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Archaeology and History

Photo of Professor James Clark

Professor James Clark

Director of Societies and Cultures Institute


01392 725684


My historical interests are focused on the period between the Black Death and the Break with Rome. While a medievalist by training, I explore themes in religion, intellectual and cultural life which reach across the traditional boundaries of medieval and early modern; likewise, my approach is informed not only by the sources and methods of the historian but also by those of researchers in literary, artistic and material culture.

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My research explores religion, learning and book culture in England (especially) between the Black Death and the Break with Rome, a period traditionally disparaged as lacking both the vitality of the high Middle Ages and vision of the Renaissance. My work seeks to unsettle – sometimes to challenge – this old orthodoxy, offering new insights into institutions and individuals, patterns of writing, reading and thought, drawn from the rich (but still somewhat neglected) body of archival, literary and material sources.

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I welcome doctoral proposals on any aspect of church, intellectual and religious life in the later Middle Ages and pre-Reformation  period. Particular interests include (but are not confined to) monastic culture, the universities after Wyclif, the reception of the classics and the production, transmission and reading of books in manuscript and early print.

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2023 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2005 | 2004 |



  • Marsh HFT. (2020) Each According to His Manner: Latinate Chroniclers in England 1377–1422.



  • Lewis HW, Sanchez JMC, Arnold A, Fallmann J, Saulter A, Graham J, Bush M, Siddorn J, Palmer T, Lock A. (2018) The UKC3 regional coupled environmental prediction system, pages 1-67, DOI:10.5194/gmd-2018-245.
  • Clark JG. (2018) Cistercian histories in late medieval England, and beyond, Monastic Life in the Medieval British Isles Essays in Honour of Janet Burton, University of Wales Press.



  • Butenschön M, Clark J, Aldridge JN, Allen JI, Artioli Y, Blackford J, Bruggeman J, Cazenave P, Ciavatta S, Kay S. (2016) ERSEM 15.06: a generic model for marine biogeochemistry and the ecosystem dynamics of the lower trophic levels, Geoscientific Model Development, volume 9, no. 4, pages 1293-1339, DOI:10.5194/gmd-9-1293-2016.
  • Cole M, Lindeque PK, Fileman E, Clark J, Lewis C, Halsband C, Galloway TS. (2016) Microplastics Alter the Properties and Sinking Rates of Zooplankton Faecal Pellets, Environ Sci Technol, volume 50, no. 6, pages 3239-3246, DOI:10.1021/acs.est.5b05905. [PDF]
  • Clark JG. (2016) Monastic preaching in the later Middle Ages, The Cambridge History of Western Monasticism, Cambridge University Press.
  • Clark JG. (2016) Monks and universities, The Cambridge History of Western Monasticism, Cambridge University Press.
  • Clark JG. (2016) The dissolution of the monasteries: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, The Oxford Handbook of Christian Monasticism, Oxford University Press.
  • Clark JG. (2016) The reception of Orderic Vitalis in the later Middle Ages, Orderic Vitalis: Life, Works and Interpretations, Boydell Press, 352-374. [PDF]



  • Clark JG. (2014) The Regular Clergy, A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, Boydell & Brewer, 176-206.


  • Kreft J-U, Plugge CM, Grimm V, Prats C, Leveau JHJ, Banitz T, Baines S, Clark J, Ros A, Klapper I. (2013) Mighty small: Observing and modeling individual microbes becomes big science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, volume 110, no. 45, pages 18027-18028, DOI:10.1073/pnas.1317472110.
  • Clark JG. (2013) Why Men Became Monks in Late Medieval England, Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages, Boydell Press.


  • Clark JG, Coulson FT, McKinley KL. (2011) Ovid in the Middle Ages.
  • Clark JG. (2011) The Benedictines in the Middle Ages, Boydell.


  • Walsingham TD, Walsingham T. (2005) The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, 1376-1422, Boydell Press.


  • Clark JG. (2004) A Monastic Renaissance at St Albans Thomas Walsingham and His Circle C.1350-1440, Oxford University Press on Demand.

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External impact and engagement


I am a regular contributor to TV, Radio, News Media and online coverage of medieval, Reformation and early Renaissance themes. I have been historical consultant for TV documentaries such as Tudor Monastery Farm for BBC TV and film dramas such as Starzz The White Queen. Most recently I have contributed to a 2-part documentary on Thomas Cromwell and the Henrician Reformation presented by Tracy Borman for Channel 5.

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In 2021 and the first term of 2021/22 I will be on Research Leave.                  

Modules taught

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My training in medieval and pre-Reformation history began as an undergraduate at Bristol under the guidance of Anthony Tuck, Ronald Hutton and, briefly, when a visiting professor, Geoffrey Elton. It was continued at New College, Oxford, where I completed a DPhil under the supervision of Jeremy Catto. As a Junior Research Fellow and British Academy Posdoctoral Fellow at Brasenose College, I remained in Oxford until 2001. I joined the History Department at Bristol in 2001/2, progressing to a personal chair in 2010/11. I came to the History Department at Exeter in April 2013. I was elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2008. I am a founder member of the editorial board of the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies (Brepols). In 2013/14 I held a Visiting Professorship in Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2015-21 I held the role of Associate Dean for Research & Impact in the College of Humanities. 

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