David Gary Shaw is an historian of medieval England, of the British nations, of people as managers of meaning and identity in their inevitable social context. He has only ever been employed by Wesleyan University, where he is currently the Dean of the Social Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Programs.
He is a professor of History and Medieval Studies. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal in history and philosophy (1986), he received his doctorate from Oxford University, while supported by a Commonwealth Scholarship (1990). He was a member of Balliol College. He joined the faculty of Wesleyan University in 1990 and has taught there ever since. His teaching specialties are the Middle Ages, historiography, and the history of Great Britain. His first book, The Creation of a Community. The City of Wells in the Middle Ages, was published by Oxford University Press in 1993. In 1998, he joined the journal History and Theory as an Associate Editor. He has edited themes issues of that journal on The Return of Science. Evolution, History, and Theory (1999), with Philip Pomper; Agency after Postmodernism (2001); and Religion and History (2006). In 2005 he published Necessary Conjunctions: The Social Self in Medieval England (Palgrave-Macmillan). His current research interests include the circulation of people and ideas in later medieval England and a book project on the nature of historical agency, including the question of whether humans alone are agents. Horses anyone? At Wesleyan he has served three years as chair of the History Department, and has served as well as chair of the Educational Policy Committee, member of the Faculty Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, and Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee (Personnel), before becoming dean in July 2010.