John Ott | Resident Medievalist


In this episode of Beyond Footnotes we interview PSU Professor John Ott, who teaches Medieval History, with a focus in Northern France and Flanders in the 11th and 12th centuries. Professor Ott discusses the training needed to be a medievalist and the medieval church, including the secular clergy. If you’re wondering what a secular clergy is, then you’ll find out in this episode!

Professor Ott is currently collaborating on a reader that complies primary source documents, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the working of the medieval religious courts. The medieval religious court also features in Professor Ott’s upcoming book, The Archbishop’s Poets: Scandal and Reform in an Eleventh-Century Church, which is a study of the turbulent court of the Archbishop Manasses I of Reims and how poetry played a role.

John Ott received his MA and PhD from Stanford in 1999. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the John Eliot Allen Outstanding Teacher in History (PSU), a NEH Summer Institute participant at Oxford, and Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He is a founding member of, EPISCOPUS: Society for the Study of Bishops and Secular Clergy in the Middle Ages.


Beyond Footnotes is a history-themed podcast on local KPSU, sponsored by Portland State University’s Department of History, and run by history graduate students, Lyndsay Smith, Evan Smiley and Jeffrey Stone. Beyond Footnotes features interviews with the talented faculty and students of PSU, providing a forum for local historians to share their work with each other and the community. The show was co-created and formerly hosted by Ryan Wisnor and Joshua Justice of Dive Audio and originally launched on October 9, 2015.