If the number of popular films and novels is any indication, knighthood and chivalry continue to hold a tremendous fascination for today’s generation.
With this in mind, a Texas A&M University-Texarkana professor has released a book designed to celebrate the career of one of the world’s leading Middle Ages historians.
Prowess, Piety, and Public Order in Medieval Society, co-edited by Dr. Craig M. Nakashian, associate professor of history at A&M-Texarkana, and Dr. Daniel P. Franke, assistant professor of history at Richard Bland College of William and Mary, honors the life and work of their doctoral adviser, Dr. Richard W. Kaeuper of the University of Rochester.
Dr. Nakashian, writing in the volume’s preface, says of Kaeuper, “If I had to summarize Dick’s approach to mentorship, it would be that he cares. I do not mean, necessarily, that he cares in a purely emotive sense, or that he is empathetic (though both are the case), but rather that he takes a true and organic interest in people, most especially his students. Such selflessness comes naturally to him, and it is a model that I try to emulate in my life and career.”
In the world of academia, this type of book is known as a festschrift – a celebratory publication honoring a respected person and presented during his or her lifetime. This volume represents the latest in a list of honors for Professor Kaeuper. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 1967, working under Professor Joseph Strayer, one of the most formative and important historians of the mid-20th century. He has received a wide variety of awards for his scholarship, including the Verbruggen Prize from De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History, as well as numerous awards from the University of Rochester for his excellence in teaching, an aspect of his career brought out in the volume’s preface, which features recollections of his pastoral care from Drs. Nakashian, Franke and Leah Shopkow of Indiana University. Professor Kaeuper is also an elected fellow of both the Royal Historical Society in the U.K. and the Medieval Academy of America.
Dr. Kaeuper’s career has examined three salient concerns of medieval society – knightly prowess and violence, lay and religious piety, and public order and government – shown most directly in three of his monographs: War, Justice, and Public Order, Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe and Holy Warriors. He has also recently published a volume entitled Medieval Chivalry with Cambridge University Press, which is designed as both a research tool and classroom text.
“Dr. Kaeuper has spent his career working to untangle the various threads holding together cultural constructs such as chivalry, licit violence and lay piety,” Dr. Nakashian says. “This particular festschrift in his honor brings together luminaries from across disciplines, many of them former students, to engage with those same concerns in medieval society from a variety of perspectives.”
The book is divided into five sections – War and Chivalry, Chivalric Identities, Religion and Violence, Kingship, Public Order and the State, and Literature and Culture in Medieval and Early Modern Europe – with 19 chapters in total.
Contributors include Dr. Bernard S. Bachrach, professor emeritus of history, University of Minnesota; Dr. Elizabeth A.R. Brown, professor emerita, City University of New York; Dr. Samuel A. Claussen, assistant professor of history, California Lutheran University; Dr. David Crouch, professor of medieval history, University of Hull; Dr. Thomas Devaney, assistant professor of history, University of Rochester; Dr. Paul Dingman, Early Modern Manuscripts Online project manager, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Daniel P. Franke, assistant professor of history, Richard Bland College of William and Mary; Dr. Richard Firth Green, Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, The Ohio State University; Dr. Christopher Guyol, independent scholar; Dr. John D. Hosler, associate professor of history, Morgan State University; Dr. William Chester Jordan, professor of history, Princeton University; Dr. Craig M. Nakashian, associate professor of history, Texas A&M University-Texarkana; Dr. W. Mark Ormrod, professor of history, University of York; Dr. Russell A. Peck, John Hall Dean Professor of English, University of Rochester; Dr. Anthony J. Pollard, professor emeritus, University of Teesside; Dr. Michael C. Prestwich, professor emeritus of history, Durham University; Sebastian Rider-Bezerra, graduate student, Yale University; Dr. Leah Shopkow, associate professor of history, Indiana University; and Dr. Peter W. Sposato, assistant professor of history, Indiana University-Kokomo.
The book is available from publisher Brill at Brill.com.