William Earl Burns

Visiting and Part-Time Faculty
[email protected]

William Burns is a historian who lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area with interests in the early modern world and the history of science.


Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1994


The Scientific Revolution in Global Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

"America: Settlement and Colonization." In The Cultural History of Reading, ed. Sara Quay. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008.

"Astrology and Politics in Seventeenth-Century England: King James II and the Almanac Men." The Seventeenth Century 20, no. 2 (Autumn, 2005): 242-253.

Witch Hunts in Europe and America: An Encyclopedia.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003.

An Age of Wonders: Prodigies, Politics and Providence in England, 1657-1727. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.

"London’s Barber-Elijah: Thomas Moor and Universal Salvation in the Age of William III." Harvard Theological Review 95 (2002): 277-290.

"A Proverb of Versatile Mutability: Proteus in Early Modern British Natural Philosophy." The Sixteenth Century Journal 32, no. 4 (Winter, 2001): 969-980.

"A Whig Apocalypse: Millenarianism, Astrology and Politics in the Restoration Crisis, 1678-1683." In The Millenarian Turn: Millenarian Contexts of Science, Politics, and Everyday Anglo-American Life in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, ed. James Force, 29-41. Kluwer, 2001.

"‘By Him the Women will be Delivered from that Bondage, which Some has Found Intolerable:’ M. Marsin, A Seventeenth-Century English Millenarian Feminist." WerkstattGeschichte 24, "Millenium" (December, 1999): 37-48. Reprinted in Eighteenth Century Women 1 (2000): 19-38.

"'The Terriblest Eclipse that hath been seen in our Days:' Black Monday and the Debate on Astrology during the Interregnum." In Rethinking the Scientific Revolution, ed. Margaret J. Osler, 137-52. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

"The King’s Two Monstrous Bodies: John Bulwer and the English Revolution." In Wonders, Marvels, and Monsters in Early Modern Culture, ed. Peter G. Platt, 187-202. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1999.

Classes Taught

HIST 1011: World History, 1500 to Present

HIST 1110: European Civilization in its World Context, to 1715