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William Edwards

PhotoPhD Candidate

Dissertation:  Pilgrims to Paradise Lost: The Effect of the Fall of Jerusalem on Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land  


Bill Edwards was prompted to a closer study of medieval history and culture by several extended treks on European pilgrimage trails leading to Santiago de Compostela from France, Portugal and Spain. Bill holds a BA in English (Harvard), an MA in American Studies (University of Minnesota), and in 2018 an MA in Medieval History from Stony Brook.  He spent a year in London as a Fulbright Scholar in American History and is the author of The Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols (Universe Books, 2004).  Before coming to Stony Brook, he spent three decades in retail management comprising bookselling, department stores, the Museum of Modern Art, and ultimately the founding of The Museum Company, the international retail chain marketing museum-related gifts.  His doctoral dissertation addresses the changes in pilgrims’ experiences as they were affected by the loss of Jerusalem in 1187 to Saladin and the loss of Acre (the last Crusader holding) in 1291. Bill is also active in North Fork politics and land preservation, having served one term on the Southold Town Board in the only Democratic majority achieved there since the Civil War.

Advisor:Sara Lipton