Harold Garrett-Goodyear's research focuses on late medieval and early modern history, and on the domestic, local, national, regional, and global processes that led from a) serfdom to chattel slavery and wage labor; b) customary bonds to legal sanctions; and c) feudal lordship to national statehood in Europe and the Americas. He has studied English court records, both local and royal, and the conflicts that they reveal between lords and peasants on the one hand, and between royal authority and local governors on the other, between c. 1381 and c. 1660.
In addition to his regular course offerings in history, critical social thought, women's studies, and medieval studies, Garrett-Goodyear has taught community-based learning courses that bring together students, faculty, and community organizations to work on projects that allow students to spend time learning outside of the classroom. His commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry and teaching includes participation in the women's studies, critical social thought, and medieval studies programs.
In the summer of 2005 Garrett-Goodyear began a four-year transition to full retirement, during which he will offer courses in critical social thought, history and medieval studies. He also will continue research on late medieval peasants and their lords and pursue more vigorously a deeper understanding of pre-hispanic and colonial-era peoples of MesoAmerica, as well as of contemporary human rights issues in the same region.