The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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Stuart M. McManus
Stuart M. McManus

MML (Manchester); MA (Warburg Institute, London); Ph.D. (Harvard); FRAS
Assistant Professor, Department of History, CUHK
Affiliated Scholar, Faculty of Law, Centre for Transnational and Comparative Law (Transnational Legal History Group), CUHK
Associate Director, Centre for Comparative and Public History
Associate Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative, Research Institute for the Humanities


Room 129, 1/F, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
(852) 3943 7858

Stuart M. McManus is a scholar of Renaissance law and letters in global context. He also has interests in the history of classical scholarship, Chinese humanities and the application of digital tools to historical research.

He received his Ph.D. in history (secondary field in classical philology) from Harvard University, where he also studied civil law. Prior to coming to CUHK, he taught Mexican and ancient Mediterranean legal history for two years at the University of Chicago, where he was the inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. His book, entitled Empire of Eloquence, on the global history of renaissance humanism (based on primary research in 13 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia) was published Cambridge University Press in 2021, and he is beginning work on a second book on the global legal background of the famous 1619 slave voyage to Virginia. In 2019, Professor McManus was on leave at Princeton University’s Davis Center for Historical Studies as part of the Center’s “Law & Legalities” theme, and in 2021 he was a visiting fellow of Exeter College, Oxford

In addition, he is the author of numerous articles and book chapters that have appeared in the American Historical Review, Hispanic American Historical Review, Gender & History, Latino Studies, Catholic Historical Review, Colonial Latin American Review, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Renaissance Quarterly, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte and other similar venues.  Several of these have received prizes, including the Royal Historical Society’s 2021 David Berry Prize.  He has also served as a reader for the American Historical Review and other journals and presses.

His second project has recently been awarded a Humboldt Yale History Network Travel Grant, a General Research Fund Grant, an Early Career Scheme Grant (ECS) and a General Research Fund (GRF) grant from the Research Grants Council.  He has also received fellowships from the Social Sciences Research Council (USA), the Mellon Foundation-CLIR (USA), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), the Huntington Library (USA), the Lilly Library (USA), the John Carter Brown Library (USA) and the Warburg Institute (UK).

Research Interests
  • World History
  • Legal History
  • History of Slavery & Freedom
  • Hispanic Culture
  • Global Classical Traditions
  • World Philology
Selected Publications


  • Empire of Eloquence: The Classical Rhetorical Tradition in Colonial Latin America and the Iberian World. Ideas in Context Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
    *Winner of United College, Early Career Research Excellence Award, 2021*
  • Bringing Together China and the West 融會中國與西方 : European Books about China from the Library of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Forthcoming (in press). Hong Kong/New York: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press [distributed by Columbia University Press in the USA], 2022).


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • “Decolonizing Renaissance Humanism,” American Historical Review, 127.3 (2022), 1131–1161.
  • “Slavery & the African Diaspora beyond the Atlantic,” English Historical Review, 137.585 (2022), 552-64.
  • “Medieval Milanese Notarial Culture and Uberto Decembrio’s Definition of a Republic (Respublica),” Glossae: European Journal of Legal History, 19 (2022), 550-66.
  • “A (Dis)entangled History of Early Modern Cannibalism: Theory and Practice in Global History,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 32 (2022), 47-72 (with Michael T. Tworek).
  • “The Commensurability of Slavery in Macau and South China,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 81 (2021), 179-201.
  • “Late-Humanism and Revolutionary Eloquence: James Lovell and His 1771 Boston Massacre Oration,” New England Quarterly, 94.4 (2021), 497-530.
  • Partus Sequitur Ventrem in Theory and Practice: Slave Law and Reproduction in Early Modern Portuguese Asia,” Gender & History, 32.3 (2020), 542-561.
  • “Scots at the Council of Ferrara-Florence and the Background to the Scottish Renaissance,” Catholic Historical Review, 106.3 (2020), 347-370.
    *Winner, David Berry Prize, Royal Historical Society, 2021*
  • Aenigma Omnibus? The Transatlantic Humanism of Zinzendorf & the Early Moravians,” Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes, 82 (2019), 315-356 (with Thomas Keeline).    
  • “The Bibliotheca Mexicana Controversy & Creole Patriotism in Early Modern Mexico,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 98.1 (2018), 1-41.   
  • “Eloquence & Ethnohistory: Indigenous Loyalty, Chinese Treachery & the Making of a Tagalog Letrado,” Colonial Latin American Review, 27.4 (2018), 522-574 (with Dana Leibsohn).
    *Honorable Mention, Franklin Pease G.Y. Prize for Best Article in CLAR 2017-2018.  
  • “Imperial History without Provincial Loyalty?  Reading Roman History in Renaissance Japan,” KNOW: A Journal On the Formation of Knowledge, 3.1 (2019), 123-157. 
  • Servitutem Levem et Modici Temporis Esse Arbitrantes: Jesuit Schedulae & Japanese Limited-Term Servitude in Gomes Vaz’s De mancipiis Indicis,” Bulletin of Portuguese / Japanese Studies, ser. II, 4 (2018), 77-99.   
  • “Hip-Hop Historiography: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton & the Latinx Historical Imagination,” Latino Studies, 16.2 (2018), 259-267.   
  • “The Exemplary Power of Antiquity: Humanist Rhetoric & Ceremony in Seventeenth-Century New Spain,” Bulletin of Latin American Research, 37 (2018), 96-110. 
  • Classica Americana: An Addendum to the Censuses of Pre-1800 Latin Texts from British North America,” Humanistica Lovaniensia: Journal of Neo-Latin Studies, 67.2 (2018), 421-461.
  • Humanismo en la ciudad mundial: Gaspar de San Agustín,” Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, 87.2 (2018), 111-130. 
  • “The Art of Being a Colonial Letrado: Learned Sociability & Urban Life in Eighteenth-Century Mexico City,” Estudios de Historia Novohispana, 56 (2017), 40-64. 
  • “Benjamin Larnell, the Last Latin Poet at Harvard Indian College,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 108 (2015), 621-42 (with Thomas Keeline).
  • Philologia Ancilla Historiae: An Emendation to Lex Burgundionum 42,2,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistiche Abteilung, 131 (2014), 414-23 (with Charles Donahue Jr.). 
  • “A New Source on Renaissance Color: Uberto Decembrio’s De candore,” The Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes, 76 (2013), 251-63. 
  • “Byzantines in the Florentine Polis: Ideology, Statecraft & Ritual during the Council of Florence,” Journal of the Oxford University History Society, 6 (2009), 1-23. 


Book Chapters (*Peer-reviewed) 

  • *“Slavery & Race in Seventeenth-Century Portuguese Asia,” in Jyotsna G. Singh, ed., Blackwell Companion to the Global Renaissance (Malden: Blackwell-Wiley, 2020), 64-78.
  • “World Philology: Indo-Humanism & Jesuit Indigenous-Language Scholarship,” in Ines G. Županov, ed., Oxford Handbook of the Jesuits (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 737-758. 
  • “An Indigenous View of the British Occupation of Manila, 1762-64,” forthcoming (in press) in Christina H. Lee & Ricardo Padrón, eds, The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815: A Reader of Primary Sources (Amsterdam: Arc Humanities Press, 2019). 
  • “Tyrannicide in Cicero, Brutus 331,” in Michael Fontaine & Charles McNamara, eds, Quasi Labor Intus: Festschrift in Honor of Reginald Foster (New York: Paideia, 2018), 79-98.   
  • “Move Over Da Vinci!  Latin America’s Heritage of Learning,” Revista: Harvard Review of Latin America (Cambridge, Mass., DRCLAS, 2012), 14-16.   
  • “Renaissance Encounters: Byzantium Meets the West at the Council of Ferrara-Florence 1438-9,” in Marina S. Brownlee & Dimitri Gondicas, eds, Renaissance Encounters: Greek East & Latin West (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 35-56 (with Judith Herrin). 
Research Projects
Year Research Project
2021-24 1619: The Global Origins of American Slavery
General Research Fund Project (Research Grants Council)
2019-22 Slavery & Freedom in the Early Modern World
General Early Career Scheme (Research Grants Council)
2018-19 Empire of Eloquence: The Classical Rhetorical Tradition in the Early Modern World
Direct Grant for Research, Faculty of Arts
Awards and Honors
  • 4 Funded Research Assistant Places, STEM Internship Scheme, HKSARG (2023).
  • RGC General Research Fund, Hong Kong SAR Government (HK$214,229) (2022-2024).
  • Research Excellence Award (HK$100,000), Faculty of Arts, CUHK (2022).
  • Early Career Research Excellence Award (HK$50,000), United College, CUHK (2021).
  • Direct Grant for Research (HK$84,000), Faculty of Arts, CUHK (2021).
  • Endowment Fund Research Grant (HK$20,000), United College, CUHK (2021).
  • Winner, David Berry Prize, Royal Historical Society (2021).
  • Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (elected 2021).
  • Visiting Fellowship, Exeter College, Oxford (2021).
  • Collaborator, European Research Council Grant, TextDiveGlobal (PI: Warren Boutcher, QMUL) (2020).
  • Honourable Mention, Franklin Pease G.Y. Prize for Best Article (2019).
  • Publication Subvention Fund (HK$20,000), Faculty of Arts, CUHK (2019-20).
  • Direct Grant for Research (HK$90,000), Faculty of Arts, CUHK (2019).
  • “Law & Legalities” Fellowship, Davis Center, Princeton University (2019-2020).
  • Direct Grant for Research (HK$90,000), Faculty of Arts, CUHK (2019).
  • Humboldt Yale History Network Travel Grant, MacMillan Center, Yale University (2018).
  • Mendel Long-Term Fellowship, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington (2018).
  • Finalist, Latin American Studies Association Maureen Ahern Doctoral Dissertation Award in Colonial Latin American Studies (2017).
  • Course Arts Resource Teaching Grant, University of Chicago (2016).
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