Cardiff historian wins Women’s History Network Book Prize
15 September 2020
Feminist historian of late medieval England scoops prestigious 2020 award
Cardiff medieval historian Dr Bronach Kane scoops the prestigious prize with her book Popular Memory and Gender in Medieval England: Men, Women and Testimony in the Church Courts, c.1200-1500.
The Women’s History Network Book Prize is presented annually for a first single-authored monograph focusing on women’s or gender history in the UK.
Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Dr Kane has won the 2020 award for books published during 2019, with the judges hailing Popular Memory and Gender in Medieval England “a highly original, ambitious, erudite and theoretically sophisticated study''.
Through the lens of gender and subjectivity the book challenges conventional narratives that have aligned female remembrance with domesticity while embedding male memory in the public sphere. It draws a picture of everyday life in medieval England outside of the elite through the detail of church court records. Vivid testimony in cases of marriage, insult, and debt, as well as tithes, testaments and ecclesiastical rights, show how men and women thought about the past and presented their own histories.
Dr Bronach Kane researches gender relations, femininity and masculinity among lower-status people in everyday life, with forays into the history of emotions as a way of exploring sex, courtship, marriage and reproduction.
She opened the Women’s History Network Autumn Seminar Series with a special online talk on this research following the award announcement. She received the £500 prize at the Women’s History Network AGM, held online earlier this month.
Popular Memory and Gender in Medieval England: Men, Women and Testimony in the Church Courts, c.1200-1500 is published by Boydell and Brewer as part of the Gender in the Middle Ages series.