Brad is a PhD candidate entering his fifth year at the University of Tennessee. His dissertation, “Two Murders and a Coronation: Crusade, Crisis, and the Counts of Flanders, 1071-1204,” analyzes the interplay between memory, crusading, and comital identity in eleventh- and twelfth-century Flanders. In it, he argues that the medieval counts of Flanders traveled east to Jerusalem as pilgrims and crusaders in order to solidify and enhance their prestige in moments of crisis within the county. Powerful monasteries, an efficient comital bureaucracy, and savvy wives and regents made it possible for the counts to leave Flanders for years at a time, even as crusading neighbors like the dukes of Normandy and kings of England suffered political disasters because of their own journeys eastward.
In addition to medieval Flanders and crusading, Brad's work explores medieval book culture. His dissertation includes a chapter on the medieval library at Saint-Amand and detailed analyses of Lambert of Saint-Omer’s Liber Floridus and other codices produced in Flanders during the twelfth century—these books and libraries played essential role in encouraging the counts of Flanders to go on crusade. He is also interested in ecclesiastical reform, exegesis, and medieval historiography. Brad is a member of the American Historical Association, the Medieval Academy of America, the Southeastern Medieval Association, and Episcopus.