Senior Lecturer in Medieval European History
I work on intellectual culture and the social history of ideas in Western Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. My published work chiefly explores the role of intellectuals in medieval society, especially the authority and status of the masters of theology at the University of Paris in the late thirteenth century. I also write about the different ways of knowing developed by learned men and women in various social contexts, and the political and social views that they put forward, especially with regard to money, sex and politics.
Since 2004 I have also co-coordinated a collaborative project entitled ‘Ideas and Universities’ for the Worldwide Universities Network. The aim is both to enrich understanding and to have an impact on contemporary policy-making by looking comparatively at the ways in which ideas have found institutional expression in universities in different cultures and periods. We bring together academics from all disciplines, university managers and policy-makers. We run a programme of international video seminars and international conferences which involve the universities of Bergen, Bristol, Hong Kong, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Leeds, Nanjing, Penn State, Sheffield, Southampton, Sydney, Toronto, Madison Wisconsin, Washington Seattle, York, and Zhejiang. Further details are to be found at Ideas and Universities.
I have supervised a range of MA and PhD dissertations relating to the intellectual, cultural and social history of medieval Europe. Past PhD students have completed theses on theological ideas about pain, representations of space in exempla and chronicles, royal regulation of financial transactions in England, and Bernardus Silverstris. I would welcome research proposals relating to any aspect of the intellectual culture of the middle ages.