Constance Brittain Bouchard

Constance Brittain Bouchard

Fellow: Awarded 1994
Field of Study: Medieval History

Competition: US & Canada

University of Akron

Constance Brittain Bouchard is a medieval historian, specializing in the history of France from the sixth through the thirteenth century. Her chief interest is the relationship between the church and secular society in Burgundy. She is currently Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Akron, where she has taught since 1990.

She received her A.B. from Middlebury College and her A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, the latter under the direction of Karl F. Morrison. Her first article received the Van Courtlandt prize from the Medieval Academy of America in 1977. Subsequent prizes and fellowships include, as well as a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994, four grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a year-long Membership and a year-long position as Resident Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), the Berkshire Conference article prize, and both the Publication Prize and the designation as Distinguished Historian from the Ohio Academy of History.

Her eleven books include Every Valley Shall Be Exalted: The Discourse of Opposites in Twelfth-Century Thought, which grew out of her Guggenheim fellowship; and Sword, Miter, and Cloister: Nobility and the Church in Burgundy, 980-1198, probably her best-known work. She has also published three editions of medieval cartularies, collections of Latin documents put together in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and has a fourth in press. Cartularies are the major primary sources from which medieval social and ecclesiastical history can be understood. She believes she is the only North American scholar ever to publish four cartularies.

She is currently involved in a long-term study of memory and forgetting in early medieval France, focused on the writing and rewriting of the lives of saints and ancestors.


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