Fifty Years of Medieval Technology and Social Change: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fifty Years of Medieval Technology and Social Change

1st Edition

Edited by Steven A. Walton


224 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781472475497
pub: 2019-09-11
SAVE ~$28.00
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


This volume brings together a series of papers at Kalamazoo as well as some contributed papers inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Lynn White Jr.’s, Medieval Technology and Social Change (1962), a slim study which catalyzed the study of technology in the Middle Ages in the English-speaking world. While the initial reviews and decades-long fortune of the volume have been varied, it is still in print and remains a touchstone of an idea and a time. The contributors to the volume, therefore, both investigate the book itself and its fate, and look at new research furthering and inspired by White’s work. The book’s structure is divided into three sections. The first three papers deal explicitly with the reception and longevity of Lynn White Jr.’s work and its impact on medieval studies more generally. Then two groups of three papers look at areas where White’s work has had a particular impact, namely medieval technology studies and medieval rural/ecological studies.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

List of Figures


Chapter 1: Introduction

Bibliography of Works by Lynn White, Jr.

Chapter 2: B.B. Price

Does the History of Technology Stand on the Shoulders of Giants?

Chapter 3 Elspeth Whitney

Lynn White’s "Roots" and Medieval Technology and Social Change:

The View from Outside Medieval Studies

Chapter 4 Steven A. Walton

Determined Disjunction:

Lynn White’s Medieval Technology and Social Change Then and Now

Chapter 5 George Brooks

Of Cranks and Crankshafts:

Lynn White, Jr. and the Curious Question of Mechanical Power Transmission

Chapter 6 C.R.J. Currie

A Romanesque Box Hoist in Liège:

A possible precursor of medieval tower-clock frames?

Chapter 7 Christie Peters

Industrial Milling and the Prolific Growth of the Cistercian

Order in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Chapter 8 Constance H. Berman

Cistercian Nuns and Forest Management in Northern France

Chapter 9 Chantal Camenisch

Cold, Rain, and Famine: Three Subsistence Crises in the

Burgundian Low Countries during the Fifteenth Century


About the Editor

Steven A. Walton is an associate professor of history at Michigan Technological University, having previously taught at the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and the Center for Medieval Studies at Penn State University. He is a former president of AVISTA.

About the Series

AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art

AVISTA Studies in History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art is a series organised by AVISTA (The Association Villard de Honnecourt for Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science and Art). The aim of the series is to promote the cross-disciplinary objectives of AVISTA by publishing in the areas of the history of science, technology, architecture, and art. The society takes its name from Villard (Wilars) de Honnecourt, an elusive persona of the 13th century whose autograph portfolio contains a variety of fascinating drawings and descriptions of both the fine and mechanical arts.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General