Principal investigator

Dr Catherine Holmes

Catherine Holmes is Fellow and Tutor in Medieval History at University College, Oxford. She has always been interested in interpreting the Byzantine Empire within broader cultural and political contexts. Her current research focuses on overlaps and differences between the Byzantine, Latin and Islamic worlds, especially in the Mediterranean world. She finds the emphases on and tensions between comparison and connectivity in global history extremely fruitful for thinking about the complex political, economic and social history of the eastern Mediterranean in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries:


Professor Naomi Standen

Naomi Standen has been Professor of Medieval History at the University of Birmingham since 2011. She works on Northeastern Eurasia (primarily 9th to 11th centuries) using Chinese-language texts alongside material culture, and is committed to bringing the world beyond Europe into mainstream understandings of history in all periods. Her current work seeks to de-centre "China" and locate Northeastern societies in their wider Eurasian context by considering phenomena that cut across political boundaries:

Dr Lesley Abrams

Lesley Abrams is a Fellow of Balliol College and a member of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford. She teaches British and Continental history of the early middle ages (before 1100). Her main area of research is the diffusion of Scandinavians in the so-called Viking Age, particularly the issues of identity and interaction raised by their activities in the North Atlantic, the British Isles, western Europe, and the East. She is also interested in religious conversion (of all dates and denominations).

Dr Sergei Bogatyrev

Sergei Bogatyrev is Senior Lecturer in Early Russian History at The School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL.

Dr Scott Ashley

Scott Ashley is Lecturer in History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University. His main area of teaching and research interest is early medieval Europe, with a current emphasis on the Viking diaspora in Eurasia and the North Atlantic. He is also interested in early modern European global encounters and has published on Captain Cook.

Professor John Darwin
John Darwin is Professor of Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Nuffield College.

Dr Kent Deng
Kent Deng is Reader in the Economic History Department at LSE. His main research interests are in the pre-modern and modern history of China. His early works deal with the Chinese literati, state, peasantry and maritime growth. His most recent book (2011) is on China's state-building from the 18th to 21st centuries.

Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock
Caroline Dodds Pennock is Lecturer in International History at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on Aztec and Spanish American history and the Atlantic world, with a particular interest in issues of gender, violence, and cultural exchange. Following the publication of her first book, Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture, Caroline is working on a major new research project on Aztecs Abroad, following indigenous Central and South Americans who travelled to Europe and beyond in the sixteenth century.

Professor Glen Dudbridge (1938-2017)
Glenn Dudbridge was Shaw Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford between 1989 and 2005, specializing in Tang/Five Dynasties China.

Dr Ian Forrest
Ian Forrest is Fellow and Tutor in Medieval History at Oriel College, Oxford. He works on the social history of religious institutions in western Europe between 1200 and 1500, and at the moment is writing a book about trust, trustworthiness and the medieval church. He is interested in a range of social-science approaches to beliefs and institutions, which makes comparison across cultures fruitful and interesting.

Dr Anne Gerritsen
Anne Gerritsen is a historian of late medieval and early modern China, and until summer 2013 is the director of Warwick's Global History and Culture Centre. She has worked on the local religious cultures of a region in southern China (Jiangxi) between the 13th and 16th centuries. In recent years, her attention has shifted to more global themes, and especially the production of porcelain in Jiangxi from the fourteenth century onwards. This commodity played a significant role in the local economy, but the desire for porcelain also created a shared global culture.

Dr Anne Haour
Anne Haour is Reader in the Arts and Archaeology of Africa at the Sainsbury Unit, University of East Anglia. Her specific area of expertise is the archaeology of the central Sahel (the area of West Africa between the Niger River and Lake Chad). She has also sought, through comparative approaches, to consider West Africa and Western Europe in parallel. Examples of her work on this are her book Rulers, warriors, traders, clerics - the central Sahel and the North Sea, AD 800-1500 (Oxford, 2007) and her chapter on trading places in From one sea to another. Trading places in the European and Mediterranean Early Middles Ages (edited by s. Gelichi and r. Hodges, Brepols, 2012). For more on her 'Crossroads of Empire' project see:

Professor Tim Insoll
Tim Insoll is a specialist in Islamic and later African archaeology, with particularly interests in West Africa and the Arabian Gulf. He has completed extensive fieldwork in Gao and Timbuktu in Mali, the Tong Hills in Northern Ghana, and Bilad al-Qadim in Bahrain. He has published extensively, most recently editing The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion (Oxford, 2012). His personal website contains detail on his fieldwork, publications, and current research: see

Professor Andrew Laird
Andrew Laird is Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick University

Dr Elizabeth Lambourn
Elizabeth Lambourn is Reader in South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at De Montfort University. She is the Principal Investigator of an AHRC-sponsored network: A Persian Church in the Land of Pepper - Routes, Networks and Communities in the Early Medieval Indian Ocean.

Dr. James Lewis
James Lewis is University Lecturer in Korean History in the Faculty of Oriental Studies in Oxford. He works on Korean and Japanese history from ca. 1600 to 1850 and has published on relations between the two countries, focusing on trade and diplomacy (Frontier Contact Between Choson Korea and Tokugawa Japan, Routledge, 2003), cultural exchange, and war (The Imjin War: Hideyoshi’s Invasion of Korea, an edited volume in development). His interest in World History began with his training at the University of Hawai'i under Jerry Bentley and William McNeill and focuses on both micro-historical testing of frontier connections and historical comparisons between metropolitan cultures and regional cultures.

Dr Conrad Leyser
Conrad Leyser is Fellow and Tutor in Medieval History at Worcester College, Oxford.

Dr Neil McLynn
Neil McLynn is University Lecturer in Later Roman History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. He also has long-standing interests in the history of Japan.

Professor R. I. Moore
R. I. Moore is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at Newcastle University and has also taught at the University of Sheffield. While at Sheffield and Newcastle he pioneered the teaching of Global History to undergraduate audiences. His primary research interests are in the social history of eleventh- and twelfth century Europe and comparative world history. He is series editor of the Blackwell History of the World, to which his own contribution, Foundations of the Modern World, will focus on Eurasia between the emergence of Islam and the Mongol conquests.

Dr Andrew Newman
Andrew Newman is Reader in Islamic Studies and Persian at the University of Edinburgh. One of his main areas of research interest is the history of Iran in the Safavid period (1501-1722), including the manner in which Iran and the Persian Gulf region as a whole became integrated in the world market system as it was evolving in this period. He is currently researching a volume on the Safavids as ‘empire’:

Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou
Arietta Papaconstantinou is Reader in Ancient History. Her research interests focus on ancient and medieval Egypt and the Near East.

Dr Amanda Power
Amanda Power is Associate Professor in Medieval History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. She is interested in the impact of the distinctive religious and cosmographical imagination of the period on public affairs. She specialises in the history of the Franciscan order: a cosmopolitan network of individuals whose prominent roles in mission, diplomacy and scholarship led to many kinds of engagement with societies beyond Europe:

Dr Andrew Redden
Andrew Redden is Lecturer in Latin American History at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of Diabolism in Colonial Peru 1570-1750 (Pickering & Chatto, 2008) and the co-editor of Angels, Demons and the New World (Cambridge, 2013). He is currently embarking on a new global networks project entitled Martyrdom through the Ages which aims to bring together interested scholars to create a bank of interdisciplinary works on the theme.

Dr Jonathan Shepard

Jonathan Shepard was University Lecturer in Russian History at the University of Cambridge. Among his recent publications is Emergent Elites and Byzantium in the Balkans and East-Central Europe (Farnham, 2011). He is on the editorial advisory board of, and contributor to, the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Empire (in preparation). Among the projects in which he is currently, or soon to be, engaged are: ‘Political Culture in Three Spheres: Byzantium, the Latin West and the Islamic world’; ‘Byzantium and the Viking world’; ‘Dirhams for slaves: an investigation of exchanges between Eastern and Northern Europe and Central Asia in the 10th century.’

Dr Alan Strathern
Alan Strathern is Fellow and Tutor in Early Modern History at Brasenose College, Oxford. He specialised in the history of Sri Lanka during the period of Portuguese influence (1500-1650), and is now working on projects of a global and comparative nature. His interests include questions of ethnicity, origin myths, comparative religion, conversion, and first encounters. He is writing a book, Sacred Kingship and Religious Change in the Early Modern World, which will look at why the rulers of some societies converted to monotheism and others did not, with case studies including Kongo, Hawaii, Japan and Siam:

Professor John Watts
John Watts is Fellow and Tutor in History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He mainly works on politics and political culture in later medieval England, but his most recent book is an overview of later medieval European political and governmental developments called The Making of Polities: Europe, 1300-1500 (Cambridge, 2009). His interest in global history partly derives from an enthusiasm for large-scale comparative and developmental history, but he is also keen to acquire the knowledge and understanding to be able to teach in this area. Website:

Dr Hilde De Weerdt
Hilde De Weerdt has recently become Professor of Chinese History at the University of Leiden. Her research focuses on imperial Chinese political culture, social networks, and intellectual history. Her publications include Competition over Content: Negotiating Standards for the Civil Service Examinations in Imperial China (1127-1276) (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007) and Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print--China, Tenth-Fourteenth Centuries (with Lucille Chia, Brill, 2011). She has been engaged in medieval comparative history projects on urban history, political history, and the socialization of elites. She is the principal investigator of a five-year project funded by the European Research Council on communication networks in medieval Europe and China (ca. 1000-1500):

Dr Monica White
Monica White is Lecturer in Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests include the military, religious and cultural history of Rus, Byzantium and the eastern Christian world. Her current projects include a study of the relations between Rus and Byzantium in the high to late middle ages.

Dr Susan Whitfield
Susan Whitfield is the Director of the International Dunhuang Project and is based at the British Library:

Dr Mark Whittow (1957-2017)
Mark Whittow was the University Lecturer in Byzantine History at Oxford University and Fellow and Tutor in History at Corpus Christi College.

Professor Chris Wickham
Chris Wickham has been Chichele Professor of Medieval History at Oxford since 2005; prior to that, he taught at the University of Birmingham. He is a historian of medieval Italy, on which he has published several books; he is also strongly interested in comparative history, and wrote Framing the Early Middle Ages (Oxford, 2005) in that methodological framework. He has published articles comparing Europe with the medieval Islamic world and China; his most recently published article (2013) discusses the social memory of administrators in these three societies.

Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones
Stephanie Wynne-Jones is Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at York University, specialising in the East African Swahili coast and its links with the wider Indian Ocean world AD600 - 1500. Her interests include urbanism, social space and identity; in particular she has developed projects revolving around the ways that objects move and act within global and local networks. Stephanie has directed projects at Vuma Kuu (Kenya), Uvinza, Ujiji, Mafia Island, Kilwa and Songo Mnara (Tanzania). Her current fieldwork is at the 14th - 15th centruy stonetown of Songo Mnara ( In addition, Stephanie is working on a project exploring the movement of objects in the Indian Ocean in the early Islamic period of 7th - 10th centuries AD (

Dr Simon Yarrow
Simon Yarrow is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.

Network Publication: Past & Present Supplement

We are pleased to announce the publication of a supplementary issue of the journal Past & Present on ‘The Global Middle Ages’ – currently accessible online here and available in print soon. Co-edited by Catherine Holmes (Oxford) and Naomi Standen (Birmingham), the supplement applies the study of global history to the pre-modern world through a series of thematic chapters incorporating a wide range of periods and regions. Read more






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