Randall Todd Pippenger
Randall Todd Pippenger is a Lecturer in History and the incoming Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. He specializes in the social and religious history of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin between the years 1000 and 1500. His research projects are motivated by two questions: how religion shaped the mentalités, actions, and memories of individuals and communities, and how the medieval family influenced, and were influenced by, the societies around them. Framed by those central questions, his research addresses women and gender roles in medieval society; theories of good governance and rulership; the relationships between power and authority, doctrine and praxis; and the role of cross-cultural contact and the crusades, and religious violence and persecution more broadly.
Randall is currently completing his first book project, Left Behind: Veterans, Widows, and Orphans in the Era of the Crusades. The difficulties military families face on the home front during wartime, the struggles of veterans to reintegrate into society after war, the fate of military widows and orphans, and the emergence of family traditions of military service were as vitally-important issues in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe as they continue to be in twenty-first-century America. Left Behind engages larger debates about the impact of religious violence and persecution within societies, their influence on social values and family practices, and the development of the mentalités and institutions which sustain them, but more importantly, it recovers the true costs of crusading and holy war in the Middle Ages: the neglected experiences of the veterans and casualties of the crusading movement, their personal struggles and triumphs, and the lives of those they left behind: their wives and children, widows and orphans.
For his research, Randall was awarded the Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize for the best first article in medieval studies by the Medieval Academy of America in 2020. He was previously awarded a Religion and Culture Fellowship from the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University in 2017, and the Charles T. Wood Dissertation Grant from the Medieval Academy of America in 2016.
At Princeton, Randall has taught Privilege and Power: Elites in Premodern Europe, The Crusades, and The Civilization of the High Middle Ages. He has served as the director of the History Department’s undergraduate writing group, the co-director of the Medieval Studies Program’s Senior and Junior Academies, a fellow at the university’s Writing Center, and as a co-instructor for The United States, 1920-1974, The World of Late Antiquity, U.S. Foreign Relations, War in the Modern World, and English Constitutional History. From 2019-2020, he also coordinated an intellectual history project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton.
Ph.D., History, Princeton University
M.A., History, Princeton University
A.B. summa cum laude, History, Religious Studies, Washington University in St. Louis
“Lives on hold: the Dampierre family, captivity, and the crusades in thirteenth-century Champagne,” Journal of Medieval History, 44 (2018): 507-528. (Winner of the Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize)
“Let’s Have at It”: The Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Fifty, Princeton University Board of Trustees (2019), with Sean H. Vanatta.
“The Gift,” in Building on Stone: Perspectives on the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Fifty, ed. Angela N.H. Creager, Princeton University Board of Trustees (2020), with Sean H. Vanatta.
Tales of a Minstrel of Reims, translated by Samuel N. Rosenberg, historical introduction by William Chester Jordan, annotated by Randall Todd Pippenger (Forthcoming, Catholic University of America Press).
Photo credit: Monika Reimitz