Associate Professor of History
Mediterranean society in the late Middle Ages, with emphasis on the Crown of Aragon countries
Clifford Backman attended the University of Minnesota and the University of California at Los Angeles. He received a PhD in May of 1989 and began teaching at Boston University in September of that year. He teaches both halves of our Western Civilization sequence, a survey of medieval Europe, lecture courses on medieval intellectual life and the history of the Crusades, and an undergraduate seminar on “Monks, Friars, and Saints,” among other things. He teaches a variety of courses in the CAS Writing Program and the Core Curriculum too.
Professor Backman has written two books on medieval Sicily (one published in 1995, another in-press in Italy), a general history of the Middle Ages, and is now completing a book on Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations from the Middle Ages to the present. He has published articles and reviews in about a dozen US and European journals. Future projects include a biography of a medieval Spanish king (James II of the Crown of Aragon), a study of the moral idea of tolerance in Western thought, and critical editions of works by Arnau de Vilanova (the heretic who was personal physician to four consecutive popes) and Humbert de Romans (the third Minister-General of the Dominican Order).