Rowan Dorin

Associate Professor of History
Core Faculty, Taube Center for Jewish Studies
AB (Hons), Harvard College, 2007
MPhil in Medieval History, University of Cambridge, 2009
PhD, Harvard University, 2015

I am a historian of western Europe and the Mediterranean, primarily during the high and late Middle Ages. Much of my research tries to understand how law and society interact with each other, especially where legal norms conflict with social practices. Another strand of my research explores the history of economic life and economic thought, especially medieval debates over usury and moneylending. I have also written on the circulation of goods, people, and ideas in the medieval Mediterranean.

My first book (No Return: Jews, Christian Usurers, and the Spread of Mass Expulsion in Medieval EuropePrinceton University Press) uses the banishment of Jewish and Christian moneylenders to explore the rise of mass expulsion as a widespread practice in the later Middle Ages. A second ongoing project examines the ways in which medieval canon law was adapted, reinterpreted, or resisted in local contexts in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The latter builds on Corpus Synodalium, a prize-winning full-text database of late medieval local ecclesiastical legislation that I have been developing since 2016, with assistance from colleagues around the world.

Born and raised in western Canada, I did my undergraduate and doctoral work at Harvard University, earning an MPhil in Medieval History from the University of Cambridge along the way. Before coming to Stanford, I was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.


Economic and Financial History
Legal History
The Mediterranean World

Selected Publications

“‘The Bishop as Lawmaker in Late Medieval Europe,” Past and Present 253 (Nov. 2021), 45-82. [link]

“Les maîtres parisiens et les Juifs (fin XIIIe siècle): Perspectives nouvelles sur un dossier d’avis concernant le regimen judaeorum.” Journal des Savants 2016:2 (2016), 97-138. [link]

“Canon law and the problem of expulsion: The origins and interpretation of Usurarum voraginem (VI 5.5.1),” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte 130, Kanonistische Abteilung 99 (2013), 129-161. [link]