Adviser: Marcus Bull and Brett E. Whalen

Graduate Email: praleigh@live.unc.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Education

BA DePaul University, 2009
MA Cardiff University, 2011
MA Thesis: “Rex Christianissimus, Rex Crucesignatus: Kingship, Crusading and the Myth of Capetian Supremacy in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries”
PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019
PhD dissertation: Narrative, History, and Kingship in Angevin England

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in the political and cultural history of Latin Christendom in the Middle Ages, particularly the long twelfth century in Britain. My research is chiefly concerned with medieval historical writings as both constructed narratives and expressions of historically situated worldviews. My dissertation seeks to understand the kinds of circumstances which produced unusually rich concentrations of historical narrative in particular cultural moments, and the narrative possibilities of which contemporaries could avail themselves in memorializing and constructing their pasts. It identifies the Angevin period of English history (c. 1150-1220) as a cultural moment of this kind, during which deep anxieties about the nature and practice of English kingship found their expression in an unequaled trove of sophisticated historical narrative texts. By understanding the recurring themes and narrative techniques which gave these texts contemporary meaning, we can gain insights into the way medieval writers and readers ordered their world, and into the kinds of disruptions and discontinuities which drove them to take up their pens.