Amy Livingstone is Associate Dean of the Honors College and Professor of History at Ball State University. Before joining Ball State, she was the Director of the Honors Program and H.O. Hirt Professor of History at Wittenberg University. Dr. Livingstone is a scholar of the Middle Ages. Her books include Out of Love for My Kin: Aristocratic Family Life in the Lands of the Loire, 1000-1200, Medieval Lives, c. 1000-1292: The World of the Beaugencys, and she is the author of many articles and essays as well. In 2017, she was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award by the Medieval Academy of America. Dr. Livingstone has taught a wide range of courses on the middle ages, ranging from classes on the Crusades to medieval childhood and looks forward to teaching in the Ball State Honors College. She is also a Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

How did you first get involved with Honors education?

I first got interested in Honors education at my previous job at Wittenberg University. This interest in working with bright, motivated and curious students led me to apply for the position of Director of the Honors Program.

I believe that Honors education is unique in the opportunities it provides for experimentation and collaboration in the classroom. Since coming to Ball State I have been impressed by the creativity faculty have shown in crafting unique classes and experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

I am looking forward to teaching my own Honors course sometime in the near future….perhaps one on medieval cathedrals that includes a trip to France? Or one exploring the lives of medieval women? Both are fun to think about!

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I think collaboration best describes my perspective on teaching. I have learned much over the years from my students’ questions and contributions.

I value:

  • the give-and-take of questions
  • discussion
  • debate

In fact, my recent book, Medieval Lives, c. 1000-1292: The World of the Beaugency Family, developed from my classroom experiences teaching medieval history. I had some of my advanced history classes read sections of the book to provide their feedback – which was absolutely invaluable to developing a book that would be engaging and accessible.

Are you working on any projects right now?

I am at work on a big project at the moment: A biography of Countess Ermengarde of Brittany who lived between c.1070 and 1147.

I was very fortunate to be awarded a Fellowship at Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge to continue this work. As I write this, I am looking out across the “backs” of some of the most famous medieval colleges – King’s College, Trinity College – It is inspiring to be in a place that dates to the middle ages, but also has the manuscripts and other sources I need to complete my work on Ermengarde.

There is also a very lively community of medieval scholars here, so I know I’ll have many engaging conversations about my work and other medieval topics.