Professor Ian Forrest


I would be pleased to receive enquiries from prospective graduate students interested in any aspect of late medieval social, gender or religious history. Having particular expertise in the use of medieval judicial and administrative records to write social history, I am keen to support projects that take innovative approaches to this field. I have supervised projects on heresy, pacifism and anarchism, conciliarism, sanctity, insult and defamation, vernacular sermons, devotional texts, material culture, marriage and sex, landscape and architecture, gender, dispute resolution, the institutional church, rape, the human-animal divide, parishes and pastoral care, naming patterns, confession/penance, clothing and violence, and trust and trade.

I aim to guide undergraduates towards discovering what they are interested in, and then to help them develop the skills needed to understand it. This means encouraging open-minded enquiry into new and familiar topics, knowing that students often discover their historical enthusiasms in surprising places. I teach general papers in British, European, and Global history between 900 and 1550, and specialist papers on ‘Crime and Punishment in England 1280-1450’, ‘The Peasants Revolts of 1381’, and the new ‘Global Middle Ages, 500-1500’ course. In all of this I help students think about how ideas, identities and inequalities together contribute to processes of historical change.

I currently teach:


The Global Middle Ages