Submitted on Friday, 10/14/2011, at 11:35 AM

AMHERST, Mass. — Teofilo F. Ruiz, professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, will give a public lecture on “The Witch Craze in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe” at Amherst College on Nov. 7.

The lecture will take place in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115 of the Fayerweather building) at 7 p.m. A public reception will follow.

Ruiz has been with UCLA’s Department of History since 1998 and is a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He specializes in the social and popular culture of late medieval and early modern Spain, about which he lectures frequently in the U.S., Spain, Italy, France, England, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

His recent books include Crisis and Continuity: Land and Town in Late Medieval Castile; Spanish Society, 1400–1600; Medieval Europe and the World: From Late Antiquity to Modernity, 400–1500; and the forthcoming A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain. He has a new book out, The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization. He is presently at work on a book on the history of the western Mediterranean. Ruiz holds a bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York, a master’s degree from New York University and a doctorate from Princeton University.

This lecture is funded by the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program, which allows about a dozen distinguished scholars each year to visit numerous colleges and universities. Ruiz and instructors like him spend two days on each participating campus, meeting students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions and delivering public lectures. Since 1956, the program has sent 586 scholars on thousands of two-day visits. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society, with chapters at 280 institutions, including Amherst College.