At Alma, I teach courses in medieval and early modern European history (from the fall of Rome to the French Revolution), in addition to a survey of world history until about 1600. Some of my courses include the following:
- Europe and the Islamic World, c. 600-1800
- European Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism?
- Inquisitions: Medieval and Early Modern
- Medieval World
- Reformation Era: Salvation at Stake in 16th-century Europe
- Spain and Spanish America, c. 1492-1821
- World History I, to c. 1600
My research thus far has centered on Spain and its empire during the sixteenth century, more or less the century following Christopher Columbus’s voyages. In general, I’m interested in how Europeans dealt with people who were different from themselves (e.g., Muslims, Native Americans). I am currently writing a book about how Spanish churchmen used different languages in order to foster conversion to Catholicism. After I finished my Ph.D. in 2012, I began to study Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.
- Ph.D., History, University of Virginia (2012)
- M.A., History, University of Virginia (2008)
- B.A., History, University of Chicago (2006)
…interested in encouraging empathy among my students. I teach medieval and Renaissance Europe, so the reading that my students and I talk about comes from people who lived many centuries ago. For that reason, those authors can be extremely difficult to understand. Their values seem very different from ours. But I think that they’re worth studying precisely for that reason. Rather than dismissing them, we should try hard to empathize with them. I think it’s a very useful life skill!
My career at Alma began in
I'm an expert in
- “La mala algarabía: Church, Monarchy, and the Arabic Language in 16th-Century Spain,” Medieval History Journal 14:2, pp. 229-58. Co-author with Patricia Giménez-Eguibar.
- “Language and Communication in the Spanish Conquest of America,” History Compass 8:6, pp. 491-502.
- “Did the Spanish Church Have a Theory of Language?” University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 2016
- “The Languages of the Saints: Multilingualism in the Lives of Spanish American Missionaries,” University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2015
- “Converting Muslims in 16th-century Spain: St. Thomas of Villanova and the Bishops of Valencia,” Villanova University, Villanova, PA, 2014
- Folger Shakespeare Library Research Grant (2016)
- National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar on Persecution, Tolerance, & Co-existence (Calvin College, 2013)
- Fulbright IIE Scholar (Spain, 2009-10)
Other recent accomplishments:
Andison Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016)
Connect with me:
… several students who have worked on independent research projects. I really enjoy working one-on-one with students. Below is a list of senior theses that I supervised:
- Jacob Judd, “Conflicting Expectations: Henry II’s Difficult Relationship with his Heirs” (2016)
- Steven Smith, “Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People and the Formation of English Identity” (2016)
- Katherine Vaillancourt, “Ramon Llull’s the Book of the Gentile: Persuasion as a Path to Peace, c. 1270” (2016)