Our Experts - Medieval and Early Modern History

Read about our tutors who teach on the MA in History.

The staff who teach and supervise courses and modules can vary due to staff changes including research and other types of leave.

Sophie Ambler 2019

Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler

My research explores political ethics and war in the central and later Middle Ages, in western Europe and the Holy Land. Recently I have focused on England’s first revolution, when Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester (d.1265) led a campaign to seize power from the king and establish conciliar government, exploring the cultural, intellectual and military contexts that made the revolution possible. My next major area of research brings together social, cultural and intellectual history to explore the experiences of troops operating in the British Isles and France between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, as well as the shifting patterns of thought concerned with soldiers and their roles and responsibilities in conflict.

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Dr Sarah Barber

My research largely focuses on the seventeenth century, but stretches from 1500 to the present, with a particular interest in the nature of community and its formation and incorporation within or exclusion from community, as well as the nature of historical knowledge and the role of the historian. This has been applied to the fields of British and Irish, Scandinavian, Dutch and Spanish European communities; those of the Eastern seaboard of the Americas; and to the exploration of non-traditional source materials to recover historical knowledge.

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Dr Fiona Edmonds

I am a historian of medieval Britain and Ireland, with research interests ranging from the sixth century to the twelfth. My work knows no borders, focusing on maritime connections and now-lost kingdoms. Particular areas of interest are the Irish Sea region in the Viking Age, and 'Middle Britain' (northern England and southern Scotland) prior to the Anglo-Scottish border, investigating links between the kingdom of Northumbria and the Gaelic-speaking world, and the connections between Northumbria, Strathclyde and Wales. I am interested in interdisciplinary work, for example combining historical and linguistic evidence through the study of names, and I am the Director of the Regional Heritage Centre.

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Dr Paul Antony Hayward

I convene the MA module 'Medieval Primary Sources: Genre, Rhetoric and Transmission'.

I am an historian of communication, historical practice and classical culture in the European Middle Ages, with a geographical and chronological focus on later Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England. I have written about all major historical genres that flourished in this context—hagiography, chronicles and rhetorical histories – and am presently working on the genesis and reception of William of Malmesbury's Histories of the English, as well as bells, communication and society in medieval England.

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Dr Alex Metcalfe

Specialising in the Middle East, Mediterranean and Europe, my research focuses on power and people in Muslim and Christian zones and entangled and comparative histories. My particular interests include:

  • Political history: law, administration and governance; the formation and disintegration of states in the Mediterranean and Middle East; parallel and alternative authorities
  • Religious history: politico-religious ideologies; sacral authority and rulership; Muslim and Christian concepts of holy war; interfaith relations; religious assimilation and conversion
  • Social history: socio-religious change; concepts of acculturation; transculturality; ethnicity and identity formation; frontier communities; Muslims under Christian rule and vice-versa
  • Linguistics: historical linguistics; medieval bilingualism; translations; onomastics (anthroponyms and toponyms); mixed languages and dialects
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Professor Patricia Murrieta-Flores

I supervise the MA module 'Spatial Technologies for Historical Analysis'.

My interest lies in the application of technologies for the Humanities and my primary research area is the spatial humanities. My main focus is the investigation of different aspects of space, place and time using a range of technologies including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Natural Language Processing (NLP), machine learning and corpus linguistics approaches. I am very interested in interdisciplinary research, particularly looking at the intersections between Humanities and all sorts of technology. I am also the Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Hub at Lancaster University, and Principal Investigator on the Transatlantic Platform (T-AP) funded project ‘Digging into Early Colonial Mexico: A large-scale computational analysis of 16th century historical sources’, as well as Co-Investigator in multiple projects.

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Prof Patricia Murrieta-Flores
Professor Will Pettigrew

Professor Will Pettigrew

My work assesses how the history of Britain has been shaped by global forces as well as the effects that Britain has had on the rest of the world. These interests have led me to complete studies of the development of the British contribution to the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans, the constitutional determinants of British economic growth, the history of English trading corporations, and the role of international trade in shaping the English constitution. I'm interested in supervising research in any aspect of Global British history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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Dr Nicholas Radburn

I am a historian of the Atlantic World, with a particular focus on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, currently investigating slave-trading merchants in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and how their profit-motivated decisions shaped the experiences of the enslaved people who they bought and sold. I am a co-manager of the National Endowment for the Humanities funded project Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, a digital memorial to the 12.5 million Africans who were forcibly transported through the slave trade. I am also developing a digital model of a slave ship, and a database of British slave trading merchants, including several thousand individuals in north-west England.

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Professor Naomi Tadmor

My broad and interdisciplinary research interests include the history of the family and community relations, history and literature, and the social and cultural history of the English Bible from the early modern period to modernity. I also have an interest in Jewish cultural history in the twentieth century. My work has focused on the history of the family, language and texts, and practices of reading from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, and my current project, 'Cultures of Settlement', investigates the relationship between society and the state with particular reference to the migration of the poor in England from the Restoration to the nineteenth century.

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Dr Sarah White

I supervise the MA modules 'Warfare in the Medieval World, 1100-1500'.

My research looks at the intersection of law and religion. I study this primarily through the works of the canon lawyers of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England and how these writers achieved practical solutions for the problems of their day by using the increasingly specialised legal knowledge. My forthcoming book argues that court procedure, based on Roman law and tempered by the canonists, became a guiding force and vehicle for argument in dispute resolution. My upcoming research is an interdisciplinary project examining the school of the Anglo-Norman canonists to bring a new perspective to the church/state debate, challenging the assumed divides between law and theology and providing a more accurate view of the medieval underpinnings of the relationship between secular and religious authority. This research explores how interconnected different legal traditions were in solving disputes on local to international levels and how these writers made sense of the world during periods of rapid change.

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Dr Sarah White
Dr Alexander Wragge-Morley

Dr Alexander Wragge-Morley

My interest lies in the history of science and medicine. Through my research and teaching, I seek to understand how people in the past obtained knowledge through sensory experience. In particular, I ask how scientific and medical practitioners have related the pleasures and pains of the senses to the work of knowledge production. In doing so, I bring together histories of science, medicine, the body, the neurosciences, art, literature, and religion. I also have broad interests in the medical humanities, organizing research, podcasts, and events dealing with ideas about the human mind, bringing together scientists, artists, and humanities scholars.

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