Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Laura M. Carlson





D.Phil. University of Oxford, 2012
M.St. University of Oxford, 2008
M.A. University of Toronto, 2007
B.A. University of San Diego, 2006


Laura Carlson specializes in cultural and intellectual history of late antiquity and the early medieval period, with a focus on the Carolingian Empire and northern Iberia. Her work examines intellectual networks of exchange throughout the medieval Mediterranean. An investigation into the contribution of Iberia as a center for intellectual thought in its own right as well as its transmission of texts throughout the early medieval landscape augments our understanding of cultural exchange in the early medieval world. On a broader level, her research emphasizes the intertwined social, religious, and political context of medieval European literary culture, using the Carolingians as a crucible by which classical textual material was received, adapted, and transmitted. Recent publications include studies of the influence of Isidore of Seville within Carolingian religious and political thought. Her upcoming co-edited volume, A Companion to Medieval Letters and Letter-Writing, will provide a much-needed treatment of methodologies useful for studying medieval epistolary material.

She is also the host and producer of the culinary history podcast, The Feast  ( ), a biweekly look at great meals from history. 

Courses Taught

History Department

Hist 121: The Intellectual Origins of the Contemporary West
Hist 250: The Middle Ages
Hist 430/828: The Crusades and the Latin Kingdoms
Hist 449: Topics in the Medieval Mediterranean

Classics Department

CLST 321: The World of Late Antiquity
LATN 209: Intermediate Latin

Select Publications

Edited Volumes

Co-Editor, Companion to Medieval Letters and Letter-Writing (anticipated 2018)

Book Chapters

“Defining and Classifying the Medieval Letter”
    Chapter, Companion to Medieval Letters and Letter-Writing (anticipated 2018)

‘Adoption, Adaptation & Authority: Isidore of Seville & the Opus Caroli Regis contra Synodum’ Isidore of Seville and his Reception in the Early Middle Ages (Amsterdam University Press, 2016)


'Dangerous Acquisitions? An Examination of History's Appropriation and Utilization of Ritual Theory', Journal of the Oxford University History Society, 6, 2009

'Thomas Fisher MS 5288: A Late Link in the Transmission of Augustine', Halycon: Journal of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Issue No. 40, December 2007

Research Positions

Marjorie Oliver McLean Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012-2015)
International Society for the History of Rhetoric Fellowship (2012-2013)
Past & Present Junior Research Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research (2011-2012)


Rev: October 2016