Photo of Danielle ParkDr Danielle Park

Ph.D. (London)

Teaching Associate in Medieval History

Medieval History, Crusader Studies, the roles of Medieval Women in the crusading movement and the Crusader States

+44 (0)114 22 22588 | Jessop West 1.10

Office hours: Tuesday 1-2pm; Thursday 1-2pm



I joined the History Department as a teaching associate in the academic year 2014-15. In 2013 I completed my AHRC-funded PhD, ‘Under Our Protection, That of the Church and Their Own’- Papal and Secular Protection of the Families and Properties the Crusaders Left Behind, c.1095-1226, at Royal Holloway, University of London. Before coming to Sheffield I was a sessional tutor at the University of Reading and I am a visiting tutor at the University of Leicester and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Professional Roles

I am a member of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East.



My research is particularly interested in what happened on the home-front while the crusaders were away. My work focuses on the development of the papal protection privilege granted to crusaders and their families, and extended over their homes and properties. I examine the crusades’ ramifications on the families and lands that the crusaders left behind, and assess the papal and secular measures involved in protecting the crusader’s interests. I have worked extensively on the role of women within the context of the crusades. I am currently working on a monograph that will consider the crusaders’ preparations for their departures, the practicality of the papal protection privilege and the roles of crusaders’ wives and sons as regents.


Journal Article

‘The Power of Crusaders’ Wives in Narrative and Diplomatic Sources, c.1096-1149’, The Reading Medievalist, vol. 1 (2014), pp. 18-31.



Module Leader - Sacred Violence in the Medievil Mediterranean, HST280

Sacred Violence in the Medievil Mediterranean, HST280

During the thirteenth century, an expansionist and militant Christendom fought wars all around the Mediterranean to re-conquer the lands that had once belonged to the Roman Empire but had been lost over the centuries. Muslims, Jews, heretics and others who inhabited the region were commonly seen as deadly enemies of the true faith who had to be converted or destroyed. This module will investigate the wide-ranging activities of popes, kings, crusaders, missionaries and merchants as they worked together to impose Latin Christianity on the lands and peoples of the Mediterranean. Beginning with the First Crusade, the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and its loss to Saladin in 1187, we will look at the diversification of ‘sacred violence’ in the aftermath of that humiliation. We will examine the reconquista in Spain; the Albigensian Crusades against heretics in the south of France; the wars against the Hohenstaufen emperors in southern Italy and Sicily; the Fourth Crusade and its aftermath in the Byzantine Empire and the crusades in support of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. Attention will be given to the role of the papacy, which saw itself as the supreme power on earth, responsible for directing medieval society in the work of defence, expansion and conversion. Papal policy was often implemented by the new religious orders of Franciscans and Dominicans, who were deeply involved in the development of new ways to engage in dialogue with heretics and non-Christians, including the establishment of the Inquisition. The importance of successful 're-conquest' of territories around the Mediterranean in the emergence of strong, centralised kingdoms will be explored. Finally, the complicated tangle of individual motivations as they were articulated by contemporaries, and the unresolved tension between crusade and mission will form the backdrop.

Tutor - Historians and History, HST 202

Historians and History, HST 202

This module introduces students to some of the most influential and significant developments which have shaped the ways in which historians think about and write about the past. Since History became professionalised as a specific academic discipline in the nineteenth century, historians have adopted a variety of different approaches to their studies. For some, ideas about the past have been shaped by political beliefs, by the application of political ideologies and philosophies, and by the desire to produce a more inclusive version of history, focusing on the experience of the working classes, women, and groups marginalised in established accounts. Others have been influenced by different methods of research, and the opportunities offered by particular types of source material to tell different stories about the past. Others still have been inspired by intellectual theories and by borrowings from other disciplines, like literary studies and anthropology, to explore new ways of thinking about history. The module allows students to think more about the different ways in which we can study History, and to engage with the work of a number of historians whose influence can still be felt today.

Tutor - History Workshop, HST 120

History Workshop, HST 120

In the History Workshop you will learn the craft of the historian by working with closely with one of our academics on a particular area of their research while simultaneously developing the skills you’ll need to make the step up to university-level historical study. Tutors will base their seminars on their own specific research interests, making this module a great way of integrating you into the research culture of the department and giving you real insight into what our historians actually do. Each tutor will then use this area of research as a means of exploring how historians identify and analyse relevant primary sources and navigate historiographical debates, while teaching a range of skills such as critical reading, bibliographic techniques and effective written and oral communication. You will also develop skills at working both independently and as part of a wider team. The History Workshop has its own on-line learning environment, which enables you to work at your own pace on a series of research exercises. One of the main assessments for this module is a group presentation where you’ll work with other students to research a particular topic and present your findings to the rest of the group.

Module Leader - Muslims, Mongols and the West, HST3089-90

Muslims, Mongols and the West, HST3089-90

This module explores how western European attitudes to the wider world before the great age of colonial expansion were forged in response to two major events. The first, the establishment of the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem introduced western Christians to the complex, dangerous and unfamiliar world of Muslim, Jewish and eastern Christian communities. The second, the sudden, savage conquests of the Mongol hordes along the frontiers of Christendom and deep into the Middle East, shocked Christians and Muslims out of a preoccupation with their conflicts in the Holy Land, and broadened their awareness of both the possibilities and the threats presented by a wider world.
Before long, the Mongols had established a vast empire in which, as a Venetian merchant put it, 'the roads are safe by day and night', and were presenting themselves to Christians as potential allies against Muslims. The opening up of much of Asia to Christian diplomacy, trade, exploration and missionary work transformed European perceptions and played a crucial role in forming the imagination and ambition of the West. Although the Mongol Empire collapsed in the mid-fourteenth century, this formative period of contact between East and West was profoundly to shape the modern world.

Module Leader-Imagining the Unseen in the Middle Ages, HST683

Imagining the Unseen in the Middle Ages, HST683

This module provides an introduction to fundamental elements in the medieval mentalité: those arising from the religious and superstitious imagination. You will prepare for seminars by reading and analysing a wide range of primary sources, in the context of secondary material. Discussion will focus on both medieval context and ways of ‘reading’ such diverse evidence as modern scholars.

Tutor - Pagans, Christians and Heretics in the Middle Ages, HST114

Pagans, Christians and Heretics in the Middle Ages, HST114

In this module, you will explore one of the central themes of European history between the 4th and 14th centuries: the shifting relations between power, religion, and identity. In the early part of the period, the dominant issue was that of conversion from 'paganism', a word labelling a great range of religious practices, to Christianity; in the middle part, questions of the right relationship between 'secular' and religious authority came to the fore, as did the question of violence; in the latter part, the balance that had emerged from previous struggles entered into crisis, as new and transformative forces were brought to bear.

Public Engagement

Public Engagement

I have presented papers on my research at national and international conferences.

In The Media

To Follow

Administrative Duties

Current Administrative Duties