Dr Lars Kjaer

BA (Aarhus), MPhil, PhD (Cantab)
Lecturer in Medieval History

Dr Lars Kjær is Lecturer in Medieval History for the History BA at New College of the Humanities. He obtained his BA in History and Social Anthropology from Aarhus University, Denmark, in 2007. That year he moved to Cambridge, where he completed an MPhil in medieval history. In 2008 he was awarded funding from the AHRC to undertake a PhD in history at Cambridge University, which he completed in 2012. After finishing his doctoral studies he joined the New College of the Humanities.

He is currently writing a book about gifts and the classical tradition in medieval England

Modules Taught


Lars' research focuses on the challenges and possibilities in using approaches from social anthropology in studying the central middle ages. He has worked on the role of gift exchange and feasting in creating social bonds between aristocrats, and in their struggle to fashion a pious and honorable reputation. Future research projects include the reception of Western European ideas about royalty and courtliness in medieval Scandinavia.



  • Denmark and Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500: Essays in Honour of Professor Michael H. Gelting, editor with N. Lund and K. Hundahl (Ashgate, Aldershot, September 2014).
  • Feasts and Gifts of Food in Medieval Europe: Ritualised Constructions of Hierarchy, Identity and Community, editor with A.J. Watson, special issue of the Journal of Medieval History 37:1 (2011).
  • Journal articles
  • Tilfangetagelsen af Valdemar II Sejr i Dunstableårbogen’, Historisk Tidsskrift, 113:2 (2014), 342-50. (The Capture of Valdemar 2. The Victorious in the Annals of Dunstable)
  •  ‘Food, Drink and Ritualised Communication in the Household of Eleanor de Montfort, February to August 1265’, in Journal of Medieval History 37:1 (2011), pp. 75-89.
  •  ‘Feasts and Gifts: Sharing Food in the Middle Ages’, with A.J. Watson, Journal of Medieval History 37:1 (2011), pp. 1-5.


Chapters in Books

  • Feasting with Traitors: Royal Banquets as Rituals and Texts in Medieval Scandinavia’, in The Power of Practice. Rituals and Politics in Medieval Scandinavia c. 650-1350, ed. L. Hermanson, W. Jezierski, H.J. Orning and T. Småberg (Boydell, Woodbridge, forthcoming 2014).
  • Introduction’ and ‘Rusty Knives, Runes and Vikings: The Valdemarian Kings and the Danish Past in a Comparative Perspective’, in Denmark and Europe in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Professor Michael H. Gelting, ed. K. Hundal, L. Kjær and N. Lund (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2014).
  • Druk, kongedrab og kongemagt i højmiddelalderens Danmark’, in Skål: Studier af middelalderens alkoholkultur, ed. K.H. Andersen and S. Pajung (Aarhus University Press, Aarhus, forthcoming 2014). (‘Drinking, Regicide and Royal Power in Central Medieval Denmark’)
  •  ‘Matthew Paris and the Royal Christmas: Ritualised Communication in Texts and Practice’, Thirteenth-Century England XIV, ed. J. Burton, P. Schofield and B. Weiler (Woodbridge, Boydell & Brewer, 2013), pp. 141-54.
  • Gaver og Gæstebud: Avaritia og Liberalitas i Gesta Danorum’, in Nye Perspektiver på Saxo Grammaticus, ed. P. Andersen and T. Heebøll-Holm (Aarhus, Aarhus University Press, forthcoming 2012), pp. 183-213. (‘Gifts and Feasts: Avarice and Generosity in the Deeds of the Danes)


Online publications



  • Review of ‘Gerhard Jaritz (ed.), Ritual, Images, and Daily Life: The Medieval Perspective’, in The Medieval Review (2013).
  •  ‘Tilbage til Kilderne’, book review of H.J. Orning, K. Esmark, L. Hermanson, Gaver, ritualer, konflikter: Et rettsantropologisk perspektiv på nordisk middelalderhistorie, in 1066 – Tidsskriftet for Historie (2012), pp. 56-8.
  • Venskabets sprog, ritualer og magt i højmiddelalderens Nordeuropa’, book review of L.Hermanson, Bärande band. Vänskab, kärlek och brödraskap i det medeltida Nordeuropa, ca 1000-1200, in 1066 – Tidsskriftet for Historie (2011), pp. 42-45.



  • 2008-2011 Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral funding
  • 2010-2011 Prince Consort and Thirlwall Fund
  • 2008-2010 Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust
  • 2009 Elisabeth Munksgaard Prisen
  • 2009 Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust
  • 2007 Århus Universitets Humanistiske Fakultetsstipendium


Other members of the History faculty

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