My institution, Florida State College at Jacksonville, is a former community college that now offers four year degrees. The transition from a community college to a “state college” has been slow and incomplete as we remain, at heart, a community college. As a result, there is no publishing requirement for its historians although academic publications do count toward “professional development” in the awarding of tenure or “continuing contract.” Moreover, while we have heavy teaching loads, the college supports its historians through the option of taking one year sabbaticals during which a professor can work on a book.
Even with such a benefit, however, writing can be a challenge as we teach what are known as 5/5 loads, meaning our professors teach five courses in the fall and five in the spring, unlike research universities or liberal arts colleges that have teaching loads typically in the 2/2 or 3/3 range. Even a 4/4 load would be a significant reduction from the requirements of our professors. Yet even with these challenges our historians have, it seems to me, been exceptionally productive (solely for the love of writing about history) when it comes to academic publishing.
Below is a chronologically arranged list of books by FSCJ historians published (or forthcoming) by various academic presses. It will be updated over time. Continue reading →
Above Images: (left to right) Professor Laurence Marvin of Berry College, Professor Patrick Geary of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Professor Florin Curta of the University of Florida.
When I was working on my Ph.D. in history, I believed that I was the only student in the graduate program at the University of Florida that had any military experience. I may have been wrong, but I was not aware of anyone else who had served. Continue reading →
In 1940, the eminent crusade historian John L. La Monte complained of how, with the possible exception of Renaissance Florence, “no field” of historical research “has been the subject of so much worthless historical trash” as the medieval crusades. Over the last fifteen years, since I first began to study the medieval crusading movement as an undergraduate, I have increasingly come to appreciate the dim view of La Monte, as many crusade historians have continued to have very similar concerns about much of what has been published on the subject in the seventy-five years since La Monte first made his claim.
Consequently, when historian Alfred J. Andrea and I began to consider the idea of a book on modern popular myths of the medieval crusades, we were not surprised by the widespread interest we found among crusade historians in the project. Indeed, since 2008, when Al and I first discussed the topic at a crusade history conference in St. Louis, a number of crusade historians have had serious questions about the project, expressed curiosity over which of the many possible myths we might address, and often also expressed an interest in contributing to the project. Thus, it is not surprising that our final effort, Seven Myths of the Crusades, to be published in September 2015 by Hackett Publishing, involves the collective efforts of ten professional medieval historians who all teach, research, and write about the crusades. One of those historians is the widely respected and well-known Dr. Paul Crawford of California University of Pennsylvania.