Dr Andrew McKenzie-McHarg

Research Fellow
Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Dr Andrew McKenzie-McHarg

Areas of expertise: early modern anti-Jesuit rhetoric; radical Enlightenment; early modern autobiographies; anonymity; secrecy; secret societies; conceptual history

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Provisional

Phone: +61392308312

Email: Andrew.mckenzie-mcharg@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Andrew studied political science at the Free University in Berlin before moving on to do a PhD in history at the University of Erfurt, where he was affiliated with the Gotha Research Center and its program of inquiry into early modern heterodoxy. Subsequently he was part of the Conspiracy and Democracy Project at the University of Cambridge. Andrew has had fellowships at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University and at the Warburg Institute at the University of London. His interests range from anti-Jesuit polemic through radical currents of Enlightenment thought to modern intellectual history. Currently he is looking at how modern forms of conspiracy theorizing have their roots in early modern denunciations of heresy.

Select publications


  • The Hidden History of Conspiracy Theory (Princeton University Press, forthcoming)

Journal articles

  • (2023) "Early Modern Variations on the Theme of Complicity: How Jesuits Came to be Linked with Regicide", Journal of Jesuit Studies1, 63­-82.
  • (2023) "Introduction: Jesuits, Conspiracies, and Conspiracy Theories," Journal of Jesuit Studies1, 15-25.
  • (2022) "From Status Politics to the Paranoid Style: Richard Hofstadter and the Pitfalls of Psychologizing History," Journal of the History of Ideas 83.3, 451-75.
  • (2019) "Anonymity and Ideology. When Defenders of Church and State opt for Anonymity," Publications of the English Goethe Society 88:3, 162-83.
  • (2019) "Experts vs. Eyewitnesses. Or: How Did Conspiracy Theories Come to Rely on Images?," Word & Image 35:2, 141-58.
  • (2018) "Georg Friedrich von Johnssen's Contribution to the Emergence of the Unknown Superiors, 1763-1764," Publications of the English Goethe Society 87:1, 35-50.
  • (2018) "Putting a Positive Spin on Priestcraft. Notions of Deceit and Accommodation in Late-Enlightenment German Theology," Intellectual History Review 28:1, 201-24.
  • (2018) [with James Lancaster], "Priestcraft. Anatomising the Anti-Clericalism of Early Modern Europe," Intellectual History Review 28:1, 7-22
  • (2018) "How to Sabotage a Secret Society. The Demise of Carl Friedrich Bahrdt's German Union in 1789," The Historical Journal 61:2, 379-402.
  • (2017) [with Rolf Fredheim], "Cock-Ups and Slap-downs: A Quantitative Analysis of Conspiracy Rhetoric in the British Parliament 1916-2015," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 50:3, 156-69.
  • (2012) "Überlegungen zur Radikalaufklärung am Beispiel von Carl Friedrich Bahrdt," Jahrbuch der Aufklärung 24, 207-40.


  • (2020) [with Todor Hristov and Alejandro Romero-Reche], "Introduction: Section 1 (Definition and Approaches)," in Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories, Michael Butter and Peter Knight (eds), (London: Routledge), 11-15.
  • (2020) "Conceptual History and Conspiracy Theory," in Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories, Michael Butter and Peter Knight (eds), (London: Routledge), 28-42.
  • (2020) [with Claus Oberhauser], "Conspiracy Theorising and the history of media in the eighteenth century," in Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories, Michael Butter and Peter Knight (eds), (London: Routledge), 401-14.
  • (2018) "Conspiracy Theory: The Nineteenth-Century Prehistory of a Twentieth-Century Concept." In: Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, Joseph Uscinski (ed.), (New York: Oxford University Press), 62-81.
  • (2018) "'A general murther, an universal slaughter.' Strategies of Anti-Jesuit Defamation in Reporting Assassination in the Early Modern Period." In Murder Most Foul: Medieval and Early Modern Homicide, Larissa Tracy (ed.), (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer), 281-307.
  • (2017) "Was gibt eine Lebensbeschreibung preis? Autobiographie und Indiskretion im späten 18. Jahrhundert." In Friedrich Christian Laukhard (1757-1822). Schriftsteller, Radikalaufklärer und gelehrter Soldat, Guido Naschert (ed.), (Ferdinard Schönigh), 145-82.
  • (2016) 'Unknown Sciences' and Unknown Superiors. The Problem of Non-Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Secret Societies." In The Dark Side of Knowledge: Histories of Ignorance, 1400-1800, Cornel Zwierlein (ed.), (Leiden: Brill), 333-57.
  • (2016) "Martyrdom and its Discontents: The Martyr as a Motif of Migration in Early Modern Europe." In Migrations in the German Lands, 1500-2000, Jared Poley, Jason Coy, and Alexander Schunka (eds), (New York: Berghahn Books), 35-50.
  • (2015) "Strategien der Rettung. Johann August Eberhards Neue Apologie des Sokrates." In Verteidigung als Angriff. Apologie und Vindicatio als Möglichkeiten der Positionierung im gelehrten Diskurs, Michael Multhammer (ed.), (Berlin: De Gruyter), 229-262.
  • (2015) "Das Geheimnis der Freimaurer," in Das Geheimnis und das Wissen, Sebastian Klinge and Laurens Schlichts (eds), (Berlin: Trafo Verlag), 31-64.
  • (2015) "Der Untergrund als tödliche Falle: von einer Realität des religiösen Konflikts zu einer Metapher der politischen Subversion." In Kriminelle - Freidenker - Alchemisten. Räume des Untergrunds in der Frühen Neuzeit, Matrin Mulsow (ed.), (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag), 619-668.
  • (2013) "The Transfer of anti-Illuminati Conspiracy Theories to America in the late 18th Century." In Conspiracy Theories in the Middle East and the United States, Michael Butter und Maurus Reinkowski (eds), (Berlin: De Gruyter), 231-250.

Appointments and affiliations


  • Warburg Institute, University of London
  • Society for the Humanities, Cornell University
  • Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland
  • Duchess Anna Amalia Library (Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek), Weimar
  • Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel

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