BA University of Washington, 2012 (History, summa cum laude)
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
MA Thesis: “Translation, Canonization, and the Cult of the Saints in England, 1160 – 1220.”
My research interests focus on the intersection between traditions of historical writing and religious identity in the Scandinavian north during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. My dissertation, “Holy Kings: Royal Cult and the Making of Latin Christendom, c. 1000 – 1250,” examines the historiographical afterlives of high medieval royal saints as a lens onto the adoption of Christian identities on the northern and eastern peripheries of an expanding Latin Christendom. In the new kingdoms of Hungary, Norway, and Denmark, the earliest and most persistently significant local saints were neither bishops nor monastic founders, but rather kings who had been instrumental in both the centralization of royal authority and the establishment of the Christian faith amongst their peoples. As figures whose memories seemed to illuminate moments of transformational historical change, such as conversion, conquest, and kingdom-formation, royal saints such as Óláfr Haraldsson of Norway, Knútr IV of Denmark, and Stephen I of Hungary became powerful carriers of historical meaning. Deployed within the grand narratives of their young kingdoms, these highly polysemic figures came to represent diverse visions of royal ideology, hegemonic masculinity, and spiritual authority. A study of the representations of royal sanctity in medieval historiography thus allows us to more fully understand the strategies through which new Christian kingdoms in the north and east wrote themselves into the religious and textual community of Latin Christendom.