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Contact Information

Academic School

School of Liberal Arts


Fontaine 228



(845) 575-3000 ext. 2556

Janine Larmon Peterson

Professor of History; Coordinator of Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Besides teaching medieval and early modern courses for the History Department at Marist, Dr. Peterson offers courses on specialized topics such as "History of Witchcraft and Sorcery," "Medieval Misfits," "Medieval Cultures in Contact," and "Medieval Gender and Sexuality" for the history department and the honors program and also teaches First Year Seminars (e.g., "Europe and the 'Barbarians'" and "Beyond Game of Thrones").

She was a submissions editor for the journal Hortulus, as well as a reviewer/fact checker for The Rosen Publishing Group. Dr. Peterson served on an Awards Committee of the Society for Italian Historical Studies, was elected to three terms on the executive committee of The Hagiography Society as the Communications Chair.  She is an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University, on the Advisory Board of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, and is the editor for Medieval Europe for the massive international digital humanities project, Database of Religious History.

Dr. Peterson, along with Dr. Kristin Bayer, is a faculty advisor for the Marist branch of the History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta.  She is the Coordinator for the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Minor and a Marist LGBTQ+ Ally.


Dr. Peterson received her BA and MA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University. She received a PhD certificate in Medieval Studies and PhD in History (dual program in Medieval History and Cultural History) from Indiana University, Bloomington.She has also worked in the business world - for the Outsource Department at IBM, as an office manager and benefits administrator for the National Scholastic Chess Foundation, and as Assistant Director for an academic department in university administration.She loves to tell her students that she obtained those positions with a liberal arts degree of the most seemingly impractical field: an undergraduate major in Medieval Studies and a minor in Classical Languages.

Research Interests / Areas of Focus

Dr. Peterson's research focuses on challenges to the authority of the institutional church, particularly with regard to heresy and saintscults, in late medieval Italy. She is also interested in issues of gender and sexuality, the marginalization of social groups, and cultural interaction in the late medieval Mediterranean basin.

Selected Publications

Suspect Saints and Holy Heretics: Disputed Sanctity and Communal Identity in Late Medieval Italy, 1250-1400.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019

(With Edward Slingerland, M. Willis Monroe, Brenton Sullivan, Robyn Faith Walsh, Daniel Veidlinger, et al.  “Historians Respond to Whitehouse et al. (2019), ‘Complex Societies Precede Moralizing Gods Throughout World History’.”  Journal of Cognitive Historiography (forthcoming). 

“Women, Power, and Religious Dissent: Why Women Never Became Heresiarchs.”  In Between Orders and Heresy: Rethinking Medieval Religious Movements. Edited by Anne E. Lester and Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press (forthcoming).

(With Nicole Lopez-Jantzen). “Italy.”  In Companion to Sexuality in the Medieval West. Ed. Michelle M. Sauer.  Leeds: ARC Humanities Press (forthcoming).

“Intercessional Devotion in Late Medieval Italy.”  In Saints as Intercessors between the Wealthy and the Divine: Art and Hagiography among the Medieval Merchant Classes.  Edited by Emily Kelley and Cynthia Turner Camp 273-89.  London: Routledge, 2019.

“Visions, Inquisitors, and Challenges to Christian Doctrine in the Later Middle Ages.” English Language Notes 56 (2018): 203-207.

“The Role of Women in the Guglielmites.” For “A Voice of Their Own.  Female Spirituality in the Middle Ages.”  Invited Podcast Script for Spiritual Landscapes Digital Humanities Project, MAHPA Research Group, Universitat de Barcelona (2016).

(With Lea Graham).  “Teaching Historical Analysis through Creative Writing Assignments.”  College Teaching 63 (2015): 153-61.

(With James G. Snyder). “The Galenic Roots of Marsilio Ficino’s Theory of Natural Changes.” Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 46 (2015): 301-16.

“Medieval Age: Church and State” and “Renaissance: Church Corruption” in World History I: Beginnings through 1500. Ed. Joseph T.  Stuart. Dallas: Schlager Group Publishers, 2013.

“Episcopal Authority and Disputed Sanctity in Late Medieval Italy.” Saintly Bishops and Bishops’ Saints: Proceedings of the 4th Hagiography Conference, edited by John Ott (2012), 201-16.

“Hit and Run Heresy: Thoughts on Tackling Medieval Heterodoxy in Survey Courses.”  Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 19 (2012): 13-22.

"The Malleus Maleficarum" (introduction and analysis of excerpt) in Milestone Documents of World Religions (2011), 844-59.

"'See What is Beneath Your Clothes': The Spectacle of Public Female Dissections in Early Modern Europe," in Angela Laflen and Marcelline Block, eds., Gender Scripts in Medicine and Narrative (2010), 2-31.

"Assisi," and "Travel" in Larissa Taylor, ed., The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage (2010).

"Holy Heretics in Later Medieval Italy," Past & Present 204 (2009): 3-31.

"The Politics of Sanctity in Thirteenth-Century Ferrara," Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Thought, History, and Religion 63 (2008): 307-26.

"Social Roles, Gender Inversion, and the Heretical Sect: The Case of the Guglielmites," Viator 35 (2004): 203-219.   **received the April 2005 "Article of the Month" Award by Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index 

"Defining a Textbook: Gloss versus Gloss in a Medieval Schoolbook," Essays in Medieval Studies 20 (2003): 18-30.

"The Transmission and Reception of Alberic of Montecassino's Breviarium de dictamine," Scriptorium 57 (2003): 27-50.

Selected Presentations

Dr. Peterson has given over 40 papers as an invited speaker and at peer-reviewed regional, national, and international conferences, besides serving as a panel discussant, commentator, session chair, and session organizer. She was the coordinator of two separate conferences held at Indiana University during her time there (for the History Department and Medieval Studies) and helped to organize several conferences and lecture series while serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham University. She also organized a symposium marking the 800th anniversary of the Albigensian Crusade at Marist in spring 2009 and the Phi Alpha Theta Upper New York Regional Conference with Dr. Kristin Bayer in spring 2011 and 2015.She is a former co-coordinator of Marists School of Liberal Arts Faculty Research Forum lecture series and on the Coordinating Committee of the New York Regional Medieval and Early Modern Undergraduate Symposium, whose fourth annual symposium took place at Marist in spring 2018.

Awards and Honors

Dr. Peterson's awards and honors include a semester as Fordham University's Center for Medieval Studies'Visiting Medieval Fellow and current status an Affiliated Scholar at the Center; a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend; a Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant from the American Historical Association; the John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association; and a Biblioteca Ambrosiana Microfilms Travel Grant from Notre Dame University, besides internal institutional research grants and awards.She was also awarded a VPAA and Dean of Faculty Special Recognition Award for Service from Marist in 2011.