A leading academic in the world of medieval history has been appointed to head a unique centre for the historical study of English regional landscapes and local societies.
The University of Leicester has appointed Professor Christopher C Dyer, BA, PhD, FSA, FRHS, FBA, as Professor of Regional and Local History in the Centre for English Local History.
Christopher Dyer came to Leicester on 1 September 2001 from the University of Birmingham, where he held a personal chair in Medieval Social History. Previously at the University of Edinburgh, one of his more notable students is now Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Professor Dyer is acclaimed for his research into many aspects of medieval England, including agriculture, rural settlements, towns, commerce, money, material culture and mentality, and has published numerous articles and papers in journals and edited volumes of essays in this country and overseas.
His books include a survey of medieval Standards of Living, a volume of collected essays under the title Everyday Life in Medieval England and an overview of the economy and society of Britain between 850 and 1520, Making a Living in the Middle Ages, to be published in the new year by Yale University Press and Penguin Books.
He has edited two journals, Midland History and the Economic History Review, and has managed a series of research projects with grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council.
His current project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board, is an investigation into the settlement and landscape history of a group of parishes in the Whittlewood area on the Northamptonshire/Buckinghamshire border.
Professor Dyer admits to having long admired the traditions and achievements of the Leicester Centre of English Local History, which is famed throughout the historical world.
The Centre was established, as a department, in 1948 under the auspices of F L Attenborough, Principal of the University College which was to become the University of Leicester nine years later. Professor Dyer follows in the footsteps of a distinguished line of directors, the first of whom was the well-known English historian, W G Hoskins.
Professor Dyer commented: “I intend to encourage the good work that is being done in the Centre now, and to promote research projects and other ventures which will keep it in the forefront of work in local and regional history. The Centre is well known for its interdisciplinary approach and I want to add my own enthusiasm for the use of archaeology in enriching our understanding of the past.”
With his studies of peasants, wage earners and other underprivileged sections of society, he will also contribute to the Centre’s traditional concern for exploring the history of those outside the social elite.
Note to editors: Further information is available from Professor Christopher Dyer, Professor of Regional and Local History, Centre for English Local History, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 2762, facsimile 0116 252 5769, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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