Curriculum Vitae

David Gary Shaw

Department of History

Wesleyan University

Middletown, Connecticut 06459


Tel. 860-685-2373




Professor of History, Wesleyan University, July 2002-.

Dean of the Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs, Wesleyan University, July 2010-June 2013.

Chair, Department of History, Wesleyan University, July 2003-June 2006, July 2015-Dec. 2017,

Associate Professor of History, Wesleyan University, July 1996-June 2002.

Assistant Professor of History, Wesleyan University, July 1990-June 1996.

Associate Editor, History and Theory, 1996-.



Balliol College of Oxford University, Oxford, England, 1986-90.

Doctor of Philosophy (D. Phil.) August 1990.

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, 1982-86.

Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy, June 1986.



1) Books:

Necessary Conjunctions: The Social Self in the Middle Ages. New York and London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005.

The Return of Science: Evolution, History and Theory, edited with Philip Pomper, Lanham, MD.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002.

The Creation of a Community: The City of Wells in the Middle Ages, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1993.


2) Conceived & Edited Theme Issues:

Does History Need Animals?–History and Theory Theme Issue 52 (2013).

Religion and History–History and Theory Theme Issue 45 (2006).

Agency after PostmodernismHistory and Theory Theme Issue 40 (2001).

The Return of Science: Evolutionary Ideas and History–History and Theory, Theme Issue 38 (1999). (Co-edited with Philip Pomper).


3) Articles and Essays:

“The Weight of Comparing in Medieval England,” Practices of Comparing. Towards a new Understanding of a Fundamental Human Practice, ed. Angelika Epple, Walter Erhart, Johannes Grave  (Bielefeld University Press/Transcript Verlag), forthcoming May 2020 (8000 words).

“Actor Networks, Social Selves, and Expressive Possession”, Norwegian Archaeological Review 50, 1 (2017): 31-34.

“Expressing Your Self in later Medieval England: Individuality and Social Differentiation,” in Franz-Josef Arlinghaus, ed. Forms of Individuality and Literacy in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), pp. 121-149.

“Horses and Actor-Networks: Manufacturing Travel in Later Medieval England”, edited by Susan Nance, in The Historical Animal (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2015), 133-47.

“The Torturer’s Horse. Agency and Animals in History,” History and Theory 52 (2013), 146-67.

“A Way with Animals,” History and Theory 52 (2013), 1-12.

“Recovering the Self: Agency after Deconstruction,” in Sarah Foot and Nancy Partner, eds., Sage Handbook of Historical Theory,” (London: Sage, 2012), pp. 474-494.

“Embodiment and the Human from Dante through Tomorrow,” Postmedieval. A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies 1 (2010): 65-72.

“Modernity Between Us and Them: The Place of Religion in History,” History and Theory, Theme Issue 45 (2006): 1-9.

“Social Networks and the Foundations of Oligarchy in Medieval Towns,” Urban History 32 (2005): 197-219.

“Social Selves in later Medieval England: The Worshipful Ferrour and Kempe,” in Nancy F. Partner, ed., Writing Medieval History (Arnold: London, 2005), 3-21.

“An Interdisciplinary Paradigm Shift,” in The Return of Science: Evolution, History and Theory, ed. with Philip Pomper (Rowman and Littlefield: Lanham, Md., 2002), 1-12.

“Happy in Our Chains? Agency and Language in the Postmodern Age,” History and Theory, 40 (2001), 1-9.

“The Return of Science,” History and Theory 38 (1999), 1-9.

“Huizinga’s Timeliness,” History and Theory 37 (1998), 245-58.


4) Short Articles and Notes

“Haselshaw, Walter (d. 1308)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2008. []

“Salisbury, Roger of (c.1185–1247)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2007. []

“Button , William (d. 1264)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2004 [,]

“Button , William (d. 1274)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 []


5) Reviews in The Historian, Speculum, The Canadian Journal of History, Albion


6) Work in Progress:

“The Networked Historical Self, Travelling Version,” (7500 words) for, ed. Bjorn Bandlien, Stefka Eriksen, and Karen Holmqvist, “The Theory and Method of the Self,”  to be published by De Gruyter publishers, scheduled 2020.

“‘Father to Other Men’s Works’. Making Sources from the Texts”, 7900 draft article

“Comparison and Social Order in England before 1600”

“The Bishops and the Poor”, manuscript on medieval bishops’ support of the poor

“Mapping England from the Road: William Worcestre as Proto Cartographer”

“Information by the Way: Travellers and Cultural Exchange in Later Medieval Britain”

Book Project: Travelling to the Future. Networks of Modernity in Medieval England


Awards and Grants:

Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs Leave Fellowship, Wesleyan University, Fall 2018.

American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2002-03.

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2002-03.

American Philosophical Society Research Grant, 1997-98.

Carole A. Baker ’81 Memorial Prize, Wesleyan University, 1993

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Doctoral Fellowship, 1989-90.

Commonwealth Scholarship, 1986-89.

First Class Honours and University Scholar, McGill University, 1986.


Select Professional Activity:

Co-Convener, Bielefeld-Wesleyan Summer of Theory Summer School, Bielefeld University, July 2018

Mercator Fellow, Summer Term, Bielefeld University, May-July 2018.

Member Virtual Faculty of “Practices of Comparison” Project at Bielefeld University, 2017-

Visiting International Professor, Summer Term, Bielefeld University, May-June, 2014

ACLS, Graduate Fellowship Reviewer, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12

UNC Humanities Center fellowship reviewer, 2008-09, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16

National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship Evaluator, 2005


Recent Talks, Invited Lectures, Seminars, Panels:


“The Social and Religious Moral of Prominent Tombs in the Middle Ages,” Universidad Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, November 13, 2018.

“The Utility of the idea of Religion in Medieval History,” St Catherine’s College, Oxford, New Religious Histories Colloquium, June 29-30, 2018.

“The Travelling Self in Social Space,” University of Oslo, June 22, 2018.

“Standards of Comparison in England: National Policies and Legal Precedents before 1600”, Bielefeld University, June 6, 2018.

“Actor-Networks and the Possible Ends of Human Historical Agency,” American Historical Association, Washington, DC., January 5, 2018.

“Networks of Travel and Talk: Mapping the Late Medieval Conference,” Social Science History Association, Montreal, November 5, 2017.

“The Weight of Comparison Across Periods: Some Medieval English Evidence,” at Practices of Comparing. Ordering and Changing the World. International Kickoff Conference of the SFB 1288, Bielefeld, Germany, October 7, 2017.

“The Archive and the Composite Text,” Workshop: Across Text and Source,” University of Chicago, Chicago, April 16, 2016

“Late Annalistic Chronicles: Sources and Fragmentation,” Workshop: Across Text & Source, University of Chicago, Chicago, April 15, 2016.

“Place, Space, Travel, and Time in England, c. 1500”, Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Boston, April 1, 2016

 “Actor-Network Theory for Medieval History,” Medieval Academy of America, Boston, February 26, 2016.

“Distinguishing, Measuring, and Seeing-Together: Notes on the Character of Comparison,” at Practices of Comparison, ZiF, Centre for Interdisciplinary Study, Bielefeld University, September 26, 2015.

“Sharing Information and a Drink: Travel and Hospitality in Medieval England Division II seminar, PAC, Wesleyan, March 26, 2015

“Challenging and Extending Reinhart Koselleck’s Theories of Historical Time,” American Historical Association, January 5, 2015 (organizer and chair).

“Travelling to the Future: Networks of Acceleration and the End of the Middle Ages,” Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan, November 10, 2014.

“Networks of Travel and Communication in Medieval England,” Colloquium on Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Bielefeld University, May 15, 2014.

“The Public Way and the Common Good? Religion and Travel in Medieval England,” Institute for Culture & Society, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, May 12, 2014

“William Worcester: Mapping England in Word and Step,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, New York, March 27, 2014.

Workshop presentation, “The Self in Social Space”, sponsored by University of Oslo, Reykjavik, Iceland, March 15, 2014.

“The Journal Historein and the History of Journals in the Theory of History—a Comment”, The Future of the Theory and Philosophy of History, First International Network for the Theory of History Conference, Ghent, July 12, 2013

‘The Hundred Years War and the Development of National Feeling?, Eastern Penitentiary, New York State, April 8, 2013

‘The Torturer’s Horse: Agency and Animals in History” at “Do Animals Need a History?” at Wesleyan University, March 29-30, 2013

“Communicating Comparisons: How Modern was The Later Medieval English Self’, Bielefeld University, June 30, 2012

“William Worcester: Mapping England from the Road (or Travelling with a Scholar’s Pace)”, Oxford Medieval Geographies Colloquium: There and Back Again: Writing Spaces, Mapping Places in the Medieval World. The Queen’s College, Oxford, June 22, 2012.

“Dark Matter at the End of the Middle Ages”, Keynote Address, Colloquium of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, held at New York University, April 1, 2011

“Information by the Way: Piepowder People and Cultural Exchange”, New York Medieval Club, CUNY May 1, 2009

“Expressing Yourself in the Later Middle Ages: Social or Individual?”, Bielefeld University, May 28-30, 2009, conference on Individuality in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period.


January 1, 2019