• Susanna Throop, Professor of History
  • Headshot of Susanna A. Throop
  • Susanna A. Throop posing in front of an Ursinus College banner
    Ursinus College

Susanna A. Throop

Think medieval history is irrelevant? You won’t after you take a class with Dr. Throop. For her, the medieval past is fascinating precisely because it remains deeply relevant in our own culture. She is equally passionate about helping every student develop the skills they will need after college, and so her courses emphasize research and writing, discussion and collaboration, empathy and imagination. Her courses also incorporate the groundbreaking Reacting to the Past pedagogy, which uses immersive role-play to deepen student learning, and in 2016 she led Ursinus’s successful application for a Reacting Endeavor Challenge Grant. From 2014-2016 she also led the Teaching and Learning Institute. In recognition of her work with students, Ursinus College awarded her the H. Lloyd Jones Award for Distinguished Advising and Mentoring in 2020. 

Dr. Throop is also an active and award-winning scholar, and general co-editor of the book series Christianities Before Modernity. She studies the cultural history of Christian religious violence, particularly in the context of the crusades. Her most recent publications include an Open Access short history of the Crusades, The Crusades: An Epitome, and a chapter on crusading violence for The Cambridge World History of Violence. She is currently hard at work co-authoring the fourth edition of The Crusades: A History by Jonathan Riley-Smith, as well as new work on the role of the crucifixion in crusading culture in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In recognition of her scholarship, Ursinus College awarded her the Laughlin Award for Professional Achievement in 2015. 




  • B.A., Cornell University
  • M.A., University of Toronto (Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Humanistic Studies)
  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge (Gates Cambridge Scholar) 


  • Common Intellectual Experience 100 & 200 
  • HIST/GWSS 101: Empire, Patriarchy, and Race: People and Power in Premodern World History
  • HIST 175: The Middle Ages in the Twenty-First Century: History, Media, and Politics
  • HIST 176: The Crusades: A Comparative History
  • HIST 200W: Theories and Methods in History
  • HIST/ENGL 212: Bears Make History: U.S. Higher Education and Digital Entrepreneurship in the Archive and Online
  • HIST/GWSS 275: Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe
  • HIST 276: Religion, Rebellion, and Politics: The Tumultuous Reign of Henry VIII
  • HIST/GWSS 375: Medieval Chivalry: Violence, Gender, Class, and Religion
  • HIST 376: Trade, Culture, Sex, and Violence: Interfaith Relations in the Medieval Mediterranean
  • HIST 475W: The Black Death  

Professional Experience

Research Interests

Christian violence
The crusades
Interfaith relations
Medieval Christianity
History of emotion

Recent Work

“‘Not Cruelty but Piety’: Circumscribing European Crusader Violence,” Chap. 20 in The Cambridge World History of Violence, Vol. 2: AD 500-1500, ed. M. Gordon, R. Kaeuper, and H. Zurndorfer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 411-25. 

“Engaging the Crusades in Context: Reflections on the Ethics of Historical Work,” in The Crusades in the Modern Worlded. M. Horswell and A. N. Awan, Engaging the Crusades, Volume 2 (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2019). 

The Crusades: An Epitome (Leeds: Kismet Press, 2019). 

Some publications are available via the History Faculty Publications listed in the Ursinus College Digital Commons. 

Years of Service to Ursinus