Dr. Justine Semmens

Dr. Justine Semmens
Sessional Lecturer
Office: Cle B231

BA (Calgary); MA (Calgary); PhD (UVic)

Area of expertise

Social and Cultural history of Early Modern Europe; History of France; Family History; Legal History; Canon and Roman Law; the parlement of Paris; Crime and Justice; Sex and Gender; Women’s History; History of Religion; History of Violence

Office Hours

Summer 2023: No office hours


I research and teach mainly the social and cultural history of Europe. Past courses that I have taught at UVic include Witchcraft and its Prosecution in the Early Modern Atlantic World (HSTR 385A), Early Modern Europe (HSTR 240A), and France from the Renaissance to Louis XIV (HSTR 346). My research examines the social, religious, and legal history of women, gender, and the family in pre-modern Europe. I am especially interested in the ways that Canon and Roman family law intersected and evolved at the parlement of Paris (the highest court of appeal in ancien régime France), the history of emotion, the symbiotic relationships between honour and virtue, and the dynamic ways that sex and gender roles played out in both the courtroom and at home. My current book project, titled ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, examines criminal appeals for adultery, clandestine marriage, bigamy, and infanticide at the parlement of Paris from 1500-1700. In addition to teaching history, I am an associate fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society and a co-ordinator and learning strategist at the Centre for Accessible Learning.