Dr Kirsty Day
Teaching Fellow in Medieval History
Acting Deputy School Academic Conduct Officer (semester two, 2021–2022 academic year)
I received my AHRC-funded PhD from the University of Leeds in 2016. While a PhD student, I also held a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress in Washington DC (funded by the AHRC’s International Placement Scheme). Following a teaching fellowship at Leeds, I was then appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Medieval History at Edinburgh from 2016–2019. I was then awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship (funded by the European Research Council), which I held at Aalborg University in Denmark (2019–2021). I was re-appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Medieval History at Edinburgh in 2021.
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 and its ‘global’ ambitions.
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.
Having taught extensively on global themes in the context of the cult of saints, gift-exchange, and travel, my interests have become increasingly global in nature. Concentrating on the Polish lands, a future project will explore the ambiguous and ambivalent position of this region within the globe. One strand will how the Polish lands were brought into connection with the medieval globe through mission, travel, and the extraction and export of natural resources. The other strand will examine how the centralising processes of the Church and the exploitation of natural resources altered the imaginative and physical landscapes of the Polish lands. I hope to address also how the enforcement of the homogenising impulses of the Church and the discipline of women religious shaped how missionaries who travelled beyond the limits of Christendom engaged with new cultures during a time of expansion.
Medieval Worlds: A Journey through the Middle Ages (Pre-Honours)
Making and Breaking Medieval Britain: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales c.1100 – c.1500 (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
Historical Research: Skills & Sources (Online Distance Learning MSc)
Approaches to History (ODL)
Medieval Travellers in the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia
‘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
‘Sorrow, Masculinity, and Papal Authority in the Writing of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) and his Curia’, The Journal of Medieval History (forthcoming), 15,222 words
Peer-reviewed publications under review
‘The Zeal with which Christ was Inflamed: Irascibility, Masculinity, and Clerical Authority in the Writing of Pope Innocent III and his Curia (1198–1216)’, under review at Emotions: History, Culture, Society (9807 words; submitted March 2022)
For the Remedy of Her Soul: Royal Women and the Franciscan Orders in Thirteenth-Century Bohemia and the Polish Duchies
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