Sarah B. Lynch

Assistant Professor of Classical and Medieval Studies


Classical and Medieval Studies

Pettengill Hall, Room 102



Drop-in Sessions Winter 2024

Mondays & Wednesdays, 9.30am-11am (Pettengill 102)

Tuesday, 12pm-1pm (PLC, Ladd Library)

My area of expertise is the social and cultural history of the Middle Ages. In particular, I examine these topics through the lens of medieval education, tracing the lived experiences of teachers and pupils and the impact of education on society. I focus on elementary and intermediate instruction and institutions as these have been neglected by scholars and are seen as unconnected to the larger intellectual and cultural trends and achievements of the Middle Ages. I have published widely on the subject, including two books: Elementary and Grammar Education in Late Medieval France: Lyon, 1285–1530 (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) and Medieval Pedagogical Writings: An Epitome (Kismet Press, 2018).

My current research project is on the medieval year and how seasonal festivals and rituals helped create, maintain, and remake communities in western Europe (loosely defined) between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. This project is under contract with Routledge.

At Bates, I offer introductory classes on the Middle Ages, as well as classes on medieval education, magic and the supernatural in the Middle Ages, and the medieval year.


PhD, University of Leeds (2014)

MPhil, Trinity College Dublin (2005)

BA (Hons), University College Dublin (2003)

Selected Publications

“Education and Work”. In A Cultural History of Youth in the Middle Ages. A Cultural History of Youth, Volume 2, edited by Daniel T. Kline, 65–84. London: Bloomsbury, 2023.

“Marking Time, Making Community in Medieval Schools.” History of Education Quarterly 61, no. 2 (May 2021): 158–180.

(With Mark Lewis Tizzoni.) “Teachers and Teaching.” In A Cultural History of Education in the Medieval Age. A Cultural History of Education, Volume 2, edited by Jo Ann H. Moran Cruz, 125–44.  London: Bloomsbury, 2021.

Medieval Pedagogical Writings: An Epitome. Leeds: Kismet Press, 2018.

Elementary and Grammar Education in Lyon, 1285-1530. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017.

“Rich Master, Poor Master: The Economic Standing of School Teachers in Late Medieval France.” In Approaches to Poverty in Medieval Europe: Complexities, Contradictions, Transformations, c. 1100-1500, edited by Sharon Farmer, 207–28. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015.

“Pupils and Sources in Late Medieval Lyon.” Espacio, Tiempo y Educación 2, no. 2 (2015): 289–311.