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Dr Bronach Kane 

Research projects

Popular memory and gender in the medieval ecclesiastical courts of Canterbury and York

This project extends a doctoral study of the church courts of York to include the courts associated with the diocese and province of Canterbury, focusing particularly on perceptions of the past among those below the level of the gentry. The initial stages of the project, and particularly the doctoral study, yielded a number of publications on gender and the practical application of canon law in various types of litigation. The study explores the early development of witness testimony in the two courts, particularly how deponents understood the canon legal requirement of proof.  Themes relating to group and individual memory, autobiography, and the landscape and genealogy are considered, alongside the place of embodiment and sexuality in remembering the past.

Gender and Social Belonging in England, 1250-1500

This Leverhulme-funded project investigates gendered forms of emotion, intimacy, and friendship in late medieval England. The study addresses the meaning of gender in social practice, exploring the dynamics of intimacy, friendship and neighbourliness in pre-Reformation England. The project examines the boundaries and expectations of proximity in local settings, focusing on concepts of social belonging as neglected themes in late medieval historiography. It considers how masculinities were negotiated in popular cultures, while simultaneously reasserting the critical importance of feminist history in medieval studies.