About our staff
Dr Kirsty Day
Teaching Fellow in Medieval History
A graduate of the universities of Sheffield, Southampton, and Leeds, I have taught at the universities of Leeds and Edinburgh, and have held AHRC- and ERC-funded research fellowships at the Library of Congress and Aalborg University in Denmark. Following my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship in Aalborg, I was re-appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Medieval History at Edinburgh in 2021.
Office hours: Tuesdays, 14:00-17:00, booking required
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Medieval & Renaissance
I am a social and cultural historian of medieval religion, specialising in how women and gender shaped the central-late medieval Church. My interests include cultures of power and authority, the Franciscan Order, gift theory, the History of Emotions, the papal curia, and East-Central Europe.
Based on my AHRC-funded doctoral research into communities of Franciscan women in thirteenth-century Bohemia and Poland, my monograph-in-progress examines the way in which the submission of royal and noble women to clerical authority in East-Central Europe became symbolic of orthodoxy in the thirteenth century and a model for the Church’s reform. I demonstrate how royal and noble women’s conformity with and resistance to the Church’s imposition of order shaped this project, which was bound inextricably with efforts to expand and make uniform the regions of Latin Christendom.
My ERC-funded project examined how the papacy of the early-thirteenth century imagined and communicated its authority as supreme within the Church during times of triumph and crisis. Focussing on the letters and sermons produced by Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) and his curia, I demonstrate that the curia’s exclusion of women from ministry, and its placement of emotion and intellect into a hierarchical taxonomy, were constituent parts of papal claims to supremacy over the Church. Read not as lofty rhetoric but as a set of instructions on how to feel correctly, emotion in papal letters reflected and shaped the papacy’s effort to curb cultural-geographical and religious diversity in the process of creating a renewed and distinctly ‘Latin’ Church.
Medieval Worlds: A Journey through the Middle Ages (Pre-Honours)
Introduction to Historiography (Pre-Honours)
Historical Skills and Methods II (Honours Core Course)
The Cult of Saints in Medieval Christendom, 1200-1500: A Global History? (Honours Elective)
No Such Thing as a Free Gift: A Long History of Donation (Honours Elective)
The Sources of Medieval History
Historical Research: Skills & Sources
Approaches to History (ODL)
The Nine Lives of the Medieval Church
‘Sorrow, Masculinity, and Papal Authority in the Writing of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) and his Curia’, The Journal of Medieval History 49 (2023), 201-226 [open access]
‘The Zeal with which Christ was Inflamed: Irascibility, Masculinity, and Clerical Authority in the Writing of Pope Innocent III and his Curia (1198–1216)’, Emotions: History, Culture, Society [advanced online access]
‘Royal Women, the Franciscan Order, and Ecclesiastical Authority in Late-Medieval Bohemia and the Polish Duchies’, in Authority and Power in the Medieval Church, c.1000–c. 1500, ed. Thomas Smith (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), 269–284
‘Hagiography as Institutional Biography: Medieval and Modern Uses of the Thirteenth-Century Vitae of Clare of Assisi’, in Writing the Lives of People and Things, AD 500-1700, ed. Robert Smith and Gemma Watson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2016), 261–280
Forthcoming peer-reviewed publications
‘Crusading against Bosnian Christians, c. 1234–1241’, in Crusading against Christians in the Middle Ages, ed. Mike Carr, Nikolaos Chrissis, and Gianluca Raccagni (London: Palgrave, forthcoming), 8594 words
Peer-reviewed publications under review
‘The Legitimization of Papal Power through the Cults of Royal Women in Thirteenth-Century East-Central Europe’, in The Cult of Saints and Legitimization of Elite Power in East Central Europe and Scandinavia until 1300, ed. Grzegorz Pac, Steffen Hope, and Jón Viðar Sigurðsson (Turnhout: Brepols), 8139 words
Becoming Franciscan Women in Medieval East-Central Europe
With Professor Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt: ‘The Function of Anger in Papal Writing: The Case of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216)’
Review of Virginia Blanton, Veronica O’Mara, and Patricia Stoop, eds, Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Kansas City Dialogue, for Speculum 95 (2020), 199-201
Review of Alison More, Fictive Orders and Feminine Religious Identities, 1200-1600 for the History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland Network (H-WRBI) [accessed 3 June 2020]
Review of Cynthia J. Cyrus, Received Medievalisms: A Cognitive Geography of Viennese Women’s Convents, in Women’s History Review 23 (2014), 1024–26