William Campbell, PhD

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Dr. William Campbell has been teaching courses in History at Pitt-Greensburg since 2008. These have included Black Death: Plague and History; The Silk Roads; England since 1689; Nineteenth-Century Europe; and the World History sequence. His particular interest is in the history of religions, so many of his courses have been cross-listed with Religious Studies, such as Religions of the West; Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Middle Ages; and The Inquisition (co-taught with Dr. Pilar Herr).

Campbell has been expanding student participation in the classroom through Reacting to the Past role-playing simulations as well as through increased use of digital tools. He is affiliated with the Center for the Digital Text and teaches the core sequence of the Pitt-Greensburg Digital Studies Certificate: Coding and Digital Archives in the fall, and Coding and Data Visualization in the spring. He is happy to talk with students interested in pursuing the Digital Studies Certificate, regardless of their major.

Asked what he enjoys most about history, he says, "History brings us face to face with people who not only dressed and spoke differently. They also lived, acted, thought, and understood the world in ways that can be shockingly different, and often we have to read between the lines to figure out what they really believed. This is hard but rewarding work. I love helping students to work through these puzzles, allowing them to find their own 'Aha!' moments, and learning from them as they ask questions that had never occurred to me. Our diversity allows everyone to bring something unique to the table."

A proud Pitt graduate, Dr. Campbell earned his Ph.D. in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland (2007). After working on a research project for two years in London, he earned the post-doctoral Licentiate in Medieval Studies degree from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto (2012). As a scholar, Dr. Campbell has published three books on the history of religion in Britain, most recently The Landscape of Pastoral Care in Thirteenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which won the Ecclesiastical History Society Book Award. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2018.

At present he is participating in the multi-year team project "Chilean Parlamentos (1726-1870)" with Pitt-Greensburg colleagues Dr. Pilar Herr, Prof. Elizabeth Contreras, and Dr. Sean DiLeonardi, and writing a book about the cathedrals of Wales.