A Rose Among the Thorns?: An Investigation into How Women Encountered Worlds of Learning 1200 to 1500.
My research considers how women encountered worlds of learning in the university towns of Oxford, Paris and Bologna. Research on medieval universities has tended to focus purely on the experience of scholars. When women appear in university history, they are merely the objects of university men, whether in their textbooks and disputations, or in cases of abuse. By moving beyond the objectification of women, I consider how and why women interacted with scholars, examining their various motives and experiences, including personal relationships, familial connections, patronage, spiritual guidance, education and abuse.
More broadly I am interested in medieval education, particularly the development of universities, and the role of gender and families within intellectual networks. I am also working on a new project on the soundscapes of medieval universities.