Spotlight on Kirsten Fenton
March 1, 2013 1 Comment
Dr Kirsten Fenton joined the School of History in 2009. She obtained her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2004 under the supervision of Professor Pauline Stafford, before taking up her first teaching position at the University of Edinburgh. She then held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship there between 2006 and 2009.
Kirsten has two key research interests – gender and historical writing in the Anglo-Norman world. Her early research explored these themes in relation to one of the most famous historians of the twelfth century, the Benedictine monk William of Malmesbury. In 2007 she won the Clare Evans Prize, which is awarded on an annual basis for the best new essay in the field of Gender and History. This also led to publication of ‘Ideas and Ideals of Secular Masculinity in William of Malmesbury’, Women’s History Review 16.5 (2007), 755-772.
2008 saw the publication of her first monograph, Gender, Nation and Conquest in the works of William of Malmesbury with Boydell & Brewer, which was described in History, 95.1. 2010, pp. 110-111 as demonstrating “just how many insights can be derived from exploring the role of gender in medieval historical writing. One hopes that more studies on the subject will follow, and that they will match the sophistication, intelligence and ludicity of this fascinating and important book.”
More recently, she has co-edited (with Cordelia Beattie) Intersections of Gender, Religion and Ethnicity in the Middle Ages (Palgrave MacMillan, 2010). This collection of interdisciplinary essays sought to pay more attention to how gender intersects with other categories of difference, particularly sexuality but also religion and ethnicity. She also contributed a chapter to this book on gender and the First Crusade in William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Regum Anglorum.
Kirsten is currently putting together a new research project focusing on masculinity and religious identity in the Anglo-Norman world. The first fruits of this research will be published later this year in Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages, ed. K. J. Lewis & P. H. Cullum with Boydell & Brewer.
Kirsten teaches at all levels in the department and her courses include ME3212 Men, Women and Family in the Middle Ages and ME4701 Henry I: perceptions and practices of kingship in Anglo-Norman England.
For more on Dr Fenton please see her staff page on the School of History website.