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I joined the University of Winchester in 2015 as Lecturer in Early Medieval European History, having taught previously at the University of St Andrews and University of Edinburgh. I completed an MA, MLitt and a PhD on representations of collective action in the Italian proto-communes at the University of St Andrews (graduated 2013). In 2018 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. Outside the University I work as a researcher for Mouseion Ltd and with Paradox Interactive and as an editor for The Public Medievalist.

My teaching interests include the Italian city communes and proto-communes, Church and Empire during the Investiture Contest, and representations of the Middle Ages in modern games.

Areas of expertise

  • Medieval Italian cities and bishops
  • The Investiture Contest
  • The Middle Ages in modern media


Forthcoming/In prep.

  • ‘Crusader Kings Too? (Mis)Representations of the Crusades in Grand Strategy Games’, in V. Cooper and R. Houghton, eds., Playing The Crusades (Routledge, In Preparation).

  • ‘The rebellion of Mantua against Matilda of Canossa (1091 - 1114)’ (In Preparation).
  • ‘Scholarly History through Digital Games: Pedagogical Practice as Research Method’, The Interactive Pasts, 2 (Under Review).
  •  ‘Hugh, Lothar and Berengar: The Balance of Power in Italy 945-950’, Journal of Medieval History (In Press).

  •  ‘If you’re going to be the king, you’d better damn well act like the king: Setting objectives to encourage realistic play in Grand Strategy Computer Games’, in K. Alvestad and R. Houghton, eds., The Middle Ages in Modern Culture: History and Authenticity in Contemporary Medievalism (IBTauris, Forthcoming).

  •  ‘I predict a riot’: What were the Parmese rebelling against in 1037?’, in C. Heath and R. Houghton, eds., Conflict and Violence in Medieval Italy 568-1154 (AUP, Forthcoming).

Articles and chapters

‘World, Rules and Play: Digital Games as Historical Research Tools’, Práticas da História, 7 (2018) pp. 11-43.

‘Reconsidering Donizone’s Vita Mathildis (again): Boniface of Canossa and Emperor Conrad II’, Storicamente, 13 (2017) Art. 15 pp. 1-24.

‘Militant Italian bishops during the Investiture Contest’, in R. Kotecki, J. Maciejewski and J. S. Ott, eds., Between Sword and Prayer: Warfare and Medieval Clergy in Cultural Perspective (Brill, 2017) pp. 274-302.

‘When the bishop’s away... : Absentee bishops of Parma during the Investiture Conflict’, in M. Penman, F. Lachaud and M. Brown, eds., Absentee Authority across Medieval Europe (Boydell and Brewer, 2017) pp. 56-77.

‘Where did you learn that? The self-perceived educational impact of historical computer games on undergraduates’, Gamevironments 5 (2016) pp. 8-45.

 ‘The vocabulary of groups in eleventh century Mantua’, Early Medieval Europe, 24;4 (2016) pp. 448-477.

‘Reconsidering Donizone’s Vita Mathildis: Boniface of Canossa and Emperor Henry II’, Journal of Medieval History, 31;4 (2015) pp. 388-408.

Multimedia credits

Staff Directory