Debra Blumenthal is a historian at the University of California at Santa Barbara whose research interests center around late medieval Iberian history; Muslim, Christian, and Jewish interaction in the medieval Mediterranean world; and comparative slavery.
At Radcliffe, Blumenthal will examine the lives of slaves and their role in the economy of late medieval Valencia, a religiously and ethnically diverse urban center. Using previously unexplored archival sources, she will investigate two distinct yet interrelated themes: slavery and the limits to integration, and the "double character" of slaves as both persons and property.
Blumenthal received her doctorate in medieval European history at the University of Toronto in 2000. She received her bachelor's degree in history from Columbia University in 1991. In 2000, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Cultures at Rice University. Prior to her most recent appointment as an assistant professor in the history department at the University of California at Santa Barbara, she was an assistant professor in the history department of the University of Kansas.