Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jablonsky, Thomas J.


I did not choose the subject of this dissertation, it chose me. As a bachelor's and master's student, my studies were rooted in a deep love of Medieval Europe, and were guided by the mentoring skills of several influential professors who in turn directed my work in the areas of medieval literature, Roman and medieval England and, finally, the gild systems in early England. As an English literature major and later as an historian, I delved fully into this era, amusing and occasionally confounding professors with my tendency not only to study the Middle Ages, but to live them on weekends. I continue to love and teach the history of medieval Europe, but throughout my early studies there was something missing. Medieval history, for more than the obvious reasons, always felt somewhat old. At some point, it occurred to me that in my short career as a medievalist, I had only met two people whom I would consider significant scholars in the field: Ronald Zupko, my mentor at Marquette University and the foremost expert on medieval weights and measures; and Sharon Kay Penman, the most meticulous researcher among writers of historical fiction currently working. These two were both, albeit in different ways, helpful and encouraging, but I began to find it a bit depressing that the vast majority of significant works in the field of medieval History were written by people who were either long dead or were confined to the libraries of Europe, never to see the light of day. More, an excursion to the annual medieval conference in Kalamazoo revealed a tendency among medievalists to give largely subtle, nuanced variations of old arguments in the seemingly futile desire to find something new to say. Despite growing concerns, I soldiered on...



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?