Faculty and Staff


Jeremy DuQuesnay Adams

Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor
Medieval Europe

Dallas Hall Room 67

Educational Background 

Ph.D. Harvard University, 1967 
A.M. Harvard University, 1961  
A.B. Harvard College, 1955 

Awards and Service

  • Distinguished Teaching Professor Award, 2004 
  • Outstanding Professor, 1992, 1984, 1977
  • “M” Award, 1989 
  • Perrine (Phi Beta Kappa) Medal, 1982 
  • DeVane (Yale Phi Beta Kappa) Medal, 1974 
  • E. Harris Harbison Award for Gifted Teaching, 1972 
  • National Catholic Book Award for The Populus of Augustine and Jerome, 1972 

Books and Essays

  • Multicultural New Orleans University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2001 
  • Joan of Arc: Her Story, translation and revision of Jeanne d’Arc, R. Pernoud and M.V. Clin, Paris: Fayard, 1986, New York: St. Martin’s, 1999 
  • The Populus of Augustine and Jerome: A Study in the Patristic Sense of Community, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971 
  • “Les horizons socio-politiques du monde de Pierre Abélard “ in Pierre Abélard; ed. Jean Jolivet et Henri Habrias, Presses Universitaries de Rennes, 2003 
  • “Toledo’s Visigothic Metamorphosis” in People and Communities in the Western World, ed. Eugene M. Brucker, Homewood Illinois: Dorsey, 1979 

Professor Jeremy Adams employs the methods of intellectual and social historians to contribute to the history of human belonging and its obverse, exclusion. He examines the phenomenon of human groupings that came to exist, cohere, change, and disappear between Late Greco-Roman Antiquity, the Early European Middle Ages, the High and Later West-European Middle Ages, and most recently, his native Louisiana from the colonial period onward. 

Adams’ inquiry after the qualities, forces, and/or events that have included humans in certain self-conscious groups, and those which have excluded them or allowed them to withdraw, began with a study of Late Antique founding fathers of “the medieval mind,” Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430), Jerome (340?-420), and Isidore of Seville (560-636). One of the most vital and durable creations of early Christian thought was the idea of the populus Christianus, “the Christian people,” at once heir to the People of Israel and the Roman People, and transcendently different from them. What exactly, Adams asks, did Jerome, Augustine, and Isidore mean when they wrote about that concept?

Following his examination of those intellectual foundations of medieval Western Christian culture, Adams embarked on a long study of the intellectual elite of Visigothic Spain (409-760), the Crusades, chivalry, and the historical vision of Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis (1081-1151).

Jeanne d’Arc (1412?-1431) and King Arthur have fascinated Adams. He finds the illiterate peasant girl from the frontier to be startling because while utterly normal in her context, she became the martyr-heroine of more than France. He asks whether “King” Arthur (?-?) was in fact “historical” or merely (far more potently) mythical, and tries to recreate the historical landscape in which the Arthurian exploits might have occurred. Adams inquires after ideas of what it meant to be “Visigothic” as opposed, say, to “Roman” or “heretical.” Visigoths were a racial tribe that founded a kingdom in Roman Spain and produced a flood of creative documented ideas, among which are penal servitude, universal military service, and the fear of deviancy.