I am a historian whose scholarship and research interests include medieval women’s economic and social history, the history of the book, manuscript studies, public history, and the digital humanities.
I currently hold a CLIR (Council of Library Information Resources) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which will be transferred to a UW2020 Postdoctoral Grant September 2018. I received my BA in French from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN; and my MA and PhD in Medieval History from the University of Iowa.
My research examines noble and non-noble women’s economic activities within Picardy, France. While cartularies can provide a rich source for medieval women’s history, the extent to which women participated in the early history of abbeys is often obscured in cartulary evidence due to specific institutional interests and agendas that dictated the selection of certain charters for transcription in a thirteenth-century cartulary. Charters that survive, but are absent from the cartulary, provide substantial evidence of women working together with female family and social networks for the benefit of a given abbey, as well as non-noble women partaking in property sales, purchases, and leases in northern France, especially in urban environments.
My research interests also incorporate examining the materiality of the documents I use as primary sources, namely charters and cartularies. I have published an article on the Cartulary of the Abbey of Prémontré in Essays on Medieval Studies (2015), which argues that paleographical and codicological evidence helps to narrow down a cartulary completion date to 1239/1240 and informs the historical context surrounding cartulary completion at that time. I am currently working on a critical print/digital edition of the same cartulary (forthcoming 2020) with Dr. Yvonne Seale at the State University of New York, Geneseo.
My studies in codicology and paleography have broadened the scope of my research to a variety of manuscripts. I have carried out two digital humanities projects during my CLIR Fellowship, one on using multispectral imaging to characterize medieval stains, Labeculae Vivae (supported by a CLIR Microgrant) and another on using code to parse toponym overlap in a current dataset of ten medieval maps, Cartography and Code.
Before returning to graduate school, I taught high school French in England and the US. I have also taught high school English in France. At the University of Iowa, I was a teaching assistant for Western Civilization I and II, both as Lead TA and as discussion leader for an honor’s class. I also had the opportunity to design and teach a class on the The Making of Medieval Spain 711-1502. Most recently I have taught an undergraduate class for the University of Wisconsin iSchool called “The History and Future of Books,” and I work with iSchool graduate students on digital humanities projects centered on the History of the Book.
Digital projects: My most recent projects include the integration of digital technologies into the study of medieval manuscripts, featuring The University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections. Four of the six episodes of “If Books Could Talk …” are available on the UI History Corps website. The “Mining the Manuscript” workshop and digital edition project is up and running.
The website is still under construction.
Image credit: Central portal of the Cathedral of Laon.