Jeffrey A. Bowman has served as Kenyon’s provost, or chief academic officer, since 2020, and is Kenyon’s acting president during the fall 2022 semester while President Sean Decatur is on sabbatical. As provost, Bowman has been committed to educational excellence and has provided valuable support to faculty as they met the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has played a critical role in shaping and realizing the vision for Kenyon’s next century, advancing key elements of the strategic plan such as the program in computing, nurturing a global curriculum, and continuing to build structures to support students’ success in college and after graduation. Before his appointment as provost, Bowman held progressive positions of leadership within the faculty and administration, including as associate provost and chair of the faculty. 

Bowman joined Kenyon’s faculty as a member of the history department in 1997. Since then, he has taught courses related to Europe and the Mediterranean between 300 and 1500 C.E., the history of Spain and Portugal, food history, travel narratives, and the varied  interactions of Jews, Christians, and Muslim in the premodern Mediterranean. He is committed to promoting and supporting a trans-disciplinary, inclusive and global curriculum for the 21st century.  

Bowman earned his bachelor’s degree in English, cum laude, at Carleton College in Minnesota, and holds master of arts, master of philosophy and doctorate of philosophy degrees in medieval studies from Yale University. His research interests encompass law and society in the medieval Mediterranean, hagiography, and medieval women. He has published articles in Viator, the Journal of Medieval of Iberian Studies, Annales du Midi, the Catholic Historical Review, and in several collected volumes. His 2004 book, “Shifting Landmarks: Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia around the Year 1000” (Cornell University Press), was awarded the American Historical Association’s Premio del Rey book prize. His recent publications have focused on the power of elite women in the 10th through 12th centuries.

Areas of Expertise

Europe and the Mediterranean between 300 and 1500 C.E., Spain and Portugal, medieval travel narratives.

Education

1997 — Doctor of Philosophy from Yale University

1994 — Master of Philosophy from Yale University

1992 — Master of Arts from Yale University

1988 — Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College

Courses Recently Taught

The European continent is incredibly diverse: geographically, culturally, economically, ethnically and politically (to name only the most obvious factors). Throughout the semester we will explore this diversity of experiences since the end of the 18th century. We will look at issues of race, class and gender, as well as violence, poverty, faith, nationalism, technology and art. We will read novels and memoirs, watch films and listen to music as we hone our historical knowledge and sensibilities regarding modern Europe, its peoples and its governments. We will examine the fates of a variety of nations, using examples from across the continent. This counts toward the modern requirement for the major and minor.

Prerequisite: permission of department chair.