T.C. Kniphfer, history graduate student

Ph.D. student, Medieval Europe
Political History of Late Medieval England, Medieval Kingship and Chivalry, Social and Cultural History of European Aristocracy, Military History


B.A., History, Baylor University, 2018

Click here for curriculum vitae

From a young age, I have been fascinated by certain questions: How should one exercise power? What are the qualities of both good and bad leaders? How do the rulers relate to the ruled? These questions propelled me into the study of Medieval Europe, particularly its political history. This was an age of intense personal kingship, specifically in Medieval England, where the character and inclinations of the ruler could transcend or trample the structures and institutions of political life.

I am also interested in how power was displayed in Medieval Europe. Rulers used various techniques to demonstrate their power on the widest stage: heraldry, castles, and liturgical ceremony. Through such demonstrations, it becomes evident that the rulers of Medieval Europe presided over highly sophisticated governmental machines that made use of every available tool to make its authority felt. However, it was not absolute authority and peril awaited many a medieval monarch who was not flexible or sensitive to the wishes and demands of his or her kingdom. Therefore, I study Medieval Europe because I believe it has much to offer modern society and politics. While there may not be too many knights or kings roaming the earth today, their lives and trials inform many political, cultural, and societal ideas relevant to the modern age.



27th Texas Medieval Association at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 29 September 2017: "The Royal Attitude towards Tournaments during the reigns of Edward I and Edward II, 1272-1327"

Baylor Libraries Outstanding Presentation Award for Scholars Week 2016

25th Texas Medieval Association at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, 16 October 2015: "The King of Faction: Roger Mortimer and the Royal Household"

51st International Medieval Congress at the University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 13 May 2016: "The Last Duke: Richard II, Henry of Monmouth, and the Duchy of Lancaster"