Bowman wins book award
Jeffrey Bowman of the history department has won the 2004 Premio del Rey Prize from the American Historical Association for his book Shifting Landmarks: Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia Around the Year 1000. The prize is awarded biennially for the best book written on medieval Spanish history and culture. Bowman, an associate professor who has taught at the College since 1997, currently holds the John B. McCoy-Bank One Distinguished Teaching Professorship.
Published by Cornell University Press, Shifting Landmarks offers insights into medieval European society, power, and law by closely examining the records of property disputes during a period when no single law code was accepted as authoritative. The "landmarks" of the title refer not only to actual markers on the land but also to shifting legal conceptions, including the concept of proof and the definition of property itself.
In discussing the disputes, Bowman sketches portraits of judges, nobles, abbots, and families, so that the book provides pictures of daily life as well as analyses of social, political, and intellectual trends.
Bowman, who is codirecting the Kenyon-Exeter Program in England this year, teaches courses related to Europe and the Mediterranean between 300 and 1500, the history of Spain and Portugal, medieval travel narratives, and food in the premodern world. His research interests lie in three areas: Iberia and the Mediterranean from late antiquity to around the year 1200; law and conflict in the premodern world; and sanctity, hagiography, and the cult of saints.