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Julia Smith

Chichele Professor of Medieval History
Photograph of Julie Smith


Julia is a historian of late antiquity and the early medieval west whose research interests span the Latin West c400-c1100.  Her main interest are social and cultural history, broadly understood, with particular emphasis on women and gender, the cultural history of Christianity and material culture.  She brings all these themes together in her current project, Christianity in Fragments: Relics from the Age of Constantine to the First Crusade, c.350-c.1100, which explores how medieval Christianity came to be understood and practised in fundamentally material ways.  Notable publications include Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians (1992), Europe after Rome: A New Cultural History 500-1000 (2005), as well as Gender in the Early Medieval World: East and West, 300-900, (ed. with Leslie Brubaker, 2004) and The Cambridge History of Christianity, vol 3: Early Medieval Christianities AD 600-1100 (ed. with Tom Noble, 2008).

Julia came to Oxford from the University of Glasgow, where she held the Edwards Chair of Medieval History from 2005 until 2016.  Prior to that, she had taught in many places, including St Andrews and Trinity College, Hartford CT (USA).  She read History at Newnham College, Cambridge, and took her D.Phil at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.  She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011.