Monthly Archives: September 2014

New Publication: “Diverging Paths? The Shapes of Power and Institutions in Medieval Christendom and Islam”

Diverging PathsWe are excited to announce the publication of a new collection of essays, “Diverging Paths? The Shapes of Power and Institutions in Medieval Christendom and Islam” (Brill 2014). The book is edited by our own John Hudson and long-time friend of St Andrews Ana Rodríguez (CCHS-CSIC), and it emerges from work undertaken in the related projects “Diverging Paths” and “Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom“.

From the website:

Diverging Paths? investigates an important question, to which the answers must be very complex: “why did certain sorts of institutionalisation and institutional continuity characterise government and society in Christendom by the later Middle Ages, but not the Islamic world, whereas the reverse end-point might have been predicted from the early medieval situation?” This core question lies within classic historiographical debates, to which the essays in the volume, written by leading medievalists, make significant contributions. The papers, drawing on a wide range of evidence and methodologies, span the middle ages, chronologically and geographically. At the same time, the core question relates to matters of strong contemporary interest, notably the perceived characteristics of power exercised within Islamic Middle Eastern regimes.

Contributors are Stuart Airlie, Gadi Algazi, Sandro Carocci, Simone Collavini, Emanuele Conte, Nadia El Cheikh, Maribel Fierro, John Hudson, Caroline Humfress, Michel Kaplan, Hugh Kennedy, Simon MacLean, Eduardo Manzano, Susana Naroztky, Annliese Nef, Vivien Prigent, Ana Rodríguez, Magnus Ryan and Bernard Stolte.


Kimberley Knight wins History of Emotions Postdoc

Congratulations to Dr Kimberley Knight, who has been appointed a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney. Kimberley will be joining the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE), working as part of their ‘Meanings’ research programme.

Dr Kimberley Knight

Dr Kimberley Knight

Kimberley’s completed her 2014 PhD in St Andrews with a dissertation entitled ‘Blessed are those who weep: gratia lacrymarum in thirteenth-century hagiographies’. As part of that research, she published an article in the 2011 volume Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History, recently republished in paperback. Her new project is called ‘Love in a cold climate: the relationship between love, desire, sexuality and marriage in medieval Norway and Iceland (c. 1100-1500)’.

The move to Australia does not end Kimberley’s long association with St Andrews. Next year she will organise a conference with Prof John Hudson and Dr Jamie Page on ‘Emotions in the Courtroom’ – a joint enterprise between CHE and our own Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Law and Literature.

Kimberley’s success has been part of a fantastic summer, in which five graduating SAIMS doctor students have won postdoctoral positions. Jamie Page (late medieval prostitution), Matt McHaffie (lordship in Anjou), and Roberta Cimino (early medieval queens) will be taking up Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships at Durham, KCL and Nottingham respectively. Ed Roberts also headed to KCL earlier this summer as part of the ‘Making of Charlemagne’s Europe’ project.

Forthcoming Conference: “The Age of Revolt: Comparative Perspectives”

SAIMS are looking forward to hosting a conference, ‘The Age of Revolt: Comparative Perspectives’, on 3-4 October, organised by Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker.

Speakers will include Paul Freedman (Yale), John Arnold (Birkbeck), Sam Cohn (Glasgow) and Philip Haberken (BU). The conference is open to the University community, but there is limited space. If you would like to attend, please email revoltDr Firnhaber-Baker at

The conference is the first of two connected two run by Dr Firnhaber-Baker as part of her AHRC Early Career Fellowship project, ‘The Jacquerie and Late Mediaeval Revolts’.