Dr Paul F Crawford

Contact Details

Department of History and Political Science
California University of Pennsylvania
250 University Avenue
California, Pennsylvania 15419
Tel: (724) 938-6054

Email: crawford_p@cup.edu


When and where did you initially develop an interest in the history of the crusades and/or the Latin East?

In graduate school, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, c 1990-1991.

Who or what sparked your enthusiasm for the subject?

It’s hard to say, exactly, now, but I think it was crusade-related material in a course I was taking.


Please provide details of your Higher Education, including dates, institution(s) and the name(s) of your research supervisors.

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998
  • MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993
  • BA, Peru State College (Nebraska), 1984
    Supervisor: Professor John Barker, UW-Madison (now emeritus)

Career History

Please provide details of your academic career history, including confirmation of your current institutional affiliation and contact details.

2006 - present  Assistant Professor, California University of Pennsylvania
2001 - 2005  Assistant Professor, Alma College (Research Fellow 2005-06)
1999 - 2001  Full-time Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
1998 - 1999  Adjunct Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
1995 - 1997  Instructor, Senior Summer School in Madison
1996  Adjunct Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
1991 and 1995  TA, UW-Madison
1985 - 1990  Full-time Instructor, Lamar Community College

Influences and Methodologies

What ideas and/or methodologies have informed your approach to your research?

A general desire to bring the past to life and allow it to speak to contemporary society.  I prefer more traditional methods of approaching history to more trendy modern ones; I do not employ much in the way of critical theory, as I think that it is more a distraction and detraction than a help to historical understanding.  It seems important to me to understand the sources in their context, but also to have the humility to let the sources speak for themselves and to meet them on their own terms—and then to try to help them speak to the modern world

Research Outlook

What do you consider to be the most important avenues for future research in the field of crusader studies?

There are too many to list – this is an exciting field to be in, and I have never regretted choosing it. That said, there are some obvious lacuna. Much remains to be done on the later crusades, 1291-1798. Much also remains to be done to examine relations between Christendom, both West and East, and the Islamic world between 632 and 1095. I would especially like to see someone working in the 10th and 11th centuries, focussing on the conflict between Provencal and Italian cities and Muslim forces from North Africa.

In addition, there is much still to be done in the “traditional” area of the crusades.  We need a new, thorough history of the Third Crusade, for example.

As a footnote, and a sort of continuation of my comments on “Influences and Methodologies,” above: I hope that crusade studies does NOT succumb to the temptation to follow trendy methodologies, theories, and practices, as so much of the historical profession has done.  Trends come and go.  Traditional history, grounded in and respectful of its sources, will be a lasting source of value and even pleasure as long as mankind exists.  Crusade history has done a good job providing this sort of valuable work in the past half century (and more).  I hope it will always continue to do so.

Research Output

Please provide details of your research output, including publications and other media as appropriate.

  • The Templar of Tyre: Part III of the "Deeds of the Cypriots" (Crusade Texts in Translation 6), Ashgate Publishing, 2003.  [Significant excerpts reprinted in An Eyewitness History of the Crusades, ed Christopher Tyerman, 4 vols, London: Folio Society, 2004.]


  • "Imagination and the Templars: the development of the order-state in the early fourteenth century," in Annual Review [Epeteris] of the Cyprus Research Centre 30 (2004), pp 113-21.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • Articles on “Alexandria, capture of,” “Foulques de Villaret,” “Guillaume de Machaut,” “Poulains,” and “St Thomas, Knights of” for The Crusades: an encyclopedia, ed Alan V Murray, 4 vols, Oxford: ABC-Clio, 2006, pp 44-45, 492-93, 548-49, 984, 1181-82.
  • "The Military Orders in Italy," for Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia, edited Christopher Kleinhenz et al, Routledge, 2004, pp 720-22.