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What’s Left Behind? Veterans, Widows, and Orphans in the Era of the Crusades

November 14 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Medieval carving of Blanche of Navarre.
Blanche of Navarre: Archives Nationales de France, J 199, 4

Randall Todd Pippenger

Solmsen Fellow (2022-2023)

Lecturer in History, Department of History, Princeton University


“What’s Left Behind?” will investigate a single, and singular, moment in time. Supported by the Church and buttressed by its evolving doctrinal beliefs, in 1212 Blanche of Navarre, the regent countess of Champagne, issued the county’s first statute, its first law. That law guaranteed the right of women to inherit land, castles, and lordships in her county. One of the most important moments in Champagne’s history, 1212 illustrates both the dramatic and lasting effects that crusading wrought on the social fabric of Europe, the agency of the veterans, widows, and orphans of that movement, as well as the complexities that underlay the gendered politics of the medieval world.

Randall Todd Pippenger received his PhD from Princeton University in 2018. In 2021-22 he held the Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, and his article “Lives on Hold: The Dampierre Family, Captivity and the Crusades in Thirteenth-Century Champagne,” Journal of Medieval History (2018), won the 2020 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America for best first article in medieval studies. His research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society’s Franklin Grant, the American Historical Association’s Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant, the Medieval Academy of America’s Charles T. Wood Grant, as well as by grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Center for Culture, Society and Religion at Princeton University.

*Events currently open only to 2022-23 fellows due to space concerns; please contact IRH at info@irh.wisc.edu to be added to a cancellation list for in-person events.*


November 14
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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