Timothy Paul Albert Newfield


Assistant Professor - Department of History


Department of History


Tim Newfield is an environmental historian and historical epidemiologist. After defending his doctoral thesis in History and Classical Studies at McGill University in 2011, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the universities of Michigan (History), Stirling (Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy) and Princeton (History & the Environmental Institute). He has taught medieval, environmental, and medical history, and most recently led a seminar on the global history of yersinia pestis (from 3000BCE to last year). Tim joined Georgetown University as an Assistant Professor in History and Biology in Spring 2017. His recent work has focused on human-bovine plagues and the measles-rinderpest divergence in Eurasia in the first millennium CE and on the prevalence of vivax and malariae malaria in early post-classical Europe. Forthcoming work looks at the history of short-term/rapid climate change and food shortage in the Frankish period and the 376-386 bovine panzootic, an (allegedly) intercontinental cattle plague that seems not to have occurred. He completed a synthesis of the historical and palaeoclimatic scholarship on the 535-550 global climatic downturn for the forthcoming Palgrave Handbook of Climate History a short while ago. His papers have appeared in Agricultural History Review, Argos, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Post-Classical Archaeologies, Early Medieval Europe, and edited volumes focused on various aspects of premodern health, environment and economy. At present, he is finishing the re-write of his doctoral thesis on subsistence crises, epidemics and epizootics in Carolingian Europe, co-editing a three-volume handbook for Brill on medieval environmental history, and leading a multi-author study on European mortality events between the Justinianic Plague and Black Death. He also co-leads the Climate Change and History Research Initiative (cchri.princeton.edu) at Princeton. His next project considers how the Medieval Climatic Anomaly and the rise of the Mongol Empire altered the pathogenic load of European and West Asian livestock.