History of Medieval Europe


Patrick J. Geary  Medieval History

Professors Emeriti

Caroline Walker Bynum  Medieval European History

Giles Constable  Medieval History

Medieval history in the School of Historical Studies has a distinguished record, which began with the appointment of Ernst Kantorowicz in 1951 on the basis of his studies on Frederick II.  While at the Institute, he wrote his most important book, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (1957), whose influence reached far beyond the field of medieval studies and is still regarded as a classic of historical scholarship.  A few years after Kantorowicz's retirement, the School appointed Kenneth Setton, who specialized in the history of the Crusades, and then Giles Constable (Professor 1985-2003, Emeritus 2003-present), who has made fundamental contributions in the area of intellectual and religious history, concentrating especially in the central and late Middle Ages.  The high standards and international reputation of medieval studies at the Institute was further enhanced with the appointment of Caroline Walker Bynum (Professor 2003-2011, Emerita 2011-present).  Bynum has pioneered the study of medieval women, introducing the category of gender in the study of religiosity, intellectual history and spirituality, including in her internationally acclaimed book Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (1987).

The current professor's interests range from historical ethnicity, nationalism, genetic history and Carolingian monastic culture to comparative history, the history of memory, and the study of religious research in all areas of medieval studies broadly conceived and encourage applications from qualified scholars from anywhere in the world.  The School aspires to both depth and diversity in bringing together every year a group of distinguished scholars in the broad area of medieval civilization.

Members, 2016-2017

= first term only  = second term only

Roland Betancourt
University of California, Irvine
Art History and Byzantine Studies
The Catholic University of America
Early Medieval History
Ildar Garipzanov 
University of Oslo
Early Medieval History
Nina Glibetic
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Byzantine Studies
Susanne Hakenbeck 
University of Cambridge
Early Medieval Archaeology
Rebecca Maloy
University of Colorado Boulder
Medieval Music
Klaus Oschema
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Late Medieval Culture and Society
Frank Rexroth
University of Göttingen
Medieval Intellectual History
Columba Stewart
Saint John's University
Early Medieval History


Member Columba Stewart acts to save manuscripts from ISIS


Upcoming regional events of interest to Medievalists:


May 19-20
The Princeton University Program in Medieval Studies presents Index of Christian Art Conference, "The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Muslim-Christian Interchange". Click here for more information.

Upcoming events further afield of interest to Medievalists:


CFP 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 11–14, 2017), Kalamazoo
The Index of Christian Art will sponsor "Image & Meaning in Medieval Manuscripts: Sessions in Honor of Adelaide Bennett Hagens," at the 52nd Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University, May 11-14, 2017. Organizers: Judith Golden and Jessica Savage, Index of Christian Art, Princeton University.

Session I: Text-Image Dynamics in Medieval Manuscripts

Session II: Signs of Patronage in Medieval Manuscripts

Please send abstract, CV with current contact information, and completed Participant Information Form (https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to the organizers: Judith Golden (jkgolden@princeton.edu) and Jessica Savage (jlsavage@princeton.edu) by Sept. 15. For additional information visit ica.princeton.edu/conferences/


CFP 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 11–14, 2017), Kalamazoo:
CFP 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 11–14, 2017), Kalamazoo presents The Craft (Beer) of Medievalism: Popular Culture, the Middle Ages, and Contemporary Brewing (A Roundtable). According to the Brewers Association, an industry advocacy group, American craft brewing is a rapidly growing $22.3 billion market. As a visit to any store specializing in small-scale beer will affirm, medieval imagery and ideas are frequently invoked in the marketing and conceptions of such beer. This roundtable will explore the multi-faceted intersection of medievalism and the craft beer movement. Short papers may focus on claims to authenticity, heritage, and craftsmanship; the links among craft beer, medievalism, and specific discourses of national or ethnic identity; the use of medieval imagery in labeling and package design; the invocation of the Middle Ages in advertising and special events like beer festivals; or the place of historical recreation and reenactment in craft brewing. We expect panelists will approach the topic through the broad frame of medievalism in popular culture, as explored in recent works like David Matthew’s Medievalism: A Critical History and Louise D’Arcens Comic Medievalism: Laughing at the Middle Ages. By taking up the topic of craft beer, this roundtable specifically seeks to situate medievalism in a discourse of consumption that falls somewhere between passive spectatorship and more active modes of historical reenactment, and thus to make a new contribution to the study of medievalism in contemporary culture. Questions, queries, and 200-word abstracts to Megan Cook at mlcook@colby.edu by August 31.

July 3-6
International Medieval Congress Leeds, Otherness. The IMC provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome. However, every year, the IMC chooses a special thematic strand which – for 2017 – is ‘Otherness’. This focus has been chosen for its wide application across all centuries and regions and its impact on all disciplines devoted to this epoch. The online proposals system will be available by 15 May 2016. Deadlines:  Paper proposals: August 31, 2016, Session proposals: September 30, 2016.

Publications of Interest to Medievalists:

New book published by former Visitor Alexander O'Hara.


Past Members, Visitors, and Research Assistants