The spring and summer conference season is ending and once again studies on queens and queenship could be found at the Medieval Academy of America, the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo), the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, and the Royal Studies Network conference at the University of Winchester). There was only one session at the Medieval Academy devoted to “Queens and Empresses: Beyond the Agency Question,” and we all owe a loud shout-out of thanks to Marie Kelleher (California State University at Long Beach) for organizing that session!

There were dozens of sessions on queens at Kalamazoo, Leeds, and Winchester. Alas, I missed Kalamazoo (it was midterm at Seattle University), but got topped up on recent scholarship at Leeds and Winchester. It was intense to go straight from Leeds to Winchester, but it was wonderful to catch up with colleagues from Europe who have been unable to attend US conferences during the recent economic crises. At Leeds, the theme of empire opened up a broad conversation about queens and empresses in Europe, which accounts for the many sessions on the political work of queens. The Royal Studies Network (University of Winchester) focused on the theme of entourage and provided innovative and rich ways of understanding monarchy as more than just a family affair. Many papers focused on a queen’s management of the complex and costly royal household and its attendant ceremonial and theatrical events.

It is very gratifying to see so much excellent work on queens. When I was in graduate school in the early 1990s, there were a few dozen scholars studying queenship. Now, we are numerous and we are changing the narrative of the history of medieval Europe. There will be a time–soon, I hope–when this list will be too long to note in a blog post! For now, I’ve organized the list of conference papers thematically to give you a good sense of the wide range of topics and help you pinpoint spots for new research projects.

If you read a paper at a conference but I neglected to include you in the list below, drop me an email and I’ll send out an addendum.


Zita Eva Rohr (University of Sydney): “‘Do not try to teach our Granddames to suck eggs’: Researching Our Queenly Protagonists in the Broader Context of Their Lives and Times,” IMC Leeds


Ilse Aiglsperger (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz): “‘Ut sicut Esther […]’: Biblical Exempla as a Justification for Female Rule? The Ordines for the Coronation of Queens,” IMC Leeds

Barbara Boloix-Gallardo (Universidad de Granada): “Beyond the Haram: Nasrid Women and Their ‘Veiled’ Participation in the Politics of the Kingdom of Granada, 13th–15th Centuries,” IMC Leeds

Colette Marie Bowie (University of Glasgow): “Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Daughters and Their Dower Portions,” IMC Leeds

Laura Brander (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg): “Reigning Queen, tutora, and hallow: Sancha of Castile in the Kingdom of Aragón,” IMC Leeds

Aysu Dincer (University of Birmingham): “‘The one to hold the strings’: Philip of Novara, Alice of Champagne and the Ibelins,” Royal Studies Network

Daniela Dvořáková (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava): “The Birth of Historic Legend: The Black Queen Barbara of Cilli,” IMC Leeds

Theresa Earenfight (Seattle University): “Was There a Medical Basis of a Queen’s Right to Rule? Gender and Inheritance in Pierre André’s Pomum aureum, 1444,” at IMC Leeds

Amalie Fößel (Universität Duisburg-Essen): “Queenship in the Age of the Luxemburgians,” IMC Leeds

Anna Jagošová (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien): “Queen Elisabeth of Luxemburg: Her Ruling Practice in the Mirror of Her Charters and Correspondence,” IMC Leeds

Jitske Jasperse (Universiteit van Amsterdam): “Jutta and Bertha: 12th-Century Sisters-In-Arms,” IMC Leeds

Tiziana Lazzari (Università di Bologna): “Who Saved the Young Queen?: The Escape of Adelaide from Rosvita to Donizo,” at IMC Leeds

Amy Livingstone (Wittinberg University): “The King’s Sister: Countess Ermengard of Brittany,” Royal Studies Network

Simon MacLean (University of St Andrews): “Empress Adelheid and the Ottonian Invasion of Italy,” IMC LeedsFraser McNair (University of Cambridge): “Queens as interfaces between political networks in tenth-century France,” Royal Studies Network

Penelope Joan Nash (University of Sydney): “Empress Adelheid’s Travels during the Regencies,” IMC Leeds

Piotr Oliński (Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Torún): “Queen Elizabeth of Poland and the Treatise De institutione regii pueri: Royal Authority of the Future Jagiellonian King of Hungary and Bohemia,” IMC Leeds

Lucy K. Pick (University of Chicago): “Networking Power, Mediating Encounter: The Royal Women of León-Castilla,” Medieval Academy of America

Sacramento Roselló-Martínez (Northwestern University): “Negotiating Exile: Constanza of Castile and John of Gaunt and their claim of the Castilian Crown (1372–1386),” Royal Studies Network

Ingrid Schlegl (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz):” ‘Vicisti reges […]’: Does Matilda of Canossa Challenge Male Rule?” IMC Leeds

Miriam Shadis (Ohio University): “Charting Queenship and Community in 13th-Century Portugal,” IMC Leeds

Kathleen Thompson (University of Sheffield): “The Empress Matilda Puts a Brave Face on It,” IMC Leeds

Shaun Tougher (Cardiff University): “City of Queens: Imperial Women in the Constantinian Dynasty,” IMC Leeds

Nina Verbanaz (University of Missouri, Columbia): “The Imperial Authority of Salian Empresses in Word and Image,” IMC Leeds

Megan Welton (University of Notre Dame): “Mapping Fideles: A Visual Investigation into Empress Adelheid’s and Empress Theophanu’s Political Networks,” Royal Studies Network

Ashley Sarah Winterbottom-Firth (University of Huddersfield): “William of Tyre’s Representation of Melisende of Jerusalem: A 12th-Century Female King?” IMC Leeds


Rebecca Browett (University of London): “The Monastic Empire of Queen Matilda, Wife of Henry I,” IMC Leeds

Kirsty Day (University of Leeds): “Constructing Royal Franciscan Identities: The Example of the 13th- and 14th-Century Piasts,” IMC Leeds

Zita Rohr (University of Syndney): “On her majesty’s secret service: Yolande of Aragon and her Franciscan Entourage; Power, Piety and Patronage,” Royal Studies Network

Käthe Sonnleitner (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz): “‘Non gladio, non armis [. . .]’: Is Female Rule Closer to Christian Ideals? The Ideology of the Ottonian Women,” IMC Leeds

Talia Zajac (University of Toronto): “Cultural connections between Kyiv and Paris in the eleventh century: the embassy of King Henri I and the cult of St. Clement of Rome,” Royal Studies Network

Michaela Zöschg (Courtauld Institute of Art): “Queens, Nuns, and Friars: Female Artistic Patronage in Royal Clarissan Foundations of 14th-Century Europe” at IMC Leeds

Representations of Queens in Art, Art History, Cultural History, Literature

Valentine Balguerie (Brown University): “Ousting the queen of Navarre: the shift from example to personhood in Villedieu’s Disorders of Love,” Royal Studies Network

Ingrid Bennewitz (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg): “From Prünhilt to Brünhilda: Cinematic Staging of the Icelandic Queen in the 20th and 21st Century,” IMC Leeds

Sabine Berger (University Paris IV-Sorbonne): “The councilors of the last Capetians: an entourage of art patrons and builders (c. 1270–c. 1330),” Royal Studies Network

Başak Burcu Tekın (Meliksah University): “Let’s Raise a Seljuk Empire Together: Reading Women’s Role and Identity in Medieval Islam through Art,” IMC Leeds

Sheri Chriqui (Royal Holloway, University of London): “A ‘Foreign’ Queen in King Uther’s Court: 15th-Century Insular Xenophobia and Malory’s Portrayal of Arthur’s Mother,” IMC Leeds

Sanne Frequin (Universiteit van Amsterdam): “Rivalry and Ambition in the Tombs of Margaret of Constantinople and Her Descendants,” IMC Leeds

Gillian Gower (University of California, Los Angeles): “Mirrors for Princesses: Musical Models and the Public Images of England’s Medieval Queens,” Medieval Academy of America

Kriszta Kotsis (University of Puget Sound): “The Beauty of Byzantine Empresses,” Medieval Academy of America

Jan Shaw (University of Sydney): “Queens and Empire in Middle English Romance,” IMC Leeds

Philippa Woodcock (Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée): “Odet de Foix, Royal Studies Network

 The Royal Household & Entourage

Hélder Carvalhal (Universidade de Évora), “Lineage, House and Service: the family Teles de Meneses during the reigns of Manuel I and John III (1495–1557),” Royal Studies Network

Nicola Clark (Royal Holloway, University of London): “‘Richly beseen’: an investigation into the identities and roles of women at the court of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, 1485–1509,” Royal Studies Network

Caroline Dunn (Clemson University): “Fruits of their Labour: Recompensing Ladies-in-Waiting in Fourteenth-Century England,” Royal Studies Network

Amy Hayes: “Scotland’s Royal Children, 1371–1528,” Royal Studies Network

Isabel de Pina Balerias (University of Lisbon): “The entourage of Queen Leonor Teles and King Fernando of Portugal (1367–1384),” Royal Studies Network

Manuela Santos Silva (University of Lisbon): “Philippa of Lancaster’s lady-in-waiting: the matriarch of the Portuguese Coutinho’s lineage in charge of the queen’s household (1387–1415),” Royal Studies Network

Nuria Silleras-Fernandez (University of Colorado, Boulder): “An Entourage Proper for a Princess: Maria Manuel of Portugal in the Spanish Court (1543–1544),” Royal Studies Network

Laura Tompkins (The National Archives, UK): “Was Alice Perrers Unusual? The Origins of the Queen’s Ladies in Fourteenth-Century England,” Royal Studies Network

Women and the History of Medicine

Theresa Earenfight (Seattle University): “Mixing Politics and Medicine: Late Medieval Queens of Navarre and Problems of Generation, Genealogy, and Inheritance in Pierre Andrée’s Pomum Aureum (1444),” Medieval Academy of America