Dr James Doherty

Department of History
Teaching Fellow in Medieval History

Contact details

Department of History
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a historian of medieval culture, memory and identity, focusing in particular on the impact of the crusading movement. My publications have explored these subjects in the period between the high Middle Ages and the early modern era, and my most recent article, which examined the commemoration of crusaders in late medieval England, appeared in English Historical Review. My forthcoming book – The Rise of a Crusading Culture – will examine the interplay between crusade ideals and aristocratic culture in twelfth-century Europe. It will be published by Routledge as part of their Advances in Crusades Research series.


  • PhD Medieval History (Lancaster University)
  • AFHEA (Lancaster University)
  • MA Medieval Studies (University of Liverpool)
  • BA (Hons) History (University of Liverpool) 


Since completing a PhD in Medieval History in 2014, I have held both research and teaching roles. I was a Research Associate for the GW4 Medieval Studies network in 2015, and I was Network Facilitator for the Charlemagne: A European Icon project, which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, between 2015 and 2018. In addition, I have taught at Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Glasgow and the University of Leeds, where I was also Deputy Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies. I joined the University of Birmingham as Teaching Fellow in Medieval History in 2021.


In the first semester, I teach on the following modules:

  • Discovering the Middle Ages
  • Radical Pieties
  • Approaches to Medieval Studies
  • Approaches to Medieval Studies DL
  • Sources and Research Techniques for the Study of West Midlands History

In the second semester, I teach on the following modules:

  • Living in the Middle Ages
  • People and Places B
  • Group Research
  • Medieval Warfare DL
  • Understanding Medieval Documents DL
  • Sources and Research Techniques for the Study of West Midlands History


My research focuses on the impact of the crusading movement on culture, identity and memory in Europe and the Mediterranean. My first book, The Rise of a Crusading Culture, will make use of a number of case studies to explore the processes that infused crusading ideals into aristocratic culture in twelfth-century Europe. 

I am also involved in two further ventures. First, I am a supervising scholar, alongside Professor Nicholas L. Paul (Fordham University), on the Independent Crusaders Project. This teaching and research tool, which although available online is still in development, focuses attention on the understudied subject of armed pilgrimage in the eastern Mediterranean in the years between the ‘numbered’ crusades. I am also in the early stages of a research project on the seventeenth-century reception of Thomas Fuller’s Historie of the Holy Warre (first published 1639). This is the first stage of a wider examination of memories of crusading and crusaders in the period 1600–1800.