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Dr Matthew Champion

BA (Hons), BMus (Hons), MA (Melb), PhD (Lond)

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Room 215
27 Russell Square

Tel: 0207 631 6400


  • After studying classics, history and music at the University of Melbourne, I moved to London in 2010 to write my doctorate in medieval history at Queen Mary University of London. I joined Birkbeck in 2016, after two years as a Junior Research Fellow at St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Research and teaching

  • Introduction
  • How do humans live in and with time? Modern societies are experiencing what has been termed an age of ‘social acceleration’, where rapid change and frenetic activity can make connections to the past seem irrelevant. The later middle ages are often seen as another period of rapid change in the perception and experience of time. But what were the changes about? How did they happen? Who did they effect? My most recent work engages with these questions in relation to fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Europe. Rather than thinking of the middle ages as a static, timeless, and anachronistic foil to a dynamic, precise and historicizing modern world, I am interested in teasing out the ways that medieval life was filled with complex configurations of time in devotional hearing, viewing, reading, and ritual. This in turn can help us think more carefully about how we live with time now.
  • In addition to my work on time, I also work on the history of medieval religious reform and heresy, particularly the history of witchcraft and demonology, the history of medieval emotions, and the history of sound and liturgy.
  • Research interests
  • I have a variety of research interests in the history of medieval and early modern northern Europe including:
  • time
  • religious culture, especially devotional practices, liturgy, and ritual
  • heresy, witchcraft, and demonology
  • the senses, including material and visual culture, and sound studies
  • manuscript and early print culture
  • the urban and court cultures of the Low Countries
  • Teaching
  • The Medieval World: from Constantine to the Khans (BA Year 1)
  • In the Footsteps of Margery Kempe: Exploring Late Medieval Europe (BA Year 3)
  • Histories of Magic and Witchcraft in the Pre-Modern World (BA Level 6)
  • Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches (MA)
  • The Senses in Medieval Europe, c.1100-1500 (MA)
  • To See The World in a Grain of Sand: Reading and Writing Microhistories (MA)
  • Power and Communication in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (1400-1800) (MA)
  • PhD supervision
  • I am happy to supervise PhD topics in the social, cultural and intellectual history of later medieval Europe, especially in the history of time, religious cultures, and the history of the senses.


  • Books
  • The Fullness of Time: Temporalities of the Fifteenth-Century Low Countries. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.
  • Book chapters
  • 'Emotions, Time and Narrative: A Liturgical Frame, in Susan Broomhall and Andrew Lynch (eds), The Routledge History of Emotions in Europe 1100-1700. Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2019, 30-42.
  • ‘Black and White: Dominican Reform and Heretical Inversion in the Fifteenth-Century Low Countries’, in Cornelia Linde (ed.), Making and Breaking the Rules: Discussion, Implementation, and Consequences of Dominican Legislation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 131-149.
  • 'Emotion, Time and Music in Late-Medieval Cambrai’, in Philippa Maddern and Joanne McEwan (eds), Performing Emotions in the Medieval and Early Modern World. Turnhout: Brepols, 2018, 3–26.
  • ‘Emotions and the Social Order of Time: Constructing History at Louvain’s Carthusian House, 1486–1525’, in Susan Broomhall (ed.), Gender and Emotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Destroying Order, Structuring Disorder. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, 89–108.
  • ‘The Presence of an Absence: Jews in Late-Medieval Louvain’, in Julie Davies and Michael Pickering (eds), A World Enchanted: Magic and the Margins. Essays Presented in Honour of Charles Zika. Melbourne: MHJ Research Series, 2014, 37–67.
  • Journal articles
  • 'The History of Temporalities: An introduction', Past & Present, 242.2 (2019).
  • 'A Fuller History of Temporalities', Past & Present, 242.2 (2019).
  • ‘Senses at the Altar in Medieval Northern Europe’, Questiones Medii Aevi Novae 22 (2017): 127–147.
  • ‘Symbolic Conflict and Ritual Agency at the Vauderie d’Arras’, Cultural History 3.1 (2014): 1–26.
  • ‘Crushing the Canon: Nicolas Jacquier’s Response to the Canon Episcopi in the Flagellum haereticorum fascinariorum’, Magic, Witchcraft, Ritual 6.2 (2011): 183–211.
  • ‘Scourging the Temple of God: Towards an Understanding of Nicolas Jacquier’s Flagellum haereticorum fascinariorum (1458)’, Parergon 28.1 (2011): 1–24.
  • ‘The Crucifixion and the World in the Drogo Sacramentary’, Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 3.1 (2007): 105–112.


Professional membership

  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Medieval Academy of America
  • Renaissance Society of America

Current activities

  • I am currently working on a book about the sounds of time from 1300–1600 that draws together my interests in sound studies, material culture, the history of liturgy, and the history of time. It charts the advent of musical clocks in fourteenth-century Europe, tracing their changing sounds, technologies and meanings through late medieval monastic reform, the reformations, and global mission.

Honours and awards

  • 2018 Royal Historical Society Gladstone Prize
  • 2016 Sugden Fellow, Queen's College, University of Melbourne
  • 2016 Early Career International Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
  • 2015 Frances A. Yates Fellow, Warburg Institute
  • 2013 Mellon Fellow, University of Warwick and Newberry Library Chicago