Laura Ackerman Smoller

Department of History
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Professor of History

Adjunct Associate Professor of Medical Humanities,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Photo of Laura Smoller

Contact information--Education--Courses offered--Selected publications--Awards and honors--In press / in preparation--Links


604K Stabler Hall

Telephone: 501 569-8389

Fax: 501 569-3235


Mailing address:

Department of History

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

2801 S. University Ave.

Little Rock, AR 72204-1099 USA


Harvard University, Ph.D., History, 1991; A.M., History, 1984

Dartmouth College, A.B., summa cum laude, History with Music, 1981; Departmental honors (High Distinction)

Hall High School, Little Rock, AR, diploma, 1977


Syllabi for Spring 2014:

History 1312 History of World Civilization II

History 4309 The Historian's Craft

History 4302/5302 Magic, Science, and the Occult from Antiquity to Newton

Other courses:

History 1311 History of World Civilization I

History 3312 Medieval Civilization (online)

History 4313/5313 Apocalypse Now . . . and Then: A History of Apocalyptic Thought and Movements

History 4314/5314  A History of the Future: Millennial Visions in Film and Literature

History 4393/5393 (UAMS LHUMK) Disease and Society from Antiquity to the Present

Scholars 2301  History of Ideas II



The Saint and the Chopped-Up Baby:  The Cult of Vincent Ferrer in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.  Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 2014.

History, Prophecy, and the Stars: The Christian Astrology of Pierre d'Ailly, 1350-1420. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.Filippo de' Barbieri's Sibylla Chimica

Articles and book chapters:

"From Authentic Miracles to a Rhetoric of Authenticity:  Examples from the Canonization and Cult of St. Vincent Ferrer." Church History 80, no. 4 (2011): 773-97.

"Teste Albumasare cum Sibylla: Astrology and the Sibyls in Medieval Europe." Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (2010): 76-89.

"Astrology and the Sibyls: John of Legnano’s De adventu Christi and the Natural Theology of the Later Middle Ages,"Science in Context 20:3 (2007): 423-50.

"A Case of Demonic Possession in Fifteenth-Century Brittany:  Perrin Hervé and the Nascent Cult of Vincent Ferrer," in Michael Goodich, ed., Voices from the Bench: The Narratives of Lesser Folk in Medieval Trials. NY:  Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006. Pp.149-76.

 "Holy Mothers:  The History of a Designation of Spiritual Status."  In Marc Forster and Ben Kaplan, eds., Piety and Family in Early Modern Europe:  Essays in Honour of Steven Ozment.  Aldershot, UK:  Ashgate, 2005.  Pp. 178-200. 

 "Northern and Southern Sanctity in the Canonization of Vincent Ferrer:  The Effects of Procedural Differences on the Image of the Saint."  In Gábor Klaniczay, ed., Procès de canonisation au Moyen Âge: aspects juridiques et religieux, Collection de l'École française de Rome 340.  Rome:  École Française de Rome, 2004.  Pp.  289-308.

"The Canonization of Vincent Ferrer." In Thomas Head, ed., Medieval Hagiography: A Sourcebook. New York: Garland, 2000. Pp. 781-803.

"Of Earthquakes, Hail, Frogs, and Geography: Plague and the Investigation of the Apocalypse in the Later Middle Ages." In Paul Freedman and Caroline Bynum, eds., Last Things: Eschatology and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. Pp. 156-87.

"The Alfonsine Tables and the End of the World: Astrology and Apocalyptic Calculation in the Later Middle Ages." In Alberto Ferreiro, ed., The Devil, Heresy and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages (Jeffrey Burton Russell Festschrift). Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1998. Pp. 211-39.

"Miracle, Memory, and Meaning in the Canonization of Vincent Ferrer, 1453-54." Speculum 73 (1998): 429-54.

"Defining the Boundaries of the Natural in the Fifteenth Century: The Inquest into the Miracles of St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419)." Viator 28 (1997): 333-59.

"Astrology." In The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland, 2000), pp. 527-32.

"Pierre d'Ailly." In Trade, Travel and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland, 2000), pp. 8-10.


UALR, CAHSS, Summer Research Grant, 2009, 2011, 2013

UALR, CAHSS, Faculty Excellence Award in Research, 2006

Member of research group, Knowledge and Belief, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, 2003-05

National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend, 2004

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fellowship, August 2004-August 2005

Editor-in-chief, History Compass


"Astrology and the Sibyls" (study of the attitudes about various ways of acquiring knowledge of the future in the period 1200-1550)

History of Mathematics Web Pages (no longer maintained)
UALR Home Page
UALR History Department Home Page
UAMS Medical Humanities Home Page