Pembroke Alumnus, Dr Andrew Miller, Publishes his First Book


We are delighted to share that Pembroke alumnus, Dr Andrew Miller, (1991, Visiting student, History), is to publish his first book ‘Patronage, Power, and Masculinity in Medieval England. A Microhistory of a Bishop's and Knight's Contest over the Church of Thame’.

The forthcoming book, to be released in March 2023, explores the conflict over the church of Thame between 1292 and 1294. Andrew describes the book as “a microhistory that examines a riveting and well documented conflict from late 13th century England over ecclesiastical patronage and church property at Thame, just 14 miles east of Oxford. The bishop of Lincoln and a prominent knight of King Edward I fought vehemently to secure the benefice, which was very valuable and well situated on the way to London.  Violence and mayhem and gendered-shaming ensued.”

We asked Andrew to tell us about his time at Pembroke and how it has influenced his career as a historian:

I studied medieval history at Pembroke College with Miri Rubin and Malcolm Godden. My sister had studied at Brasenose and met Miri and mentioned that I loved medieval history. Miri encouraged me to apply. It was one of the most serendipitous events ever.  

I was at Pembroke my 3rd year during a four-year undergraduate degree in the States. Thus, I knew a little about college, but not much about Oxford. When I arrived, the first thing Miri said to me is, “I’m glad you didn’t cut your hair.” Amen.  

The highlight of my time at Pembroke was the academic rigor (rigour!) and the long-lasting friendships I made in such a wonderful, warmly-intimidating, erudite, and intense environment.

After Pembroke, I returned to the University of Iowa, graduated with honours in History and English and with a minor in Latin. I studied French at the University of Pau, France, for a semester before getting an MA in history at the University of Toronto, Canada. I then received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. I met and married a fellow graduate student there, Tanya Stabler. 

After that, Tanya and I moved back to my sweet home Chicago. We have been happily teaching and researching here since living in Paris for a year following graduate school. I have been teaching at DePaul University for the last 15 years while my medievalist wife teaches at nearby Loyola University. We have been very fortunate to simultaneously raise two wonderful kids who tolerate our annoying love of the Middle Ages. 

My advice for graduating Pembrokians is to cherish every second you have in and out of those glorious, flower-ridden quads. Take at least a little time between studies to stroll and chat and punt with friends who you just might wind up keeping in touch with for a very long time. I have!” 

Find out more about Andrew’s upcoming publication here: Microhistories - Book Series - Routledge & CRC Press

Alumnus Andrew Miller