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Dr Erika Graham-Goering

Lecturer (Late Medieval History)

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Lecturer (Late Medieval History) in the Department of History  
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  


I work on the social and political history of lordship in France during the Hundred Years' War, focusing on issues of collaborative power, succession, reputation, and regional aristocracies within the wider kingdom. In my work, I make extensive use of archival research in Paris and in regional repositories, bringing to light under-exploited records of seigneurial administration, as well as examining the subsequent reinterpretation of events in various late medieval chronicle traditions.

My book, Princely Power in Late Medieval France: Jeanne de Penthièvre and the War for Brittany, examines the intersection of rank, gender, and power-sharing using the legal and administrative records of Duchess Jeanne of Brittany (c. 1326–1384), and was named runner-up for the 2020 Gladstone Book Prize by the Royal Historical Society. I have also co-edited a critical edition of the key texts surrounding the contested succession to the duchy of 1341 (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2019).

My more recent work has expanded to the Languedoc region in the south of France, with two articles (to appear in French Historical Studies and Historical Research) on the political profile of the regional aristocracy and their interactions with the royal administration of Charles VI in the brief interval between his declaration of majority and the onset of his mental illness. I am currently exploring the dynamics of co-lordship and collective seigneurial power using a comparative framework of four different regions across France as part of a project funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). This research challenges assumptions that aristocratic power was exclusively autocratic in nature, by instead asking how cooperation and widening access to authority could encourage long-term political stability.

Prior to my arrival at Durham, I studied at Grinnell College in Iowa (USA) before pursuing an MA in Medieval Studies and PhD in History at the University of York, which received funding from the University and from the Society for the Study of French History. I then took up a postdoctoral position at Ghent University on the European Research Council project 'Lordship and the Rise of States in Western Europe, 1300–1600', which led to the development of my own project with the FWO. In 2021 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and I serve on the European branch committee of the Society for Court Studies.

Research interests

  • France, c. 1300–1500
  • Lordship and nobility
  • Collaborative power
  • Archives and archival records
  • Gender and politics