Helmut Puff, 2020–21

The Time of the Antechamber: A History of Waiting (1500–1800)

Archie K. Davis Fellowship; John E. Sawyer Fellowship, 2020-21

Elizabeth L. Eisenstein Collegiate Professor of History, German, and Women's Studies, University of Michigan

Return to All Fellows
Helmut Puff

Helmut Puff’s teaching and research focus on history, culture, literature, and art in late medieval and early modern Europe. He specializes in the history of the sixteenth-century Reformations, gender studies, the history of sexuality, media history,  as well as modes of seeing and reading. His interest in the intersections between textuality, visuality, and spatiality, has led him to delve into the changing representations of ruins. He has also researched the history of three-dimensional city models from the Renaissance to the present. Recently, he turned to studying time, temporality, timing, and temporization between 1500 and 1800. Through the lens of the antechamber as a new type of room in Europe, he researches the history of waiting as a particularly pregnant experience in and with time. Temporal-spatial protocols in social interactions were an integral and hitherto under-researched part of structures of power, class, ritual, and meaning-making.

Selected Publications

Miniature Moments

  • Puff, Helmut. “Waiting in the Antechamber.” In Timescapes of Waiting: Spaces of Stasis, Delay and Deferral, edited by Christoph Singer, Robert Wirth, and Olaf Berwald, 17-34. Leiden: Brill, 2019.
  • Puff, Helmut. “The Word.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformation, edited by Ulinka Rublack, 390-408. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Puff, Helmut. Miniature Monuments: Modeling German History. Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
  • Puff, Helmut. “Memento Mori, Memento Mei: Albrecht Dürer and the Art of Dying.” In Enduring Loss in Early Modern Germany: Cross Disciplinary Perspectives, edited by Lynne Tatlock, 103-32. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
  • Puff, Helmut. Sodomy in Reformation Germany and Switzerland, 1400-1600. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.