All Majors & Minors

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 students 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 Susanna led the Teaching and Learning Institute

Susanna 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 current scholarly projects include a chapter on crusading violence for the forthcoming Cambridge World History of Violence, co-authoring the fourth edition of The Crusades: A History by Jonathan Riley-Smith, and 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. 


Associate Professor and Department Chair of History




  • B.A., Cornell University
  • M.A., University of Toronto 
  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge 


Common Intellectual Experience 100 & 200 
199: Reacting to the Past: The Tumultuous Reign of Henry VIII
200: Historiography
201: The “Dark Ages”? Crisis and Creativity in Medieval Europe, 768-1500 C.E.
265: Heirs of Rome? The Mediterranean World, 284-840 C.E.
301: Knights and Chivalry: Violence, Gender, and Religion
302: Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe
363: Conflict, Tolerance, and Identity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages
364: The Crusades
401: The Black Death 

Professional Experience

Research Interests

Christian violence
The crusades
Interfaith relations
Medieval Christianity
History of emotion

Recent Work

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

The Crusades and Visual Culture, ed. E. Lapina, A. J. Morris, S. Throop and L. Whatley (Ashgate, 2015). 

“Mirrored Images: The Passion and the First Crusade in a fourteenth-century Parisian illuminated manuscript (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 352).” Journal of Medieval History 41:2 (2015): 184-207.

“Acts of Vengeance, Acts of Love: Crusading Violence in the Twelfth Century,” in War and Literature, ed. L. Ashe and I. Patterson, Essays & Studies (Boydell & Brewer, 2014).

“Christian Community and the Crusades: Religious Practices in the De expugnatione Lyxbonensi,” Haskins Society Journal 24 (2012), 95-126.

Crusading as an Act of Vengeance, 1095-1216 (Ashgate, 2011).

Vengeance in the Middle Ages: Emotion, Religion and Feud, ed. S. Throop and P. Hyams (Ashgate, 2010).

“Rules and Ritual on the Second Crusade,” in Medieval Christianity in Practice, ed. M. Rubin (Princeton, 2009), 86-91.

“Combat and Conversation: Interfaith Dialogue in Twelfth-Century Crusading Narratives,” in M. Lower (ed.), Medieval Encounters: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Culture in Confluence and Dialogue 13:2 (2007), 310-25.

“Vengeance and the Crusades,” Crusades 5 (2006), 21-38.


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

Years of Service to Ursinus