Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Michael A. Ryan is an associate professor of medieval and early modern history at the University of New Mexico. He earned his doctorate in 2005 from the University of Minnesota, where he studied under two of the preeminent historians of premodern Spain, William D. Phillips, Jr. and Carla Rahn Phillips. He is a specialist in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of late medieval Spain, Italy, and the Mediterranean Basin with thematic foci on the histories of apocalypticism and magic. The author of A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon, Michael is currently working on a new book in which he studies the parameters of magical-themed fraud and trickery in Venice during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. He is also the co-creator and co-editor of a new academic monograph series published by Penn State University Press, Iberian Encounter and Exchange, 475-1755. His first sojourn in Spain was in 1995 and he adores the languages, histories, cultures, and cuisines of the Iberian Peninsula.