Dr. Erik Heinrichs

Erik Heinrichs

Professor of History
PhD Harvard University

Professor Heinrichs is a historian of medieval and early modern Europe. He studied at Harvard University (Ph.D. and A.M.) and Marquette University (B.A.), as well as for three semesters at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria. He has held two Fulbright scholarships for research, one for Austria (2000-1) and one for Germany (2005-6), where he was affiliated with the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbütel) and the Leibniz Institute for European History (Mainz). Prior to this, he worked as a high school history teacher and museum historical interpreter.

At Winona State, he teaches a wide variety of courses in European and World History. Surveys include Western Civilizations between the Big Bang and the French Revolution, as well as the broad History of Medicine, Drugs, and Life Sciences. Upper-level courses include the Middle Ages, Reformation, the Second Plague Pandemic (1330-1800), and the Age of Exploration, Empires, and Piracy in the Early Modern World.

His research focuses on medical and cultural responses to plagues in late medieval and early modern Europe. His recent book examines the innovative plague advice that German physicians crafted during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the first flourishing of vernacular print. So far, he has not attempted to recreate one of the early modern plague cures uncovered during his research, but looks forward to doing so someday as a class activity.

Professor Heinrichs is a Midwesterner, born and raised in a region called Michiana, before ranging further afield to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Austria, Germany, and Boston. Today his range is the Upper Mississippi River Valley, especially Winona and its surrounding bluff lands.


Plague, Print, and the Reformation: The German Reform of Healing, 1473-1573. New York and London: Routledge, 2018

“The Live Chicken Treatment for Buboes: Trying a Plague Cure in Medieval and Early Modern
Europe” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 91 (2017): 210-232

“The Plague Cures of Caspar Kegler: Print, Alchemy and Medical Marketing in Sixteenth-Century
Germany” Sixteenth Century Journal 43, no. 2 (2012): 417-440

View Dr. Heinrichs current CV (PDF).