William Caferro teaches medieval European history at Vanderbilt University. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended James Madison High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 1984 (with a history major at Bryn Mawr College) and his Ph.D from Yale University in 1992 (where he primarily studied Greek and Latin patristic). From 1984 to 1987, he taught high school mathematics in New York City and Connecticut.William Caferro specializes in the history of medieval and Renaissance Italy. His research has focused on the transition from the medieval to Renaissance periods, on ascertaining the distinction between the two, particularly with regard to economic forces.Caferro is author of Mercenary Companies and the Decline of Siena (Johns Hopkins, 1998) and John Hawkwood, English Mercenary in Fourteenth Century Italy (Johns Hopkins, 2006). John Hawkwood won the Otto Grundler Prize from the International Medieval Congress as the best book in medieval studies (2008). He is co-author of The Spinelli: Fortunes of a Renaissance Family (Penn State, 2001) and co-editor of The Unbounded Community: Papers in Christian Ecumenism in Honor of Jaroslav Pelikan (Routledge, 1996). His most recent book Contesting the Renaissance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) traces the meaning and use of the term "Renaissance" in the major debates of the historiography.