Matt King

Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Contact information and CV

Office: SOC 213
Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2018


I am thrilled to teach courses on medieval history and the digital humanities at USF. In my survey-level classes, I use active-learning pedagogy alongside traditional lectures to show the diversity and the complexity of the medieval world. My seminars on the digital humanities consider the possibilities and problems of conducting historical research in an age of Wikipedia, ArcGIS, and ChatGPT.

I am also actively involved in National History Day, an outreach program that allows middle school and high school students to conduct original historical research about topics of their choice. If you have questions about this program or would like to volunteer for it, please do not hesitate to send me an email. I also regularly provide lectures to Pinellas County School teachers on topics related to Florida's Social Studies Standards.


My research focuses on the medieval Mediterranean during the age of the Crusades. My first book, Dynasties Intertwined: The Zirids of Ifriqiya and the Normans of Sicily (Cornell University Press, 2022) considers the relationship between the Norman kingdom of Sicily and the Zirid emirate of Ifriqiya (modern-day Tunisia) during the twelfth century. For this project, I used Latin and Arabic texts alongside digital resources like the Old World Drought Atlas to show the expansive networks that connected the Normans and Zirids to other polities across the Mediterranean, with a particular eye toward restoring the agency of the often-maligned Zirids.

My current research projects include a co-authored partial translation of the geography of al-Idrisi, a book chapter on labor in the medieval Maghreb, and a historiography article about the Zirid dynasty. I am also working on a popular history book about the history of goblins from the Middle Ages to the present.

I am willing to supervise graduate students who specialize in medieval history, especially the Mediterranean during the central Middle Ages (1000-1300). I have advised students whose projects are outside of this scope, though I am most comfortable with graduate research that broadly gravitates toward this chronology and geography. MA students should ideally have experience with one research language (usually Latin, Arabic, or Greek) before entering the program. PhD students should ideally have knowledge of at least one research language and one modern language (typically French, German, Italian, or Spanish) based on their area of expertise.