In August 2021, I completed my PhD at the University of York in the History of Art department working with Hanna Vorholt and Amanda Lillie. My thesis focused on the role of Matilda of Canossa in the sociopolitical development of the Investiture Controversy, and its relationship to her material patronage. I'm also interested in the representation of women and their legacies, as well as the historiography and legacy building of medieval women.
My dissertation, entitled "Matilda of Canossa's Material Patronage in Relation to the Eleventh-century Papal Reform," is one of the first concentrated efforts to analyze Matilda of Canossa's material patronage through the lenses of authority, agency, and gender. I'm are currently in the process of developing the thesis into an English-language monograph, the first of it's kind dedicated to Matilda's material patronage.
I'm deeply interested in the historiographic reception of Matilda, particularly her seventeenth-century revival at the Vatican under Pope Urban VIII (left). My research aims to unpick the whys and hows of this particular revival, and argues that it serves as an important moment in the development of the popular understanding of the countess. This research has also spurred my interest into the depiction of the Middle Ages in modern popular media such as video games.
My research interests have expanded to include the digital humanities, inclusive of media studies and digital praxis. This began as an investigation on how to bring digital games into the classroom to teach the Middle Ages. Since 2021, I've been a part of the NEH-funded institute of the Immersive Global Middle Ages where I have been using virtual reality and 3D modelling to explore sense and sensation in medieval 'virtual' pilgrimages.