Performances: Writing and Talking

Main Works:

The Creation of a Community. The City of Wells in the Middle Ages was published by Oxford University Press in 1993. It sought both to describe the history of the compact cathedral city as well as to give a moderate argument for the importance of a flexible and restricted notion of medieval community. 

The Return of Science. History, Theory, and Evolution, edited with Philip Pomper and published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2002. This volume was an expanded collection of papers on the theme of history and evolutionary theory that I first conceived and planned with Phil Pomper. We sought to provide historians and others with some provocative prospects for understanding the possible relevance of evolution and different sorts of evolutionary and biological theories and analogies to their work. In many ways, the collection was a harbinger to the much wider acceptance of such thinking within contemporary historiography. Buy here.
Necessary Conjunctions. The Social Self in Medieval England studies how regular medieval people created their public social identities. Focusing especially on the world of English townspeople in the later Middle Ages, the book explores the social self, the public face of the individual. It gives special attention to how prevalent norms of honor, fidelity and hierarchy guided and were manipulated by medieval citizens. With variable success, medieval men and women defined themselves and each other by the clothes they work, the goods they cherished, as well as by their alliances and enemies, their sharp tongues and petty violence. Employing a highly interdisciplinary methodology and an original theory makes it possible to see how personal agency and identity developed within the framework of later medieval power structures. 

Creation of a Community Cover
Creation of A Community

Journal Editing: History and Theory

Special Theme Issues I conceived and edited:


Recent Performances:

“The Journal Historein and the History of Journals in the Theory of History—a Comment”The Future of the Theory and Philosophy of History, International Network for the Theory of History, 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.

Professor Gary Shaw on George Herbert Mead. Sept 14th, 2011 (podcast) : Part of the “In Theory” series sponsored by Wesleyan University’s Certificate on Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory (Given September 14, 2011)

For articles, drafts, talks, and works in progress, go here.