Martha Rampton, Ph.D.




Department of History


Contact information
UC Box :A165
Phone: 503.352.2772




University of Virginia
1989-1998 - Ph.D.
Major field:  medieval history
Minor field:  history of the Middle East
Dissertation Title:  The Gender of Magic in the Early Middle Ages

American University in Cairo
Summer 1989
Research on contemporary Egyptian women

University of Utah
1984-1988 - M.A. in medieval history
Thesis Title:  The Role of the Love Motif in Defining the Public and Private Identities of Characters in the Lais of Marie de France
1973-1979 - BA in theater and history with teaching certificate




Martha Rampton is Pacific University's medievalist. Professor Rampton concentrates on the early medieval period with an emphasis on social history and the activities and roles of women. She has published on a variety of topics, from holy women in both the Christian and Islamic traditions, to the significance of the feasting imagery in the Bayeaux Tapestry. Dr. Rampton’s most recent work concentrates on magic, women and ritual in the early Middle Ages.  Her monograph entitled Magic, Women and Ritual Power through the First Millennium is forthcoming.  Rampton’s newest research project engages the growing interest in the history of emotions.  She is currently writing a book on the role of emotion in a celebrated ninth-century divorce case.  Professor Rampton's teaching fields are as broad as her research interests. At Pacific she offers courses on the ancient and medieval worlds, and the medieval Middle East.  One of the most popular courses Professor Rampton teaches deals with the history of magic and witchcraft from the Roman period to the Enlightenment.  Dr. Rampton has traveled widely in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and India.  In addition to an active scholarly and teaching schedule, Professor Rampton is the founder and director of the University’s Center for Gender Equity (CGE) (  In her capacity as CGE director, Dr. Rampton regularly leads student and community groups to southern India to study gender and society at Lady Doak College.  In 2010 Dr. Rampton received the “She Flies with her Own Wings” award from the Oregon Women in Higher Education for her work with CGE.  In addition, Dr. Rampton founded the annual Medieval Faire called “Faire in the Grove,” which is a collaboration between the university and the local community.  This activity attracts several thousand participants each year (

Work With Women’s Groups


Co-coordinator – Student Travel to Austria for Feminist Studies Program May-June 2005 Coordinator - Student Travel to India for the Center for Women and Gender Equity January 2005 Chair of Board of Directors of Women’s Center for Applied Leadership (WCAL) Portland Oregon 2003-present Oregon Women in Higher Education Organization Committee for Annual Conference 2001-2003 Founder, Chair of the Board, and Director, Center for Women and Gender Equity 2001-Present Committee for Conference on Female Spirituality, March 2002 Chair 2001-2002 Co-Presented with students a workshop entitled “The Feminist Classroom” Oregon State University Conference on Gender and Culture, March 2001 Western Regional Honors Council’s Annual Conference, April 2001


Publications and Professional Work


Select Publications


Magic, Ritual Power and Women from Late Antiquity through the First Millennium, forthcoming

“Eve,” and “Mary Magdalene.”  Both in Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History.  In press with Oxford University Press.

“Judith of Bavaria.”  In International Encyclopaedia for the Middle Ages-Online. Supplement to the Lexikon des Mittelalters. UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Brepols Publishers, 2006

“Burchard of Worms and Female Magical Ritual.”  In Medieval and Early Modern Ritual: Formalized Behavior in Europe, China and Japan.  Edited by Joelle Rollo-Koster.  Leiden: Brill, 2002, pp. 7-34

“Up from the Dead:  Magic and Miracle.”  In Death in the Middle Ages.  Edited by Edelgard E. DuBruck and Barbara Gusick.  New York: Peter Lang, 1999, pp. 275-91.

“Judith, Slayer of Holofernes,”
 “Marie de France,”
“The Virgin Mary,”
 “The Queen of Sheba,”
 “Mary Magdalene,”

“Rachel and Leah”

All in Women in World History.  Waterford Connecticut: Yorkin Publications.

“Frankish Holy Women as Makers of Miracles,” Sewanee Medieval Studies: Love Sacred and Secular in Medieval Culture 8 (1996): 243-68.

“The Significance of the Banquet Scene in the Bayeux Tapestry,”  Medievalia et Humanistica 21 (1994): 33-53.

“The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 and the Written Word,” Comitatus 24 (1993):  45-60.



Honors and Awards


Campus Compact Service Learning Grant

Faculty Achievement Award
Pacific University

June 2002
I was invited to lecture at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in Department of History’s Medieval Lecture Series.  My paper was entitled “Early Medieval Magic and Ritual”

John R. Meyer’s Grant for Professional Development

Hewlett Foundation Grant for Curriculum Development to design an inter-disciplinary course on the multicultural History of Medicine

Visiting Fellow, Summer Research Institute, Manchester College, Oxford University

Graduate Student Fellowship, Western Association of Women Historians

Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant for Research in the History of Europe, Africa, and Asia - American Historical Association

Conference Group on Women’s History/Berkshire Conference of Women Historians’
Graduate Student Award - Runner Up

University of Virginia - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences dupont Fellowship

Fulbright Seminars Abroad Fellowship/Egypt
Research on various aspects of Egyptian society, historical and contemporary culture
U.S. Department of Education commission:  preparation of video essay about contemporary Egyptian women.

National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar/Assisi and Sienna, Italy
Research on St. Francis of Assisi