Dr. Steven Bednarski
Dr. Steven Bednarski's research focuses on social, criminal and gender history in the late medieval period. Specifically, he has done extensive work on the lives of ordinary people in the town of Manosque in southern France during the fourteenth century. He has written numerous articles and a monograph called Curia: A
Social History of a Court, Crime, and Conflict in a Late Medieval Town. He also has another exciting book coming out early next year: A Poisoned Past: the Life and Times of Margarita de Portu, a Fourteenth-Century Poisoner.
His new avenues for research involve environmental history and archaeology in England to discuss the effects of climate change and inundation on communities close to the shore. This work
centres on a promising international research collaboration of scholars based out of Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex,
England. Dr. Bednarski was Scholar in Residence there for the Fall 2012 term and has supervised two graduate students doing
research on legal, economic, geographic and ecological aspects of medieval life at the castle.
Dr. David Porreca
Broadly speaking, Dr. David Porreca's research interests involve Medieval intellectual history, especially the reception of the pagan Classical tradition in the Christian Middle Ages. The main focus of his research has been the enigmatic figure of Hermes
Trismegistus. In the process of hunting for any and all references to Hermes during the Middle Ages, Dr. Porreca has conducted
research at over thirty manuscript libraries scattered throughout Europe. Along the way, he has become interested in ancient and Medieval magic, astrology, alchemy, palaeography, manuscript transmission and glosses.
In parallel to his interest in intellectual history, Dr. Porreca has
begun examining the dynamics of the rise, flourishing and
downfall of complex societies, especially with regard to the impact of resource depletion on these processes.