- Fellowship year:2010-2011
- University: Indiana University
- Dissertation Topic/Category: Medieval Europe
- Dissertation Title: Struck by A Divine Blow: Divine and Human Agency in Representations of Conflict Resolution by Early Medieval Bishops, 500-1100 C.E.
This dissertation aims to better understand the role of divine and human agency in the genre of gesta episcoporum (“deeds of biships”). It argues that gesta episcoporum are often written during periods of intense political strife arising from simultaneous challenges by external royal authority figures and local urban aristocrats. The amalgamation of human agency with divine intervention is a key part of the negotiations and rituals which bishops used to alleviate, and occasionally heighten, tension between themselves and the many authority figures with whom they dealt. Such conflicts, whether urban or regional, were often resolved by bishops who utilized methods drawn equally from pragmatic and sacral realms of authority.