I am an academic (established researcher - R3), P.hD in Medieval History (University of Geneva 2013), and I specialise in embodied research and martial arts studies.
What people usually remember about me, is the armour. I have studied for 10 years how people in the late Middle Ages carried, fought and lived with it, from both a practical and scholarly point of view.
I work with objects, documents and embodied knowledge in both academic and patrimonial institutions. What I love doing most is sharing my research with a wider audience, including kids.
Apart from these professional activities, I also practice, teach and lecture about Historical European Martial Arts. I am involved in several non-profit associations for research, culture, or martial arts, as long as it doesn't draw me too much away from my two kids and beloved wife.
What they say about me and my research:
The historian living in his armour (L'historien qui vit en armure). Adria Budry (Le Temps, October 26, 2017)
New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn't Move Well in Armor. Jennifer Ouellette (Gizmodo, July 3, 2016)
Is it possible to recreate a lost martial art from old training manuals? Kai Morgan (Budo Inochi, August 10, 2016)
Il change la vision de l'armure. Jean-Yves Gabbbud (Le Nouvellistes, October 28, 2015)
Il a fait la course de l'Escalade en armure médiévale. Andrea Machalova (Tribune de Genève, December 21, 2013)
Here are few clips where you can see what I do.
More of my educational short films about armour mobility displayed in museum exhibition are here
Current affiliation (2017):
Head of research and cultural mediation @ Castle of Morges and its Museums (Morges, Switzerland).
Associated researcher @ Centre for Renaissance Studies (University of Tours, FR). Postdoc research fellow supported by Swiss National Science Foundation (2015-2017).
Previously senior lecturer of Medieval History @ University of Geneva (Feb-Sept'17)
Previously visiting scholar (postdoc fellowship of Swiss National Science Foundation) - Sept'15-16 - @ Max Planck Institute for History of Science (Berlin, DE), and - Sept '16-February'17 - @ Centre for Renaissance Studies (University of Tours, FR)
Background and interdisciplinary ventures
I'm a Medievalist, with a disciplinary background in History, Literature and Art History. I have completed my education with History of Science and Technology, Codicology and Material Culture. Most of my research projects are interdisciplinary, involving specialists of Material Culture, Movement Science or even, Cognitive Science.
Area of research
- Cultural and social history of violence/warfare
- Historical European Martial Arts studies
- Embodied Knowledge and its Circulation
- Manuscript and print studies
Founding member and co-editor
Acta Periodica Duellatorum
This journal founded in 2013 is intended as a scientific platform for displaying research on Historical European Martial Arts. It is international, peer-reviewed and advised by both an Advisory and Scientific Committee. It is Open Access (publication by De Gruyter Open) and following the highest standards of academic publishing.
Museums have the responsibility to deconstruct their historically situated assumptions, missions, metaphors, conventions and practices [...] however museums are still caught into different dichotomised narratives that are presented as objective “truths”.
Source: Carla Padró (museummediators.eu)
Hands on, demonstration, initiation
- show and touch objects
- explain and engage with participative methods
I have experience with targeted actions of cultural mediation with patrimonial or academic institutions. I really think that academics should use these opportunities more often to diffuse their work to a wider audience - usually restricted to closed circles of experts.
Engaging with the public is key for me to build a better understanding of the figure of the knight - his armour and his martial knowledge -, biased by broadly diffused misconceptions. Read more about this (blogpost The Medievalists, 2016).
Educational Short Films
Displayed in Museum exhibition, and free to view on YouTube
Obstacle run in Armour
Displayed in the exhibition "Armatus Corpus" (Military Museum, Castle of Morges, October-November 2016)
Combattre en armure au XVe siècle
Displayed in the exhibition "L'Épée. Usages, mythes et symboles" (National Museum of the Middle Ages, Paris. April-September 2011).
> 2mio views Youtube
Moving in Harness
Displayed in the exhibition "Armatus Corpus" (Swiss Military Museum, Morges. June-November 2016)
> 300'000 views on Youtube
I'm a teacher by vocation. I teach to
Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.
Lecturer (University of Geneva and Lausanne) 2007-2015. Details of academic teaching experience on my CV
I teach and lecture about Historical European Martial Arts in Europe and in the United States, in national and international events for practitioners since 2007.
I'm also active in developing and promoting HEMA practices. I'm a founding member and chairman (2013-2016) of the International Federation for Historical European Martial Arts (IFHEMA)