email address: wacha2@wisc.edu

I am a historian whose scholarship and research interests IMG_0520include medieval women’s economic and social history, the history of the book, manuscript studies, public history, and the digital humanities. During my doctoral studies, I also worked part-time at the University of Iowa’s Special Collections Library, which gave me an opportunity to work closely with the medieval manuscript collection. I was able to incorporate these primary sources into my scholarship and pedagogy, and at the same time make the collections more visible and accessible to the public.

I currently hold a University of Wisconsin 2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medieval Studies and Digital Humanities  at the University of Wisconsin.  This one-year fellowship follows a two-year appointment as a CLIR (Council of Library Information Resources) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at the same institution. 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 previous and current positions have allowed me to explore my research interests through the intersection of scholarship and digital humanities, which has solidified my commitment to collaborative, open access scholarship and publication in the humanities. I am currently working on a dual print/digital edition of the Cartulary of Prémontré and a prosopographical database of women in the southern region of Picardy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, work that has evolved from my dissertation.  I have also been involved in several projects during my CLIR/UW2020 Fellowships, including the release of Digital Mappa 1.0, the completion of the Virtual Mappa project hosted in Digital Mappa, the Labeculae Vivae project (supported by a CLIR Microgrant), which uses multispectral imaging to characterize stains found in medieval manuscripts, the Cartography and Code project that contains over 1800 normalized medieval toponyms and a computer code to parse the overlap of these toponyms in a current set of ten medieval maps, a digital edition of a set of fourteenth-century manorial rolls held in the UW Special Collections (forthcoming), as well as a video project I initiated with three UW iSchool graduate students discussing manuscripts held at UW Memorial Library’s Special Collections.

Both my research and digital project experience are integrated into my teaching philosophy and methodology.  Students in my classes work with primary source documents through originals held in Special Collections and digital facsimiles, as well as the more traditional edited versions that have been translated for accessibility.  I have designed my most recent syllabuses to reflect a narrative that incorporates the diverse environment of the middle ages, including the activities and experiences of multiple peoples living in a variety of geographic regions.  Having recently introduced a digital project component (a set of Digital Medieval Manuscript Collection Reviews) into my most recent syllabus, I hope to continue to add more student reviews from future classes and design assignments using digital platforms like Digital Mappa in every class I teach.

Image: Central portal of the Cathedral of Laon.