Carole E. Straw

Professor of History

Specialization
Late antique and medieval history: church history, classical traditions and Christianity, martyrdom, monasticism

Carole Straw is the author of two books, several articles, and numerous conference papers. Her book, Gregory the Great: Perfection in Imperfection (University of California Press,1991), won the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America in 1992 and was praised by reviewers as a "model of scholarship"; "the indispensable starting point for anyone seeking the roots and basic contours of medieval spirituality." Straw is coeditor of the forthcoming book The Past Before Us: The New Historiographies of Late Antiquity. In addition to numerous articles on Gregory the Great, she has published on other writers, such as Augustine of Hippo and Cyprian of Carthage, and written on such topics as the apocalypse in the age of the martyrs, Christian martyrdom and classical tradition, and the seven deadly sins. She is presently working on a book dealing with early Christian tradition entitled Heroic Christianity.

Straw teaches all levels of history and medieval studies courses, with subjects ranging from The Middle Ages: 312-1300, to Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe: The Medieval Church, to Martyrdom as Social Protest: Resistance and Honor in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Her class on medieval monasticism draws special interest. Students have praised her for her enthusiasm for teaching (especially teaching students how to write analytical essays) and her dedication to learning. One student describes her experience in one of Straw's courses as "simply amazing," while another notes that Straw is an "incredible teacher ... one of MHC's best-kept secrets!"