Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson


Former affiliation
  • Lecturer in Late Medieval History, History

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to receive inquiries from prospective students who want to work on later medieval British/European social, cultural, or institutional history. I am particularly interested in the following areas:

- Law, governments, and authority
- Church courts and ecclesiastical institutions
- News, information, and rumour
- Material culture and materiality

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research explores the lives of ordinary people during the Middle Ages and their interactions with institutions and authorities. In particular, my current work explores the way that law and legal ideas were used in everyday life in fifteenth century England, in order to better understand this period of dramatic social, cultural and political transformation. I am currently finishing a book on this topic.

My next project will explore the relationship between law and "materiality", a broad theoretical approach which aims to investigate and critique law's material formations in the Middle Ages. Using a mixture of archival and treatise sources, it aims both to advance the application of this kind of theory to medieval history, while expanding our concept of what law was, and what it could do within this society. 


I read History at Cambridge (2010), before moving to Oxford for an MSt. (2011). I then pursued my doctorate at Birkbeck, finally catching up with it in July 2014, under the supervision of John Arnold; the title was "Law, Space, and Local Knowledge in Late-Medieval England". 

I then spent a year in academic by-employment, working as a tutor for an American exchange programme and translating Latin. In January 2015 I was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, which I took up in July of the same year.

In January 2016, I came to York as a Lecturer in Late-Medieval History.