[Header image: detail of Robert Campin, “Madonna and Child with Saints in the Enclosed Garden“, ca. 1440-60. National Gallery of Art, Washington]
“Imagining Medieval Europe in the College Classroom,” in Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, Vol. 23:1 (Spring 2016), 95-105.
In this essay, I will describe three techniques that I use to make my students more comfortable with the idea of history as an endeavor of which they are part. As Peter Seixas has pointed out, good history teaching “exposes the process of constructing warranted historical accounts so that students can arrive at their own understandings of the past through the process of critical inquiry” while “conveying ‘knowing’ as an active process.” My approach combines a close focus on primary sources and their contexts and implications, with group and paired assignments which require students to constantly reassess the perspectives and assumptions which they bring to the study of medieval history.
Review of Maeve Brigid Callan, The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish: Vengeance and Heresy in Medieval Ireland. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015, in Eolas: The Journal for the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies 9:1 (2016).
Review of Judith Bennett and Ruth Mazo Karras, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, in Past Imperfect: the History and Classics Graduate Student Journal of the University of Alberta, 19:1 (2016), 129-34. [Read online]
I was also interviewed by Sarah Bond for an article she wrote for Forbes, “What Not to Wear: A Short History of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta to the Burkini.” I talked with Professor Bond about the history of regulating dress for female monastics in the Middle Ages, and the parallels that has with current controversies about the clothing worn by some Muslim women.