History & Religious Studies Associate Professor

Office: 541-737-1094

Milam Hall

Milam Hall 306A

2520 SW Campus Way

2520 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
PhD Harvard, 2014

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
OSU Main Campus
Courses Taught: 

HST 407 Capstone Seminar: "Religion and the Crusades"

HST 407 Capstone Seminar: "Life at Home in Medieval Europe"

HST 328: History of Medieval Europe (c. 1000-1400 CE) [on campus and Ecampus]

HST 327 History of Medieval Europe (c. 284-1000 CE) [on campus and Ecampus]

HST/REL 215: Introduction to Jewish Traditions

HST 105 World History II: Middle and Early Modern Ages (c. 700-1700 CE)

HST 422: Medieval Slavery

REL/HST 484/584: Religion and Law


Research/Career Interests: 

Dr. Rena Lauer (PhD, Harvard, 2014) studies cross-cultural contacts as well as minority and marginal communities in the late medieval eastern Mediterranean, often through the frameworks of law, religion, and gender. She is the author of Colonial Justice and the Jews of Venetian Crete (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). This monograph is a social and legal history of the Jews of Venetian Crete in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, particularly as seen through the lens of intra-Jewish litigation in the Venetian secular courtroom. Related articles have been published in Mediterranean Historical Review, Critical Analysis of Law, and Gender & History and in edited collections.

Dr. Lauer spearheads the Jewish Women's Wills project, which collects all wills and will-like documents written for Jewish women before 1600 CE. The test site can be accessed at www.jewishwomenswills.org

Dr. Lauer is currently working on "After Slavery: Strategies of Freedom in the Late Medieval Eastern Mediterranean"  a study of freed slaves, their search for social integration and networks, and their use of legal institutions in Venetian Crete and other eastern Mediterranean islands. A related article will soon appear in the inaugural issue of Medieval People (formerly Medieval Prosopography). She is also undertaking a translation and edition of Taqqanot Qandiya, the Hebrew community ordinances from Venetian Crete. Her research has received a number of awards, including from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society, and she has been invited to present her work both in the United States and internationally. A passionate and dedicated teacher, Dr. Lauer taught both at Harvard and at Miami University (Ohio) before joining the OSU faculty. At OSU, she teaches courses in medieval and early modern history, world history, religion and law, and Jewish studies.


My Publications

I currently have no publications listed within this site.