Guy Geltner


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

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Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a broadly trained social and urban historian, with an archival basis in Italian city-states between the thirteenth and fifteenth century. Yet I remain strongly committed to comparative history, in space and time. Topics I've written about include the history of crime and punishment, and especially incarceration and corporal punishment; the mendicant orders, deviance among them and resistance to them; and urban policing and public hygiene, a strand that has led me to engage intensively with spatial analysis, also using GIS, and a variety of (bio)archaeological evidence. Beyond individual research strands, I've led team projects on the Franciscans of the Holyland under the Mamluks; the history of anti-corruption from antiquity to the present; and public hygiene in urban Europe, 1200-1500. Most recently, I've begun broadening the scope of the latter theme towards non-urban and mobile communities, such as armies, courts, pilgrims and miners, as well as beyond western Europe. Doing so has brought me into closer contact with environmental history and mobility studies, and their diverse methodologies and forms of evidence.

Supervision interests

I have (co)supervised a broad range of PhD theses, from constructions of ethnicity in the long twelfth century, to the architecture, operation and performance of criminal courts between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, to urban hygiene and water management between the thirteenth and seventeenth century, to the interactions of armies and their environments from the twelfth to the eighteenth century, all across western Europe. Outside of Europe, I have supervised projects on the Franciscans in the Holyland under the Mamluks, the Mamluk-era Waqf, and Mamluk-Mongol cultural interactions. Ongoing dissertations deal with multi-layered dispute settlement among Hansiatic communities in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, emerging notions of territory and territoriality in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Brabant, and narratives of resistance among Iranian political prisoners in the 1980s and 90s.

Feel free to contact me if you are considering a chronologically, geographically or thematically relevant dissertation topic.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • health history
  • urban history
  • history of crime and punishment
  • infrastructures
  • social History
  • public health
  • mobilities

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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