- Liberal Arts: History
My research focuses on religious difference, violence, and Mediterranean culture in the classic era of crusading and jihad, from about 1050 to 1500. My first book, The Barons’ Crusade: A Call to Arms and Its Consequences (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), explored the role of crusading warfare in the formation of Latin Christian identity in thirteenth-century Europe. I am currently working on two larger projects that bring my interest in violence and religious difference into the Islamic Mediterranean: a history of the Tunis Crusade of 1270, the last major expedition led by a European monarch in aid of the Holy Land; and a history of mercenaries who crossed the religious divide in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. I am also pursuing several smaller research projects that investigate how local actors engaged with prevailing norms of interreligious relations in the medieval Mediterranean. I focus on issues that raise questions of coercion, control, and agency, such as tribute payments, military assistance to non-believers, and conversion. I teach classes on medieval Europe and the Islamic Mediterranean. I work with a strong cohort of graduate students who share my interest in bringing diverse Mediterranean perspectives into productive dialogue. Many of my advisees research and write about the crusader states of the Near East, but there are some excellent projects underway on medieval North Africa and Iberia as well. In addition to my medieval Mediterranean offerings at the undergraduate level, I teach a class on the global history of modern soccer.