prof. dr. Steven Vanderputten

dr. Micol Long

drs. Johan Belaen

drs. Wannes Verstrepen (under construction)

drs. Catherine Rosbrook (under construction)


Former staff

dr. Tjamke Snijders

dr. Benjamin Pohl 

dra. Helena Vanommeslaeghe

drs. Koen Vanheule

dra. Jirki Thibaut

drs. Sam Janssens

drs. Pieter Byttebier

dra. Julia Exarchos 

dr. Nicolas Ruffini

dr. Gerben Verbrugghe

Steven Vanderputten

Steven Vanderputten is an historian of the society and culture of the Early and High Middle Ages. His research focuses on the development of religious communities, particularly those that can be broadly identified as belonging to monasticism as a social and cultural phenomenon. It covers a wide range of subjects, including memory and the shaping of collective identities, conflict management, rituals and public behavior, oral and written practices of communication, gender and gendered identities, leadership, institutional development, and discourses and realities of ecclesiastical and religious reform. His work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, including Speculum, Viator, The Journal of Medieval History, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Traditio, The Catholic Historical Review, Studia Monastica, Revue Bénédictine, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire, Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, Le Moyen Age, Studi Medievali, and Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique. In April 2013, Cornell University Press published Monastic Reform as Process: Realities and Representations in Medieval Flanders, 900-1100, and in October of the same year, LIT Verlag published the collection Reform, conflict and the shaping of corporate identities. Collected studies on Benedictine monasticism, 1050-1150. In January 2015, he and Diane Reilly jointly published a critical edition of Bishop Gerard of Cambrai's Acta Synodi Atrebatensis, along with several related texts from early-eleventh-century Cambrai, in Brepols’ series Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis. In June 2015, Cornell University Press published his monograph Imagining Religious leadership in the Middle Ages. Richard of Saint-Vanne and the Politics of Reform; and in May 2018 it did the same for another monograph titled Dark Age Nunneries. The Ambiguous Identity of Female Monasticism, 800-1050. His new book, Medieval Monasticisms. Forms and Experiences of Monastic Life in the Latin West, will be published by De Gruyter in April 2020.  He also edited and co-edited several volumes of essays. 

Vanderputten's current position at UGent's History Department is that of full professor in the history of the early and high Middle Ages. In 2005, 2010, and 2015, Ghent University's Special Research Fund awarded him one of its five-year research professorships. His Fellowships include Clare Hall (Cambridge University, 2003), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, 2005), the Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (Eichstätt, 2008), the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Wassenaar, 2009-2010), the Flemish Academic Center (Brussels, 2011-2012),  the Institute for Advanced Study of Indiana University (Bloomington, 2012). In February 2017, he was a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Bristol University,  and in April 2017, he was an invited professor of the Accademia dei Lincei at the University of Milan/Brescia. In April 2012, he was awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Humboldt Foundation for his contribution to historical scholarship. In October 2013, the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts proclaimed him Laureate in Humanities. The title of Laureate is the Academy's highest distinction for scholars.

He has led multiple funded research projects: on monastic reform in the tenth to twelfth centuries, the ‘ambiguous identity’ of female religious in the tenth and eleventh centuries, competitive aspects of the Peace of God, ritual practices of authority in the tenth to twelfth centuries,, and distinction narratives in the long tenth century. In 2009-2014 he also acted as spokesman of the international research group "Conventus. Problems of religious communal life in the central middle ages"; he is currently acting as vice-chair of Ghent University's "Henri Pirenne Consortium for Medieval Studies" and the international research association “Episcopus”, and as member of the Scientific Committee of the collection "Corpus membranarum Capuanarum" (Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane) and the series "Vita Regularis" (LIT Verlag). From 2012, he has been associated to the Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG) of the Technische Universität Dresden. Finally, he acted as coordinator of the special strand "Reform and renewal" of 2015's International Medieval Conference in Leeds.




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Micol Long

Micol Long is a postdoctoral research fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders. She joined the Department of Medieval History in October 2014 to work on a project entitled Learning as shared practice. Towards a new understanding of education in monastic communities of the High Middle Ages. In 2013 she obtained her PhD at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, with a dissertation on epistolary autography in the High Middle Ages which will be published in 2014. In 2013-2014 she was a DAAD Postdoctoral Scholarship holder at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich / Monumenta Germaniae Historica.

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Sam Janssens 

Sam Janssens is working on a doctoral dissertation regarding the Peace of God and its competitive aspects in the Central Middle Ages. His project is titled:The Peace as an Instrument of Social Competition: Towards a Non-Homeostatic Interpretation of Political Relations in the Central Middle Ages (Western Europe, late tenth-early twelth centuries).  He was employed at Department of Medieval History in 2013-2017.

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Pieter Byttebier

Pieter Byttebier is working on a doctoral dissertation on the performative aspects of episcopal leadership in the 'long eleventh century'. His project is titled: The performative construction of episcopal authority in eleventh-century Lotharingia: towards an integrated analysis of speech acts, ritual behaviour and spatial representation. He worked at the Department of Medieval History as an FWO-research fellow between 2013-2017. 

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Jirki Thibaut

Jirki Thibaut is working on a doctoral dissertation on female monastic identities and social positioning in Saxony during the ninth to eleventh centuries. Her project is titled 'Ambiguous' identities of female religious groups in ninth- to eleventh-century Saxony. She worked at the Department of Medieval History between October 2015 and December 2019 as an FWO-project collaborator. In February 2020 she defended her PhD dissertation titled "Rectamque regulam servare. De ambigue observantie en heterogene identiteit van vrouwengemeenschappen in Saksen, ca. 800-1050".

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Johan Belaen

Johan Belaen is working on a doctoral dissertation on Benedictine monasticism in the later twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. His project is titled: The formation of an order and the shaping of congregational structures in thirteenth-century Benedictine monasticism: a bottom-up analysis. He joined the Department of Medieval History in October 2015 as an FWO-project collaborator.

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Gerben Verbrugghe

Gerben Verbrugghe is working on a doctoral dissertation on the Flemish influence on settlement landscapes in South Wales (twelfth century). His project is titled ‘Little Flanders beyond Wales. A landscape archaeological contribution to the discussion of Flemish influence on settlement landscapes in the British Isles’. He is based at the Department of Archaeology since November 2016 (supervisor: Wim Declercq, co-supervisor: Steven Vanderputten) and works closely together with the Departments of Medieval History and Geography as a BOF-fellowship collaborator.


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Tjamke Snijders 

Tjamke Snijders joined the Department of Medieval History in October 2005 to work on her doctoral dissertation, which dealt with the layout and the composition of hagiographical manuscripts between the tenth century and the end of the twelfth (defended in 2009). As a postdoctoral researcher of the Research Foundation Flanders she continued to use manuscripts as an inroad to study the cultural history of the high Middle Ages. Her dissertation was published in 2015, and in 2017 she co-edited a volume about the history of medieval Liège with Steven Vanderputten and Jay Diehl. In 2018 she left the Department of History to work at KU Leuven. 


Benjamin Pohl

Between February and August of 2015 Benjamin Pohl joined the team as a postdoctoral researcher in the FWO-project Monastic leadership in the post-charismatic age: constructing a new paradigm for the study of reforms before the emergence of the great Orders (Western Europe, tenth-early twelfth centuries). His appointment was co-funded through a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Humboldt Foundation. His project concerned the dynamics of monastic identity formation and cross-cultural exchange in the duchy of Normandy between the early tenth and mid-eleventh century. Pohl was subsequently appointed lecturer at Bristol University.


Helena Vanommeslaeghe 

Helena Vanommeslaeghe joined the team in October 2010 as a BOF-project collaborator. She prepared and successfully defended (2017) a PhD dissertation on the representation of abbatial leadership in eleventh- and twelfth-century Lotharingia. 


Koen Vanheule

Koen Vanheule joined the team in 2011 as an FWO-project collabotator. He prepared and succesfully defended (2016) a PhD dissertation on second-generation abbatial leadership in tenth- to twelfth-century Lotharingia. 


Julia Exarchos

Julia Exarchos joined the team in 2013 as a collaborator of the BOF-project Ritual scripting as work in progress: codifying rituals of conflict and reconciliation in the Medieval West (tenth-twelfth centuries). She worked on a doctoral dissertation on the relation between ritual scripting and ritual practice  in liturgical manuals, and left UGent in December 2016.


Nicolas Ruffini-Ronzani

Nicolas Ruffini-Ronzani prepared a doctoral dissertation entitled Église et aristocratie dans le diocèse de Cambrai (Xe-XIIe siècles). Pour une relecture des cadres sociopolitiques du Moyen Âge central at the University of Namur (supervisor: Jean-François Nieus, co-supervisor: Steven Vanderputten), which he defended in 2014. He is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher of the FNRS.