Dr. Jacqueline Murray

3M National Teaching Fellow / Professor of History, University of Guelph

Expert in the history of contemporary sex and gender. An award winning professor and expert on how to improve teaching and student success.


The History of Sex

The History Channel, August 15, 1999Television

URL: http://www.onwatchseries.ac/serie/The_History_of_Sex

A five-part series for The History Channel. On air interview about sex and sexuality in the Middle Ages. First aired August 1999 (episode 3)

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 21, 2006Radio/Podcast

URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20070513224254/http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/phallus-wonderland/index.html

Historical consultant and extensive on air interviews for CBC ideas program investigating masculinity and the phallus throughout history.

Convocation Address: “Let curiosity be your guide and your inspiration,”

University of Guelph, October 9, 2013Online

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=505TBiYjHNQ

An inspirational review of what students learn and will take with them into their future life. Also mounted on the Council of Ontario Universities website:

“Blessing Unions Through the Ages. The institution of marriage is both ancient and flexible.”

Published by National Post

July 12, 2000

One of the first steps in the process to legalize same-sex marriage in Ontario was when Rev Brent Hawkes read the banns to marry two same-sex couples. For most Ontarions the reading of the banns was a mystery. This article traced its role through Christian history and explained how it was relevant om 21st century Canada.

“In Africa, accusations of witchcraft still a reality for many women,”

Published by Globe and Mail

November 25, 2013

Draws to people's attention that in Ghana accusations of witchcraft are a form of violence against women. Seeking to dispel myths, we discuss our trip to the witch camp of Gambaga and meeting the women who live there. Co-authored by Jacqueline Murray and Lauren Wallace,

URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/in-africa-accusations-of-witchcraft-still-a-reality-for-many-women/article15582182/

“Practice of female genital mutilation must be stopped.”

Published by The Guelph Mercury

January 31, 2015

A discussion of FGM in Africa as a gratuitous practice, not based on religion as is often contended but as an instance of extreme misogyny.

URL: http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-story/5293710-practice-of-female-genital-mutilation-must-be-stopped/

“Same-sex union: The final frontier of marriage evolution.”

Published by Globe and Mail

June 27, 2003

At the height of the same-sex marriage debate in Ontaio, this article examined the various permutations of marriage across Christian history, noting that it had never been essential -- Adam and Eve -- but had taken on many forms and included and excluded many categories of people such as slave and elderly. The tendency of marriage had been to expand outward and embrace more people as since in the inclusivity of same-sex marriage.

“Stealing relics: An ancient pastime that lives on today”

Published by Globe and Mail

February 25, 2014

A historical overview of the theft of relics to provide context for the recent theft of a relic of Pope John Paul II/

URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/stealing-relics-an-ancient-pastime-that-lives-on-today/article17077933/

“The Church’s short memory"

Published by Globe and Mail (May 19, 2009),

May 19, 2009

An exploration of clerical celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, detailing the history of a married clergy. Set against the public assertions that the clergy had always been celibate by a priest contemplating marriage!

URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-churchs-short-memory/article1344139/

“The Untold Price of Her Virginity.”

Published by Globe and Mail

November 24, 2008

A young woman in Nevada publicized that she would auction off her virginity to the highest bidder, which caused public outcry and a bidding war. The article traces why virginity was important in the past, to ensure a lawful heir. It examines how societies -- mostly men -- have fetishized the hymen, arguing that in an era of DNA testing, virginity is irrelevant.

URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-untold-price-of-her-virginity/article1066478/

“The Whores of Yore”

Published by Globe and Mail

March 27, 2012

An analysis of the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision to legalize brothels. Examining the history of prostitution and of brothels in the Middle Ages, the article reveals that prostitutes were not segregate in medieval cities but were part of the social fabric of city life, integrated and interacting with their neighbours.

URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-whores-of-yore/article534362/

“Todd Akin’s views are, literally, medieval"

Published by Globe and Mail

August 21, 2012

Challenging the antiquated and anti-scientific view of Congressman Todd Akins (and similar) who argued that a woman who was raped would only become pregnant if she enjoyed it. The article traces such views to their origins in ancient and medieval medicine and reveals how women have suffered from them.

URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/todd-akins-views-are-literally-medieval/article4494067/

“Trial by Congress.”

Published by Lawyers Weekly

March 27, 1987

This article traces the legal context for a practice found in medieval England in cases where a man was alleged to be impotent. How does one prove this. Included with medical evidence, examination, the testimonies of witnesses was deputizing women to examine the man and the couple trying to engage in coitus, and indeed sometimes the witnesses tried to stimulate a man unable to perform with his wife. The article discusses why this might have been necessary for evidence.

“Arbitrary Western Ideas Won’t Save Ghana’s ‘witches,"

Published by Guelph Mercury

July 11, 2014

Article challenges the Western pressures on the Ghanaian government to close the witchcamps and send the women back to the villages they fled. The issue is not witchcamps but the way witchcraft accusations can be manipulated, much as was seen in the European MIddle Ages with the witch hunts. Co-authored by Lauren Wallace and Jacqueline Murray,

URL: https://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-story/4627934-arbitrary-western-ideas-won-t-save-ghana-s-witches-guelph-professor-says/

"A History of Infanticide"

Published by National Post

August 25, 2008

Discusses a case in the news in which a postpartum woman was charged with murdering a child only weeks old. The article asks about the appropriateness of a murder charge given the well known emotional challenges to women post partum. It looks at how medieval society dealt with the situation as both serious but with a mother warranting compassion.


Jacqueline Murray is Professor of History at the University of Guelph. She served as Dean of Arts (2001-2006) and as Director of the First-Year Seminar Program (2011-2016). She is Status Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. She earned a first class honours degree in History from the University of British Columbia, and an M.A. in History, and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. She was a Canada Research Fellow from 1988-1991 and has received numerous research grants. Murray taught History at the University of Windsor (1989-2001) where she was Founding Director of the Humanities Research Group. She has served as President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Research and President of the Canadian Society of Medievalists. She is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University and an alumna of Massey College (Toronto) and Green College (UBC). Murray is an expert in the history of marriage and the family, women, and gender and sexuality in the Middle Ages. This provides a unique view on the history of western ideas and values pertaining to sex and gender. She has been interviewed on both television and radio, and published in national newspapers on questions of sexual values that are clarified by examining their historical roots. Murray is actively engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, focusing in particular on the impact of first-year seminars and the transformative power of enquiry-based learning. She has published articles in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, the Canadian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching. Her teaching innovation and excellence has been acknowledged by the John Bell Award from the University of Guelph, the D2L Innovation Award from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Special Merit Award from the University of Guelph Faculty Association. In 2014 she received a 3M National Teaching Award.


John Bell Award for Teaching Excellence | Professional


Guelph YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction -- Education | Professional

A community award recognizing contributions to education across all levels, and ongoing mentorship of young women.

Donald Bullough Fellow in Mediaeval History | Professional

Department of Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews, St Andrews Scotland

D2L Innovation Award | Professional

National award for Teaching Innovation at postsecondary institutions, 2013

3M National Teaching Fellow | Professional

Canada's top award for postsecondary teaching. awarded 2014

Additional Titles and Affiliations

Visiting Senior Fellow, Green College, University of British Columbia

Status Professor, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Life Member, Clare Hall, Cambridge University

Alumna, Massey College, University of Toronto

Research Grants

“Male Sexuality and Gender Construction in the Middle Ages.”

Organization: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Grant amount: $55,000


Major research project to understand the interrelationship between male sexuality and embodiment and the cultural construction of masculinity in the Middle Ages. The project provides insights into contemporary understandings of masculinity.

“Passages: 300 Years of Francophone Presence at Le Détroit”

Organization: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Grant amount: $10,000


An international meeting focusing on the integrated distinctly francophone culture that spanned the Detroit River -- Le Détroit -- from the earliest settlement to the 1960.

“The Social Sciences and Humanities Research in HIV/AIDS”

Organization: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, International Summer Institute Grant,
Grant amount: $50,000


This project brought together 30 scholars & 11 students from 5 countries to examine the wisdom that the humanities and social sciences could bring to understanding and dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At this time virtually all research was biomedical. This meeting brought to the fore the importance of alternative approaches such as discourse analysis, cultural explications, individual and group dynamics etc.

“To Have and To Hold: Marriage in Premodern Europe, 1200-1700.”

Organization: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada,
Grant amount: ($16,700


Multidisciplinary, international meeting of researchers on the history and development of marriage in western society, 1200-1700.


  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Program Development
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Pedagogy in Higher Education
  • Medieval and Early Modern History
  • Hiv / Aids
  • Health Communications
  • Health Promotion Program Planning
  • Group and Workshop Facilitation
  • Chronic Illness Sectors
  • Aging
  • Aging with HIV


  • University of Toronto
    Medieval Studies; Sex, Gender and Sexualtiy
    Doctor of Philosophy, 1987
  • University of Toronto
    Master of Arts, 1979
  • University of British Columbia
    Honours History
    Bachelor of Arts (Honours), 1978

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