Associate professor of history Jay Rubenstein is a scholar of medieval history, especially of England and France and the Crusades. He published two books during the fall semester of 2011.
Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalyspse (Basic Books, 2011) is a revisionist history of the First Crusade that stresses the ways that apocalyptic thought both motivated and shaped that military campaign. It is based on a complete re-analysis of the Latin sources that tell us about the First Crusade. Rubenstein conducted this work during two years of research funded by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.
Rubenstein also co-translated and wrote the introduction and notes for a Penguin Classics edition of two works by Guibert of Nogent, a remarkable, if eccentric, twelfth-century intellectual: Monodies and On the Relics of Saints: The Autobiography and a Manifesto of a French Monk from the Time of the Crusades (Penguin Classics, 2011).
A Rhodes Scholar, Rubenstein has also published many articles on the First Crusade and on Guibert de Nogent. He has given invited lectures at the American Academy in Rome, the Sorbonne, and the University of York (UK). He is currently the holder of a MacArthur Fellowship.