Richard Kaueper is Gladys I. & Franklin W. Clark Professor in History at the University of Rochester. After his early years in the Midwest (and a BA from Capital University in Columbus), he earned his PhD at Princeton and began teaching and writing medieval history, now for half a century. Though he taught at Kenyon College and Illinois State University, for one year each, most of these years have been at the University of Rochester. Initial studies focused on Italian merchant-bankers as essential agents in English royal finance at a crucial juncture of state-building in late thirteenth-century England. This interest broadened into cross-Channel study of the complex interconnections of war, justice, and public order. In the process he became convinced of the importance of carefully using the great resource of imaginative medieval literature as historical evidence recording not “what actually happened,” of course, but how people thought and debated about what happened and what values to follow. This interest drew him into understanding chivalry, on which he has published and taught for several decades.
Melinda Landeck is a historian of premodern East Asia. She holds a master’s degree from Yale University and a PhD from the University of Kansas, and is now an assistant professor of East Asian Studies at Austin College, a private liberal arts college in north Texas. Dr. Landeck’s research explores the central place of tea praxis in Japan’s early modern warrior culture, with particular emphasis on the cultivation of political capital through mastery of tea ceremony (chanoyu) and its attendant material culture. She has designed and taught a variety of undergraduate and professional development courses on the samurai, historical tea praxis, and Japan’s Edo period (1600-1867) and is currently at work on a monograph investigating the phenomenon of “warlord tea masters” (daimyō chajin).
Ken Mondschein is a scholar and author with expertise in subjects ranging from the Middle Ages to modern politics and pop culture, as well as a fencing master and jouster. He received his PhD in history from Fordham University, is credentialed as a master (high-level instructor) of historical fencing by the United States Fencing Coaches' Organization, and was a Fulbright scholar to France. He currently teaches as full-time contingent faculty at several different New England schools, including UMass-Amherst, and also teaches fencing privately in Western and Central Massachusetts. His work with the history of swordsmanship originates from the same love of the past and desire to relate it to the present—and to teach others—that led him to become an academic; one of his goals in this is to show how the value of the study of such sources to historians of art, ideas, society, and science. Besides being the author or translator of numerous books, including Camillo Agrippa’s seminal fencing treatise of 1553, Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War (McFarland), and an edition of the copy of Fiore dei Liberi's early fifteenth-century fencing book that he discovered in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, Ken is well-known as a public historian, both for his work educating the general public on the facts and for his opposition to the misappropriation of history. He has taught, lectured, spoken, consulted, trained, and published on everything from medieval science to the political uses of the past to building a culture of non-discrimination and consent.
Morten Oxenboell is a specialist in medieval Japanese history and in the broader fields of Global
Medieval Studies and Interdisciplinary Violence Studies. Within these broader fields
his research has focused on collective violence and irregular armed forces and on
how and why violent acts were discursively constructed in medieval Japan (ca. 1100-1400),
which is also the topic of his recently published book Akutō: Rural Conflicts in Medieval Japan, University of Hawai’i Press (2018). The study of non-governmental violent actors
and their significance for state formations and the development of conflict mediation
strategies between centers and peripheries is central to his current research activities,
but most recently he has also worked and published on the meanings of aesthetic displays
of violence and their significance for social learning of appropriate aggression.
At Indiana University he teaches courses on samurai culture, thirteenth century East
Asia, aesthetics of violence, among many other things. He is the founder and organizer
of the Violence Studies Network – a multi-disciplinary network of researchers at Indiana
University Bloomington studying the historical, social, and cultural significance
of collective violence. Originally from Denmark, he has lived, studied, and worked
in Leiden, Netherlands and Kyoto, Japan, but now lives in Bloomington, Indiana with
his wife, daughter and whole bunch of animals.