Princeton professor to deliver keynote at UHV’s History Day

One of the most famous medieval scholars in the world will soon be addressing members of the University of Houston-Victoria community.

William Chester Jordan, a Princeton University history professor, is an expert on the Crusades and the history of the medieval world. He is slated to speak at UHV’s annual History Day later this month.

Esther Cuenca

“Our community members and students don’t want to miss this event because it is not every day that we get to hear cutting-edge research from one of the leading historians in the field of medieval studies and in the discipline of history in general,” said Esther Cuenca, a UHV assistant professor of history.

Victoria community members can learn about his work at 5:30 p.m. on March 31 at UHV’s third annual History Day, hosted by the UHV history program. As the event’s keynote speaker, Jordan will be giving a lecture on “Crusaders, Mercy, and the Weapons of War.” The topic builds on research from his most recent book, “The Apple of His Eye: Converts from Islam in the Reign of Louis IX.” The event is free and open to the public.

Jordan also has authored several other books, including ones on medieval women and the credit economy; the status of Jews in medieval France; serfdom and slavery; the Great Famine in the 14th century; felony and exile in medieval society; and monasteries in medieval England and France.

Craig Goodman

“Professor Jordan is one of the most prolific scholars of medieval history, and this is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Craig Goodman, UHV associate professor of political science and chairman of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences’ criminal justice, history and political science division. “Dr. Cuenca and the rest of the history faculty have worked hard to bring in yet another distinguished faculty member.”

At noon that same day, an informational session will be held via Microsoft Teams for students about careers that are natural fits for history graduates who have earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. The session also will include short research presentations by history majors at UHV.

Cuenca started History Day in 2020 to celebrate student and faculty research, and to provide information about compatible careers for students thinking about majoring or minoring in history. Also involved in organizing the event are Joseph Locke, a UHV associate professor of history, and Laura Mammina, a UHV assistant professor of history. Each year, the celebration ends with an evening event featuring a well-known historian who lectures on a topic of interest to the local community.

She got the idea to invite Jordan to give a talk related to the Crusades because she is currently teaching an upper-division history course on the Crusades and assigned his recently published book to her class.

Because Jordan is a very famous historian, and Cuenca had never been formally introduced to him, she asked her former doctoral advisor at Fordham University, Maryanne Kowaleski, about the best way to approach him because Kowaleski knew him. The connection proved valuable. Jordan immediately replied to Cuenca’s email introduction and invitation and agreed to come to UHV’s event.

Jordan’s lecture also will be broadcast through Microsoft Teams. A link to the Teams event will be available at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.