Department of History
Cockefair Hall 203
FAX (816) 235-5542
Linda E. Mitchell, Martha Jane Phillips Starr/Missouri Distinguished Professor of Women's and Gender Studies; Professor of History; graduate faculty in History, Women's and Gender Studies, and Classics; Senior Editor: Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques. (B.A. Sarah Lawrence College; M.A. Indiana University-Bloomington; Ph.D. Indiana University-Bloomington)
My work currently focuses on those pesky Normans who conquered so much of medieval Europe, especially those areas on the "fringes"--the British Isles, Sicily, and southern Italy, Antioch and Cyprus during the Crusades. I am interested in several issues regarding Norman conquest and settlement. I have also been looking at the issue of gender in the Middle Ages: how it is not a binary distinction but rather a fluid and flexible construct. This is especially significant in areas of Norman conquest because the indigenous cultures modeled gender differently and the tension between conquered and conqueror influenced not only gendered categories of difference between the two populations, but also affected the ways they interacted, the status each enjoyed, and the ways they defined themselves.
My recent and forthcoming publications are an eclectic collection. Portraits of Medieval Women (Palgrave, 2003) is a collection of case studies of elite women whose lives reveal the range of female agency in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Family Life in the Middle Ages (Greenwood Press, 2007) is a textbook and reference book for students in high school and college. Articles forthcoming include a number of case studies and an analysis of gendered language in some important and underused texts having to do with the conquest of Ireland. I also edit a journal of cultural, intellectual, and comparative history, Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques, which publishes articles on all historical eras, in both English and French.