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Phyllis Jestice

Professor, Chair

Address: Maybank 203
Office Hours: MWF 1–2 or by appointment
Phone: 843.953.5938

The History faculty welcomes Professor Phyllis Jestice as department Chair for 2013-2014. She comes to the department from the University of Southern Mississippi where she served as Chair of the Department of History since 2005. Her research specialty is medieval European history with an emphasis in tenth- and eleventh-century German history. Dr. Jestice’s academic background includes a Ph.D. and M.A. in History and Humanities from Stanford University, and a B.A. in European History from the University of Puget Sound.

Her teaching interests have also led to a significant sideline in medieval (especially naval) warfare, with a large number of articles and book chapters for popular histories as well as the single-authored volume The Timeline of Medieval Warfare (Amber Books, 2008).

In her spare time Professor Jestice also translates from both German and French; she has published translations of Whalen Lai and Michael von Brück's Christianity and Buddhism (Orbis, 2001) Gerd Althoff's Otto III (Penn State, 2003), and Nikolas Jaspert’s The Crusades (Routledge, 2006). 


Ph.D., History and Humanities, Stanford University, 1989

M.A. History and Humanities, Stanford University, 1985.

B.A., University of Puget Sound, 1982.

Research Interests

History of medieval Europe with special research emphasis in tenth and eleventh century German history. Work in progress: "The Imperial Ladies: Gender and the Ruler's Craft in Ottonian Germany."

Publication of research tools for the historical community, translations, and history for the general audience.

Courses Taught

The Crusades
British Civil War

Honors and Awards

2005 USM Aubrey K. and Ella G. Lucas Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award 
2008 Mississippi Humanities Council Humanities Teacher Award.


Wayward Monks and the Religious Revolution of the Eleventh Century. E.J. Brill, Studies in Intellectual History, 1997.

 "A Great Jewish Conspiracy?  Worsening Jewish-Christian  Relations and the Destruction of the Holy Sepulcher." In Christian Attitudes toward Jews in the Middle Ages: A Casebook, ed. Michael Frassetto.  Routledge, 2007.

"A New Fashion in Imitating Christ: Changing Spiritual Perspectives around the Year 1000." In
The Year 1000: Reactions and Responses, ed. Michael Frassetto.  Brill, 2003.

Encyclopedia of Irish Spirituality (ABC-Clio, 2001).

"Why Celibacy?  Odo of Cluny and the Development of a New Sexual Morality," in Medieval Purity and Piety. Essays on Medieval Clerical Celibacy and Religious Reform, ed. Michael Frassetto, Garland, 1998.