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 Dr. Vann Sprecher’s research focuses on the ecclesiastical legal system in late medieval and early modern Paris. Her dissertation, “Priest as Criminal: Community Regulation of Priests in the Archdeaconry of Paris, 1483-1505,” explores legal and extralegal enforcement of ecclesiastical laws circumscribing sacerdotal behaviors. Her central argument is that members of the parish community were more empowered to regulate religious practice and sacerdotal behavior than is generally assumed. This finding controverts the idea that sacerdotal abuses were prevalent in the late medieval church and that members of the parish community needed an institutional revolution in the form of the Reformation to be freed from these abuses. In an article she co-authored with Ruth Mazo Karras entitled, “The Midwife and the Church: Ecclesiastical Regulation of Midwives in Brie, 1499-1504,” Dr. Vann Sprecher has also explored how ecclesiastical courts regulated the nascent profession of midwifery in ways that sometimes supported and sometimes ran counter to midwives’ professional interests. At Kingsborough, Dr. Vann Sprecher teaches a vast span of human history beginning with the first appearance of humans through World War II.

  Kingsborough Community College

        HIST 3100 Modern Europe: From Napoleon to Hitler             

        HIST 5100 The Ancient World                                                   

        HIST 5200 Roots of the Modern World   (Writing Intensive and Standard)                  

 University of Minnesota

        HIST 3151w  British History to the Seventeenth Century (Writing Intensive)

        HIST 3101    Introduction to Medieval History         


University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Minneapolis, Minnesota                     2008-2013
Ph.D. in History 
Dissertation: Priest as Criminal: Community Regulation of Priests in         October 2013
the Archdeaconry of Paris, 1483-1505

Concentration: Medieval Europe       

Supporting Area: Comparative History of Women, Gender & Sexuality
Advisor: Ruth Mazo Karras

Harvard Divinity School; Cambridge, Massachusetts                                2006-2008      
Master of Theological Studies                                                                  June 2008              

Concentration: Medieval Theology
Advisor: Kevin J. Madigan

University of Oregon; Eugene, Oregon                                                  2004-2005
Bachelor of Arts                                                                                      Sept. 2005
Major: Medieval Studies (Dean’s List)

University of Puget Sound; Tacoma, Washington                                   1996-2000
Bachelor of Arts                                                                                      May 2000

Majors: English and French (Dean’s List)

College Teaching
Kingsborough Community College (2013-Present)

University of Minnesota (2008-2013)

Selected Publications and/or Other Resources


“The Midwife and the Church: Ecclesiastical Regulation of Midwives in Brie,

1499-1504,” co-authored with Ruth Mazo Karras, Bulletin of the History of

Medicine, 85, no.2 (2011): 171-192.

Conference Papers

“The Case of the Wayward Woman: A Punitive Expedition,” Medieval Academy of America, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, April 2013.

 “The Case of the Churlish Churchwardens: Rule Breaking and Contested Identities in the Late Medieval Parisian Church,” International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, July 2012.

“The Cleric as Legal Subject in Late Medieval Paris: The Case of the Three Co-Vicars,” Mellon Symposium on Medieval Subjectivity, Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois, July 2011.

“Benefiting from Control: Ecclesiastical Regulation of Midwives in Brie, 1499-1504,” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Massachusetts, June 2011.

“You Will Be Called Priests of the Lord: a Model Sermon by Jacques de Vitry,” poster presentation at 16th Symposium of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society, St. Maurice, Switzerland, July 2009.

“You Will Be Called Priests of the Lord: a Model Sermon by Jacques de Vitry,” 44th

 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 2009.

Events and/or Key Dates



Research Interests

Awards Recognition, Distinctions and Grants


   University of Minnesota

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School, Academic Year 2012-2013        

Hella Mears Graduate Fellowship, Center for German and European Studies, Summer 2012
Union Pacific Research Grant, Center for Early Modern History, Summer 2012

Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship, Bilinski Educational Foundation, Academic Year 2011-2012

      Library Acquisition Scholarship, Audrey Christensen Library Acquisition Fund, Fall 2011

Henrietta Holm Warwick Fellowship, Graduate School, Summer 2011 

Dissertation Seminars in the Humanities: “The Comparative History of the Early Modern World” Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Summer 2010

      Graduate Research Partnership Program, Department of History, Summer 2009

Center for Early Modern History Fellowship, Center for Early Modern History, Spring 2009

Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Divinity School Grant, Academic Years 2006-2008


University of Puget Sound

Bill Campbell Memorial Scholarship, Summer 1998

Presidential Scholarship, Academic Years 1996-2000

Institutional Affiliations / Professional Societies

Medieval Club of New York, 2011-Present

American Historical Association, 2010-Present

Medieval Academy of America, 2010-Present

International Medieval Sermon Studies Society, 2009-Present

Personal Interests

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