History Professor Dr. Robin Vose Writing “Popular" History on the Camino de Santiago
History Professor Dr. Robin Vose has been awarded a STU Course Release Award for the 2024-25 academic year to write a book of "popular" history on the Camino de Santiago, which will explain not only the historical and religious origins of the Camino but also its later political, cultural, and economic dimensions.
The Camino de Santiago is a loosely defined series of historical pilgrimage routes whose origins took shape in the early twelfth century and served multiple purposes, resulting in a massive flow of temporary and permanent visitors, lasting into the seventeenth century. The Camino was revived at the end of the twentieth century and is now a huge cultural, tourist, and spiritual phenomenon.
"The Camino de Santiago is a topic of great interest to me both as a historian and personally," said Dr. Vose.
"I first biked the Camino with family a few years ago, including a dear cousin we later lost to cancer; since then, I have walked sections of it several times as a National Geographic expert. I have been repeatedly struck by the complexities and varieties of experience generated by this spiritual pilgrimage route over the centuries."
Dr. Vose's book will fill a void in literature devoted to the Camino, and his exploration of previously marginalized topics, such as Jewish-converso mysticism and the importance of the Camino in certain LGBTQ+ circles, will be of particular interest.
"The STU Course Release Award is essential for my research since it will allow me to focus on my book without forcing me to sacrifice any time and energy I put into my teaching," said Dr. Vose.
"I look forward to sharing my findings with my students and hope my book will help new audiences deeply understand the Camino's true potential and perhaps even someday explore it for themselves."
The STU Course Release Award was created to fund a course release to support faculty research. The Senate Research Committee adjudicates the annual award.