 1988.

Career development, travel, and/or assigned research time grants from William Paterson University. Every year while not on leave.

Post-doctoral research grant, Treaty for Friendship, Defense, and Cooperation between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain. Jan-July, 1985; July, 1986.

Graduate fellowship, The Johns Hopkins University. 1979–80.

Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Scholarship to Spain. 1978–79.

Finalist, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship (for high school teaching). 1975.