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MemberHannah Busch

Hannah Busch is a Ph.D. candidate in the project Digital Forensics for Historical Documents at Huygens ING in Amsterdam. In her thesis, she focuses on the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for the study of medieval Latin paleography. Hannah studied German-Italian studies (B.A./Laurea Triennale) at the Universities of Bonn and Florence, followed by the completion of a M.A. in Textual Scholarship at the Free University of Berlin. Prior to moving to the Netherlands in 2018, she worked as research assistant at the Trier Center for Digital Humanities, where she was a member of the eCodicology-project. Her research interests include large scale digitization of medieval manuscripts, and  experimenting with the application of computational methods that can support and enhance the work of manuscripts scholars. She is member of the Digital Medievalist Postgraduate Subcommittee, and the editorial team of the German science blog Mittelalter – Interdisziplinäre Forschung und Rezeptionsgeschichte.

MemberGillian Gower

Gillian L Gower is a musicologist and medievalist specializing in the cultural history of medieval England and Scotland. Broadly speaking, her research centers the ways in which women and racial minorities use music as a discourse through which to negotiate, challenge, and construct forms of power and authority. Her current book project, Music and Queenship in Medieval England, examines tensions between gender and power in English religious song, ca. 1200-1500. She has also published work on medievalism in popular culture and music paleography. Dr Gower received her PhD in Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds an MA in Music from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a BA from Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars program. At present, Dr Gower is a Research Assistant for the Carnegie Trust-funded digital humanities project Towards a Prosopography of Scottish Musicians before the Reformation hosted at the University of Edinburgh. She previously taught at UCLA and Southern Methodist University.

MemberEvina Steinova

I am a holder of a VENI grant from the Dutch Organisation for Research (NWO). My three-year postdoctoral project (2018-21) at the Huygens ING, an institute of the Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam, Innovating Knowledge. Isidore’s Etymologiae in the Carolingian period, deals with the study of the early transmission history of the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville, Carolingian appropriation of this work, and intellectual networks in the early Middle Ages. In 2017-18, I was a Mellon Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, working on the intellectual networks in the early medieval Latin West, and the role of Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies as a vehicle of innovation in this period. In 2016, I received a PhD from Utrecht University for my research on annotation symbols in early medieval Western manuscripts. I have carried out my PhD research in the project Marginal Scholarship: The Practice of Learning in the Early Middle Ages at the Huygens ING. I have a keen interest in early medieval annotation practices, in particular the use of symbols rather than words in this context – and I might be the right person to ask a question about this subject. I have published the first handbook of Western annotation symbols in 2019. By training, I am a Latin philologist. In the recent years, I have expanded my skills to Latin paleography and codicology and Digital Humanities. Besides Latin, I also know some Hebrew and I worked with Hebrew texts (for example, I published several articles on the 1389 Prague Easter pogrom), and I am interested in Jewish Studies and the late antique history of the Middle East. I hope to improve my coding and paleography skills in the future and hopefully get back to Hebrew and medieval Jewish history. I also try to write popularizing articles about history-related topics on various platforms, both in English and Slovak (my native language), and to organize popularizing events.

MemberJulia Verkholantsev

I am a scholar of cultural, religious and intellectual history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture. My publications and research are concerned with the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, and Rus. In research and teaching, I deal with topics that include the history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; pre-modern historical writing and historical methods; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and Russian medieval and modern literature and culture. As a medievalist, I am convinced that the mapping of pre-modern Europe into the modern East – West divide creates unnecessary gaps between fields of knowledge that are inherently interconnected and impedes a dialogue between scholars who find themselves working in artificially bounded sub-disciplines. In my research and professional service I try to remedy this situation. In my teaching, I examine medieval literary and historical topics in the context of modern society and help students see their importance in the development of contemporary culture, politics, and social norms. I focus on the study of reading strategies of imaginative texts that leads to the advanced understanding of literature as part of cultural history.

MemberKate Brasseur

I am a graduate student at Carleton University working on my Master’s of History. I love medieval history, and since my undergrad have taken on the role of cataloguer-at-large, seeking out medieval materials in Ottawa in order to publish a catalogue of medieval content held in Canada’s capital city. The website, far from perfect, became the final project for my undergraduate thesis. (**The site is no longer private, please check it out!). This fascination with all things medieval began in January 2017, when I was given the opportunity to solve a mystery — a medieval manuscript lay open at the front of Carleton’s Archives and Research Collections (ARC) seminar room, its origins and contents still unknown. I was quickly drawn to paleography, and found myself immersed in the study of letter forms and abbreviations. After months of studying medieval codicology, taking Latin, French, and German courses, and frequenting archives more often than the cafe near my house, I decided not to look back. That is when I joined the Medieval and Early Modern Society and by the following September I became the club’s president. Nowadays you can find me in my office or at ARC working away at my thesis project which I hope to complete by Spring 2020. Check out my personal hcommons website to follow the progress of my work and learn about the wonderful tools that digital humanists are developing for medieval studies. And be sure to click the link to the Medieval Book website which charts the progress of the students of HIST 4006: Digitizing Medieval Archives as we create a physical exhibition for ARC’s manuscript books and folios and a corresponding digital exhibition to enhance the experience through soundscapes, an interactive paleographical tool, chant recreations, and high definition images.  

MemberLorraine de la Verpillière

Lorraine de la Verpillière is a Post-doctoral Research Assistant on the ERC-funded project “Genius Before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art and Science”.
Before coming to CRASSH, Lorraine completed a PhD at the History of Art department in Cambridge, funded by the AHRC, the Cambridge Trust, and Pembroke College’s Lander Studentship in History of Art. Her thesis, entitled ‘Visceral Creativity: Digestion, Earthly Melancholy, and Materiality in the Graphic Arts of Early Modern France and the German-Speaking Lands (c. 1530-1675)’, examines how early modern artists depicted the ‘physiology of creation’, focusing on the lower process of digestion as a natural model of artistic creativity.
Prior to her PhD, Lorraine received a BA and MA in History of Art from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, where she researched and published on the artistic patronage of Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500-1558) between Italy and England. Lorraine has a long-standing interest in science as, prior to starting her BA in History of Art, she studied Physics, Chemistry, and Maths in a French classe préparatoire. Recently, she also took part in the Middle French Paleography Workshop organised by The Making and Knowing Project (led by Prof. Pamela Smith) at the University of Columbia in New York, where she received intensive training in Middle French manuscript reading and helped to the translation and digital encoding of BnF Ms. Fr. 640 – a sixteenth-century compilation of technical recipes written by an anonymous French craftsperson. With her colleague, Lizzie Marx, Lorraine co-coordinated the Cambridge History of Art Graduate Research Seminar, Lent term 2018 on the topic of “Art and the Senses.”

Deposit(Re)modeling the Narrative: Communication Networks, Petitionary Texts, and the 13th Century Prosopography

Studies that apply Social Network Analysis (SNA) to historical documents and literary texts are becoming more reflective of the innovations and developments in digital medieval studies. Historical SNA studies conducted by Hammond (2016) looks at family trees in medieval Scotland to create a network. Similarly, Geggel (2018), builds a literary network using Irish and Viking texts, demonstrating a shift in medieval studies as they converge with network theory. However, none of these studies focus on historical documents or their contributions to paleography. In this project I employ SNA to examine the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), both in terms his place in English history and his impact on historical communication networks. Using petitions as historical evidence, I analyze smaller conversations occurring in England, looking at whether these events did, in fact, impact life in Western Europe. The data extracted from these minor historical documents are used to construct visualizations representing prosopographies – or collective narratives – shaped by English communication networks. The source material for my current research begins with a sample of 413 open-source digitized documents available from the British National Archives’ Special Collection 8. I argue that this methodology can give historians a better sense of the past. The results of this study reveal trends in 13th century communication networks, but, more importantly, provide the framework for a working model that future research in historical Social Network Analysis can implement.

MemberMichail Kitsos

…Gratz College, Melrose Park, PA
Master of Arts, Biblical Archaeology, School of Theology / Department of Theology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Graduate Certificate in Hellenic Paleography, Center for History and Paleography, Athens, Greece
Bachelor of Arts in Theology, School of Theology/Department of Theology National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Michail Kitsos is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan specializing in the History of Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity. Kitsos also has an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of Michigan, an MA in Jewish Studies with a major in Rabbinics from Gratz College, Philadelphia, and an MA in Biblical Archaeology from the School of Theology, Department of Theology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His BA is in Theology with a major in the Interpretation of the Old and the New Testament and Patristics from the School of Theology, Department of Theology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.   His research examines intersectionality, particularly, the crossing of religious and societal boundaries and identity formation of religious groups in late antiquity and the early Byzantine period in the Mediterranean world. Specifically, by comparing Greek and Syriac anti-Jewish multivocal texts known as Adversus or Contra Iudaeos dialogues and Rabbinic multivocal narratives between rabbis and “others, Kitsos explores the mechanisms that create and reinforce the binary of “us” and “them” between religious communities and how this binary affects the process of self-representation on the part of the outsider group or “other.” His work examines the rhetorical use and function of the image of the “other” by both Christians and Rabbis in dialogical literature within its historical context, and it helps to understand the birth, formation, and diffusion of stereotypes—a process evident in late antiquity that still occurs today.   His research languages include Classical, Hellenistic/Koinē, Ecclesiastical, and Medieval Greek; Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin; Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew; Palestinian and Babylonian Aramaic; Syriac and Coptic.