Matthew Wranovix, Ph.D.

Matthew Wranovix Headshot
Lecturer
Coordinator of the Honors Program

History Department
College of Arts & Sciences
Education

Ph.D., Yale University, History, 2007
Dissertation Title: “Parish Priests and their Books: Reading, Writing, and Keeping Accounts in the Late Medieval Diocese of Eichstätt”

M.Phil., Medieval Studies, Yale University, 2004

M.A., History, Yale University, 2001

B.A., History, Rice University, 1999

About Matthew

I am a historian of medieval and early modern Europe who specializes in the history of religion, but more broadly speaking I am interested in the circulation, reception, and transformation of ideas. I have written, for example, on clerical education, the circulation of books, and the construction of personal and institutional libraries by members of the secular clergy in fifteenth-century Germany as well as on the legend of the Magi, the wise men from the East who make a brief, tantalizing appearance in the Gospel of Matthew. Recently I have begun to explore medieval attitudes towards games of chance and games of skill in literature, law, and art.

At the University of New Haven I serve as both the Honors Program Director and as a Lecturer in the department of History. I teach courses that stress the history of ideas; for example, I have taught a course about how Greek, Roman, and medieval ideas affected the expectations and behavior of Christopher Columbus and another that traced concepts of crime and punishment from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Enlightenment. I also use Reacting to the Past’s innovative pedagogy, which transforms the classroom into an elaborate, historically rigorous role-playing game. The immersive, competitive environment fostered by this method encourages students to engage with big ideas and classic historical texts in a new way. 

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Publications
Monographs

Priests and Their Books in Late Medieval Eichstätt (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017).

Peer-Review Journal Articles

Tempting Fate: Using a Card Game to Teach Students about the Black Death,
"The Once and Future Classroom" 11.1 (Spring 2013).
http://www.teamsmedieval.org/ofc/Spring2013/Spring2013BlackDeath.html


"Ulrich Pfeffel's Library: Parish Priests, Preachers, and Books in the Fifteenth Century," Speculum 87.4 (2012), 1125-1155. 

Edited Volumes

Boundaries in the Medieval and Modern World: Essays in Honour of Paul Freedman, edited by Thomas Barton, Susan McDonough, Sara McDougall, and Matthew Wranovix (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017).

Encyclopedia Articles

“The Three Kings of Cologne,” in The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage, Larissa J. Taylor et al, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 355-356.

Articles in Edited Volumes

"Pastors of the Soul, Healers of the Body: Parish Priests and the Practice of Medicine in the Late Medieval Diocese of Eichstätt,” in Boundaries in the Medieval and Modern World: Essays in Honour of Paul Freedman, edited by Thomas Barton, Susan McDonough, Sara McDougall, and Matthew Wranovix (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 197-213.

“Paul Freedman: A Man of Many Tastes,” co-authored with Thomas Barton, Susan McDonough, and Sara McDougall, in Boundaries in the Medieval and Modern World: Essays in Honour of Paul Freedman, edited by Thomas Barton, Susan McDonough, Sara McDougall, and Matthew Wranovix (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 4-13.

“A Fragment of the Institutio Canonicorum Promulgated by the Council of Aachen in 816,” in New Studies on Yale Manuscripts from the Late Antique to the Early Modern Period, Robert G. Babcock, ed., Yale University Library Gazette, Occasional Supplement 7 (New Haven, CT: The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 2005), 37-44. 

Academic Honors and Awards

Hans Gatzke Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in European History (May 2008)

Yale University Teaching Fellowship, 2006-2007

Yale University Dissertation Fellowship, 2005-2006

Fulbright Grant Recipient (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany), 2004-2005

Yale University Teaching Fellowship (Yale University), 2003-2004

Yale University Medieval Studies M. Phil. Fellowship, 2002-2003

Yale University Graduate School Fellowship, 1999-2001

Phi Beta Kappa (Rice University), 1999.

Honors Program (Department of History, Rice University), 1998.

Professional Affiliations
  • American Historical Association
  • American Society for Church History
  • Fulbright Association
  • Medieval Academy of America
  • National Collegiate Honors Council
University Service

Honors Program Director, 2011 - present

Conference Activities
Presentations

“Creative Approaches to the Honors Thesis at the University of New Haven,” National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference (Atlanta, GA), 2017.

"Pastors of the Soul, Healers of the Body: Parish Priests and the Practice of Medicine in the Late Medieval Diocese of Eichstätt,” Boundaries in the Medieval and Wider World: Conference in Honor of Paul Freedman (UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Los Angeles, CA), 2016.

"Teaching Historical Thinking Using Simulation Games" PCA-ACA International Conference (Reykjavik, Iceland), 2015.  I co-chaired the panel along with my colleague at the University of New Haven, Dr. Jeffrey Debies-Carl (Sociology).

"In Praise of Scribes? Copying Texts in the Fifteenth-Century Parish," The New England Medieval Conference (Middlebury, VT), 2014.

“Transmission and Selection: Educating the Parish Clergy in Late Medieval Germany,” Transmission, Selection and Dissemination in the European Middle Ages, 1000-1500 (University College Cork, Ireland), 2012.

“Bureaucrats or Bumpkins? The Parish Clergy in Pre-Reformation Germany,” Plymouth State Medieval and Renaissance Forum (Plymouth, NH), 2012.

“Tempting Fate: Using a Card Game to Teach Students about the Black Death,” Plymouth State Medieval and Renaissance Forum (Plymouth, NH), 2012.

“Playing with History: The Use of Conflict-Simulation Board Games in the Classroom,” Creativity, Play and the Imagination across the Disciplines (Teachers’ College, Columbia University, New York, NY), 2011.

“The Definition of Insanity? Bishops, Priests and the Circulation of Diocesan Statutes in the Middle Ages,” 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, MI), 2010.

“Structuring Circulation: Bishops, Priests, and Pastoral Literature in Fifteenth-Century Germany,” 31st International Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference (Villanova University, Villanova, PA), 2006.

“Ulrich Pfeffel’s Library: Priests, Preachers, and their Books in Late Medieval Germany,” 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, MI), 2006.

“Politics and Reform on the Eve of the Reformation,” American Society for Church History Annual Meeting (Philadelphia, PA), 2006.

“Parish Priests and their Books in the Fifteenth-Century Diocese of Eichstätt,” German Historical Institute’s Medieval History Seminar (Venice, Italy), 2005.

Invited Talks

"Good King John? The Origins of Magna Carta," panelist for the event Magna Carta and the Rule of Law (University of New Haven), 2015.

"Sailing Over the Edge: Common Myths and Surprising Truths about the Middle Ages," Medieval Week (Springfield College), 2012.

“Pfarrer und Gemeinde im Bistum Eichstätt: Quellenlage und Fragestellung,” guest lecture, Doktorandkolloquium, (Universität Leipzig), June, 2005.

“Pfarrer und Gemeinde im Bistum Eichstätt: Quellenlage und Fragestellung,” guest lecture, Doktorandkolloquium, (Universität Mainz), June, 2005.

Languges
German
  • Excellent Reading, Writing, and Speaking Proficiency
Latin
  • Excellent Reading Proficiency
French
  • Reading Proficiency
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