Sara Butler

Sara Butler

Sara Butler

Professor and King George III Chair in British History
she / her

(614) 688-2598

269 Dulles Hall
230 Annie & John Glenn Avenue
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Medieval History
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality History
  • Religion in History


  • Ph.D., Dalhousie University
  • Masters, University of Toronto

Sara M. Butler earned her honors B.A. in history from York University (1995), her M.A. from the University of Toronto (1996), and her Ph.D. from Dalhousie University (2001), where she worked with C.J. Neville. She spent twelve years at Loyola University New Orleans, attaining the rank of Gregory F. Curtin, S.J., Distinguished Professor and where she founded the Legal Studies interdisciplinary minor program and co-founded the History Pre-law major, before joining The Ohio State in autumn of 2016. 

Sara’s research publications lie in the social history of the law.  She has authored three books:  The Language of Abuse: Marital Violence in Later Medieval England (Brill, 2007), Divorce in Medieval England: From One to Two Persons at Law (Routledge, 2013), and Forensic Medicine and Death Investigation in Medieval England (Routledge, 2015); she has co-edited a festschrift in honor of Cynthia J. Neville's retirement with Krista J. Kesselring, entitled Crossing Borders: Boundaries and Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Britain; and she has co-edited a volume of articles with Wendy J. Turner, entitled Medicine and the Law in the Middle Ages (Brill, 2014). She has also written on subjects such as suicide, abortion by assault, coverture, medical malpractice, singlewomen, and more recently on juries of matrons. In 2007, Sara was awarded the Sutherland prize by the American Society for Legal History for her article, “Degrees of culpability: Suicide verdicts, mercy, and the jury in medieval England,” (Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36.2, 2006). Her most recent endeavor is an online blog entitled “A Legal History Miscellany,” co-written with Katherine Watson (Oxford Brooke’s University) and Krista J. Kesselring (Dalhousie University), with the goal of making England’s early legal history accessible to a broader audience ( Sara’s teaching interests are in criminal law, medicine, Christianity, persecuted groups, and women.

Sara’s interests outside the classroom involve reading Scandinavian murder mysteries, cycling, travel in Europe, and hanging out with her family and three dogs.

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