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Dr Carl Watkins

Dr Carl Watkins

University Senior Lecturer in Central Medieval History

Magdalene College
Cambridge CB3 0AG

Departments and Institutes

Magdalene College:

Research Interests

Carl Watkins carries out research into religious culture in the central and later middle ages and is especially interested in beliefs about, and conceptualisations of, the supernatural in this period. His work encompasses the methodological problems of studying medieval religion,'high' theological change and 'popular' beliefs about the afterlife and ghosts, angels and demons, miracles and divine signs. He has written about concepts of sinfulness and the emergence of purgatory, has completed a book for Cambridge University Press which explores beliefs about the supernatural in a medieval English context and has, more recently, explored beliefs about the dead during the middle ages and beyond in a wider-ranging book published by Bodley Head. He is a fellow of Magdalene College where he directs studies in history.

Research Supervision

Carl Watkins supervises M.Phil and PhD students in British and western European religious and political history of the central and later middle ages.

Teaching

Teaching interests span British political, religious and social history from c.1000 to c.1500 and European history from c.900-1250.

Key Publications

  • 'Sin, Penance and Purgatory in the Anglo-Norman Realm: the evidence of visions and ghost stories', Past and Present (2002).
  • History and the Supernatural in Medieval England, Cambridge University Press (2007).
  • ‘Religion and Belief’ in A Social History of England, 900-1200, ed. Elisabeth van Houts and Julia Crick, Cambridge University Press (2011).
  • ‘Providence, Experience and Doubt in the Middle Ages’, in Fictions of Knowledge: Fact, Evidence, Doubt, ed. S. Mukherji, Y. Batsaki and J.-M. Schramm, Palgrave (2011).
  • 'Landscape and Belief in Anglo-Norman England', Anglo-Norman Studies 35 (2013).
  • The Undiscovered Country: journeys among the dead, Bodley Head (2013).
  • King Stephen, Penguin Monarchs (2015)