About our staff
Dr Kirsty Day
BA, MA, PhD
Teaching Fellow; Medieval History
Affiliated research centres
I did my BA (Hons) in English and History at the University of Sheffield before moving to the University of Southampton to study for an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Culture. I then moved to the University of Leeds, where I did my PhD in History, which was funded by an AHRC block grant doctoral scholarship. From September–December 2013 I was a Kluge Fellow in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. This was funded by an AHRC International Placement Scheme Award. I also received AHRC funding to undertake archival research in the Wrocław University Library in April 2014.
After submitting my doctoral thesis in August 2015, I worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds until June 2016. I joined the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology here in September 2016 to take up a post as Teaching Fellow in Medieval History.
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Medieval & Renaissance
I am a social and cultural historian of late medieval religion, with particular expertise in the relationships between the religious orders, gender, and lay religious practice in East-Central Europe (Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland). My research projects explore the connections between thought, behaviour, and identity in these contexts.
Current research activities
I am currently writing a monograph based on my most recent research into how and why Franciscan nuns deliberately built close relationships with members of the ruling dynasties of Bohemia and the Polish duchies, even though their penitential model promoted an uncompromising rejection of material things. My research is the first to use gift-giving methodology to address the heavily-debated problem of a voluntarily poor religious order’s direct involvement with the richest of society. This approach reveals that the Franciscans imbued the traditional rhetoric and ritual associated with gift-giving to religious institutions — a process that would have been familiar to their royal donors — with language drawn from their own ideology that the world should be renounced completely. By providing a much-needed reassessment of the way in which histories of this influential religious order have been written, my research demonstrates the importance of women’s labour to the order’s development, and casts East-Central Europe as a dynamic locus of Franciscan activity rather than a region peripheral to the concerns of the Latin Church.
In addition to my planned monograph, I have published on how Franciscan scholars have created androcentric and teleologic histories of the order based on hagiographic narratives of origin. I am working on a journal article entitled: ‘How the Franciscan Nuns at Wrocław Commemorated their Donors: A New Perspective on History and Memory’. I will also write an invited contribution on the relationship between papal power and the authority of women religious in Central Europe for a volume on new approaches to ecclesiastical authority, due to be published in 2018 with Routledge.
Medieval Worlds: A Journey through the Middle Ages (HIST08035)
Making and Breaking Medieval Britain: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales c.1100 - c1500 (HIST08039)
Gender and Society: Men and Women in the Middle Ages (HIST10072)
The Crusades and Medieval Society (HIST10348)
The Cult of Saints in Medieval Christendom, 1200-1500: A Global History?
History in Theory (CHCA10003)
History in Practice (CHCA10001)
History Dissertation (HIST10309)
The Sources of Medieval History (PGHC11214)
Historical Research: Skills and Sources (PGHC11334)
PG dissertation supervision
Day, K. (2014) Received Medievalisms: A cognitive geography of Viennese women's convents Cynthia J. Cyrus. Women's History Review, 23(6), pp. 1024-1026DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2014.906127
Day, K. (forthcoming) Royal women, the Franciscan order, and ecclesiastical authority in Late-Medieval Bohemia and the Polish Duchies. In: Smith, T. (ed.) Authority and Power in the Medieval Church c. 1000-1500. Brepols
Day, K. (2015) Hagiography as institutional biography: Medieval and modern uses of the thirteenth-century vitae of Clare of Assisi. In: Smith, R. and Watson, G. (eds.) Writing the Lives of People and Things, AD 500-1700. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, pp. 261-280