Jeffrey A. Bowman

Department of History                                        (740)    427 - 5322        

Kenyon College                            

Gambier, OH, 43022                                          



2003 -               John B. McCoy - Bank One Distinguished Teaching Professor

Associate Professor, Department of History, Kenyon College

1997 -   2003     Assistant Professor, Department of History, Kenyon College

1993 -  1995      Instructor and Teaching Assistant, Department of History, Yale University


1997                 Ph. D., Medieval Studies, Yale University

1994                 M. Phil., Medieval Studies, Yale University                                               

1992                 M. A., Medieval Studies, Yale University

1988                 B. A., English, Carleton College, cum laude

Research Interests

Iberia and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages

Law and conflict in medieval Europe

Sanctity, hagiography and the cult of saints  


Shifting Landmarks: 

Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia around the Year 1000

Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2003


This study examines the regional mechanisms for dispute settlement during a period of European history often characterized as lawless and violent.  Using a rich body of charters describing disputes over property rights, I describe the system of courts and judges that processed such disputes, focusing on how disputants and judges constantly adapted, modified, and reshaped legal traditions.  Written law was one possible strategy of legitimation within a legal environment which drew resourcefully on legal texts, custom, scripture, and ritual practice to resolve conflicts.  Any full appreciation of the normative world of Europe during the Middle Ages must appreciate the relations among these different discourses.


AInfamy and Proof in Medieval Spain,@ in Fama: The Politics of Talk and Reputation in the Middle Ages, ed Daniel Smail and Thelma Fenster (Cornell U. P., 2003), 95-117.

AThe Bishops Builds a Bridge: Sanctity and Power in the Medieval Pyrenees,@

 The Catholic Historical Review 88 (2002), 1-16

AThe Martyrdom of Saint Pelagius,@ translation and introduction in Medieval Hagiography: A                        Sourcebook, ed. Thomas Head (Garland, New York, 2000)

ACouncils, Memory, and Mills: The Early Development of the Peace of God in Catalonia,@ Early         Medieval Europe 8 (1999), 99-130.

ADo Neo-Romans Curse?  Land, Law, and Ritual in the Midi, 900-1100,@ Viator 28 (1997), 1-32. 


Victor Saxer, Saint Vincent: diacre et martyr: culte et légendes avant l'an Mil in Speculum (forthcoming).

Jaume Vilaginés, El paisatge, la societat i l'alimentació al Vallès Oriental (segles X-XII) in Speculum (forthcoming)

Pierre Bonnassie, Les sociétés de l=an mil, in Speculum (forthcoming)                                 

Adam Kosto, Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia, in The American Journal of Legal History

Rachel Stocking, Bishops, Councils, and Consensus, in Speculum 78 (2003), 266-67.

Thomas N. Bisson, Tormented Voices, in Speculum 77 (2002), 473-75.

Marco Mostert, ed., New Approaches to Medieval Communication, in Speculum 76 (2001), 1084-85.

Dominique Barthélemy, L=an mil et paix de Dieu: La France chrétienne et féodale in Early Medieval Europe 10 (2001), 273-74.

Lyndal Roper, Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe, in The Journal of Social History 32 (1999), 740-42.

Fellowships and Awards

2001                     Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Summer Research Support Grant

2000-                   Stanford Humanities Laboratory, Collaborative Grant, AThe Medieval Spains@                    

2000-2001            Solmsen Fellowship, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin

2000                    National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend 

1999                    Medieval Academy of America, Van Courtlandt-Elliott Prize

1997-98, 98-99     Faculty Development Grant, Kenyon College

1996-97               Yale University Dissertation Fellowship

1995-96               Bourses Chateaubriand - Sciences Sociales et Humaines

1995-96               Whiting Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (declined)

1995                    John F. Enders Fellowship

1993                    American Historical Association Bernadotte E. Schmitt Research Grant

1993                    Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain=s Ministry of Culture and United                                                  States Universities Research Grant

1990-94               Yale University Fellowship

1990-92               Sterling Prize for Outstanding Entering Graduate Students, Yale University

Papers Delivered

July 2004                      "Bishops and Litigation in Early Medieval Spain"

International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England

May 2004                      "The Caliph's Touch: Hagiography and Difference in Umayyad Córdoba"

International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI

May 2002                      "The Interplay of Oral and Written Proofs in Medieval Courts"

International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI

January 2002                 ATrue Crime: Murder and Mayhem in Tenth- and Eleventh-century Charters@

American Historical Association, San Francisco, CA

October 2001                 AThe Smoldering Hand: Varieties of Proof in Medieval Spain@

OSU Legal History Workshop, Columbus, OH

September 2001 AProfiling:  A Typology of Killing in the Central Middle Ages@         

Midwest Medieval History Conference, UW-Madison

February 2001               ABlood, Sweat, and Bones: The Cult of Martyrs in Early Medieval Spain@

Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison

September 2000 AInfamy and Proof in Medieval Spain@

Fama: The Politics of Talk and Reputation in Medieval Europe

Fordham University, New York, NY

January 2000                 AAuthority and Phantom Proofs: Using Lost Evidence in Medieval Courts@

American Historical Association, Chicago, IL

October 1999                 ABridges, Sanctity, and Power:  An 11th-Cent. Bishop in the Spanish Pyrenees@

The Image of the Bishop around the Year 1000, University of Chicago

October 1998                 ACouncils, Curses, and Mills: The Early Peace in Catalonia@

Midwest Medieval History Conference, South Bend, IN

July 1998                      AThe Development of the Peace of God in Catalonia@

International Medieval Congress, Leeds

December 1995  ALe Rituel, la politique et les reliques de Saint-Hilaire@

Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris

May 1995                      ANew Uses for Old Rules: Authority and Written Law in Medieval Catalonia@

30th Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI

March 1995                   ARituals and Rules in the Narbonnais around the Year 1000"

Society for French Historical Studies, Atlanta, GA

April 1994                     ARoyal Governments, Small Worlds, and Good Stories:

Charters in the Historiography of France@

Medieval Studies Conference, University of Connecticut

April 1994                     AViolence and a Rhetoric of Resolution in Medieval Catalonia@

Fordham Medieval Conference, Fordham University

March 1993                   AThe Poetics and Politics of Feasting in Valois Burgundy@

Public lecture, College of the Holy Cross

Selected Courses Taught 

The Medieval Spains: Antiquity to the New World

The History of Spain, Pliny to the Guggenheim

Cockfights, Cat Massacres, and Charivaris

Curses, Codes, and Cattleraids: Peace and Violence in the Middle Ages

Crusaders, Pilgrims, Merchants, and Conquistadors: Medieval Travelers and Their Tales

The Living and the Dead in the Middle Ages

Plagues and People / Microbes and Metaphors

Ethnographers in the Archives: The New Cultural History and Its Discontents

The History of the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 300-1100

The History of the Later Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 1100-1500

Deviance, Desire, and Domesticity: The Private Lives of Medieval People

Membership in Professional Organizations

American Historical Association

The Medieval Academy of America

American Association of Research Historians of Medieval Spain

Collegiate Citizenship

Committee on Academic Standards                                  2001-2002, 02-03

History Department Chair Search                                     1999-2000                                            

Ashford Prize Committee                                                1999-2000

Faculty Advisor, The Kenyon Voice                                  1999-2000, 2001-02

Co-Chair, The Kenyon Seminar                                        1999-2000

Committee on Awards and Postgrad Opportunities 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2001-02, 02-03

History Department Curriculum committee                        1998-99, 1999-2000, 2002-03

English Department Early Modern Search                         1998-99

Course Evaluation Committee                                          1998-99

Chair, Baker Prize Committee                                          1997-98, 1998-99, 2001-02, 02-03