Sara McDougall

Sara McDougall - Associate Professor -  profile photo

Research Interests

  • Medieval
  • Medieval law
  • cultural studies
  • gender studies
  • legal history


  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2009
  • M.A., Boston University
  • B.A., Boston University


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Sara McDougall is an associate professor of history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a member of the faculty in French, History, and Biography and Memoir at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she is currently the coordinator of the Medieval Studies Certificate Program. The main focus of her research is on women and crime in medieval France. She specializes in legal history and has broad interests in the pre-modern world, especially topics related to gender, marriage, sex, and law.


  • Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy c.800-c.1230, Oxford University Press, December 2016.
  • Bigamy and Christian Identity in Late-Medieval Champagne (University of Pennsylvania Press, March 2012).

Selected Articles

  • “À la recherche des enfants illégitimes dans les archives de l’officialité de Troyes au xve siècle. Un exemple atypique?” in Bâtards et bâtardises dans l’Europe médiévale et moderne, ed. Carole Avignon (Presses universitaires de Rennes 2016).
  • “Fiction and Lies: Adultery and Spousal Homicide Accusations in Fifteenth Century France" in Imagining Early Modern Histories, eds. Allison Kavey and Elizabeth Ketner (Ashgate, 2016).
  • “The Transformation of Adultery in France at the End of the Middle Ages,” Law and History Review 32:3 (August 2014).
  • “The Opposite of the Double Standard: Gender, Marriage, and Adultery Prosecution in Late Medieval France,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 23:2 (May 2014). 
  • “Women Before the Officiality of Troyes in the Fifteenth Century,” in Les officialités dans l'Europe médiévale et moderne: Des tribunaux pour une société chrétienne (Brepols, 2014).
  •  “The Making of Marriage in Medieval Europe,” Journal of Family History 38:3 (July 2013).
  •  “Women and Gender in Medieval Canon Law,” in the Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, eds. Ruth Karras and Judith Bennett (July 2013).

Editorial Projects

  • With the late Clive Emsley, A Global History of Crime and Punishment, 6 volumes. Bloomsbury Press (forthcoming, 2022).
  • With Felicity Turner, Forum: "Rethinking the Criminalization of Childbirth: Infanticide in Premodern Europe and the Modern Americas," Law & History Review 39:2 (May 2021).
  • with Sarah Pearsall, Gender & History Special Issue: Marriage's Global Past (November 2017).
  • with Thomas Barton, Susan McDonough, and Matthew Wranovix, Boundaries in the Medieval and Wider World. Festschrift in Honour of Paul Freedman, Europa Sacra 22 (Brepols, 2017).  
  • with John Witte and Anna di Robilant, Texts and Contexts in Legal History: Essays in Honor of Charles Donahue, Robbins Collection, UC Berkeley (October 2016).

Recent Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

  • "Singlewomen and Illicit Pregnancy in Late Medieval France: The Case of Marie Ribou (1481)" French Historical Studies, 44:3 (August 2021).
  • "Pardoning Infanticide in Late Medieval France," Law & History Review 39:2 (May 2021). 
  • "The Chivalric Family" in Knighthood and Society in the High Middle Ages, eds. David Crouch and Jeroen Deploige, (Leuven University Press, 2020).
  • "Bastard Priests: Illegitimacy and Ordination in Medieval Europe," Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 94/1 (January 2019).
Sara McDougall - Associate Professor -  profile photo


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice