Shami Ghosh

Associate Professor


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Medieval and early modern economic and social history; peasants; global/comparative history; medieval Germany and Scandinavia; the uses and representation of the past in the middle ages; literature in the medieval Germanic vernaculars (principally Middle High German and Old Norse)


I was born in India and spent the first half of my life in New Delhi; I have spent the second half of my life mainly in London, Cambridge, Mass., Toronto, and Oxford, with shorter periods in Munich, Hanoi, and Lindi (Tanzania).

I started off thinking I was a musician, then became a Germanist, completed my PhD as a multidisciplinary medievalist, and ended up as an economic historian. At least, that's what most of my research has been on for the past several years. After studying at King's College London, Harvard, and CMS, I was a postdoc at the University of Leicester, at Magdalen College, Oxford, and at PIMS; I returned to CMS as faculty in 2016. I teach Latin and Diplomatics, and graduate seminars on social and economic and cultural history, and on historical methods and theory; I also teach Directed Reading courses on various historical and literary subjects.

My students think I'm very scary about matters related to punctuation, formatting, and split infinitives. When I'm not scaring them about these things, they seem to like me: I can't think of any other reason why I have already got to my self-imposed limit of supervising nine dissertations, and am also on a number of other dissertation committees. I supervise subjects ranging from Old Norse literature to the self-representation of late-medieval queens to the ideology of evangelisation to late-medieval women religious.

My life revolves around Heidi, whose nose (a thing of much beauty and personality) it is much more important to recognise than is my face (not a thing of much beauty at all).




BA in German, First Class Hons, King's College London (2003)
MA in Medieval Studies, University of Toronto (2005)
PhD in Medieval Studies, University of Toronto (2009)

Administrative Service

Chair, graduate placement committee
Admissions committee
Latin committee
TA appointments committee