Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Ball State University
Website URL
medieval, women, France, family, social history, patronage, material culture
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an historian of medieval Europe, focusing on the social history of France in the eleventh and twelfth century. Currently, I am the Associate Dean of the Honors College and Professor of History at Ball State University. In spring 2019 I was a visiting fellow at Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge and in 2020 became a life member.

Before coming to Ball State, I was a professor of history at Wittenberg University in Ohio. There I taught courses ranging from the history of medieval women to the crusades. My commitment to teaching was recognized by the Medieval Academy of America in 2017 when I received the Medieval Academy/CARA award for Excellence in Teaching.

I also co-edit the newly launched journal, Medieval People: Networks, Kinship and Social Bonds.

Recent Publications


 Out of Love for My Kin: Aristocratic Family Life in the Lands of the Loire, 1000-1200 AD. Cornell University Press, 2010 (paperback 2015).

 Medieval Lives, c. 1000-1285: The World of the Beaugency Family (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2018)

Edited Volumes: 

Those Who Pray, Those Who Fight, and Those Who Work: Essays in Honor of Joel Rosenthal. Co-editor with Caroline Barron.

Writing Medieval Women’s Lives, co-edited with Charlotte Newman Goldy, Palgrave, 2013. Co-wrote the introduction and contributed an essay. (paperback 2016).

Recent Articles and Essays: 

“‘Daughter of Fulk, Glory of Brittany:’ Countess Ermengarde of Brittany,” Anglo-Norman  Studies 40 (2018): 165-178.

“The Lives of Unremarkable Men: Two Lords of Beaugency,” in Louis VII and His  World, ed. Michael Bardot and Larry Marvin, Brill, 2018, pp. 146-166.         

“‘You will dwell with barbarous and uneducated men:’ Countess Ermengarde and Political Culture in Twelfth-Century Brittany” in History: The Journal of the Historical Association 102 (December 2017): 858-873.            

 “Pious Women in a ‘Den of Scorpions:’ The Piety and Patronage of the Countesses of Brittany, c. 1050-1150,”Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques 43 (2017): 45-61. 

“Inheritance in the Lands of the Loire, 1050-1200 AD, A Contrast to Nordic Practice,” in Donations and Inheritance: Strategies, Relations and Historical Developments from the Late Roman Period to Modern Times, ed. Helle Vogt and Helle Sigh, Routledge, 2017, pp. 115-129.

“Recalculating the Equation: Powerful Woman = Extraordinary,” Medieval Feminist Forum,  vol. 51, no. 2 (2016): 17-29.

“Extraordinairement ordinaire: Ermengarde de Bretagne, femmes de l’aristocratie et pouvoir en France au Moyen Age, v. 1090-1135,”Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l’Ouest, 21(2014): 7-24.




Media Coverage
Historical Consultant for the National Geographic Documentary “Engineering the Impossible: Chartres Cathedral,” which aired air on the National Geographic Channel June 28, 2007.
Country Focus
France, England
Expertise by Geography
England, France, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Family, Gender, Material Culture, Politics, Religion, Women