My research and teaching interests include vernacular (specifically Middle English) devotional literature, the history of medieval women and women?s literacy, female spirituality and devotional practices, and the patronage, production, and transmission of manuscripts in the late Middle Ages; I work, as well, in the broader areas of mysticism, hagiography (the study of saints? legends and the practical aspects of saints? cults), and dramatic productions and dramatic texts. I have a strong research interest also in several contemporary areas, specifically cultural studies, feminism and gender studies, and queer studies.
I am currently working on a couple of related projects: the first, a book, to be called ?Public Piety: Gender and Identity in Guild Celebrations of St. Katherine in Late Medieval Bath,? which explores the social, civic, and religious functions of a verse legend of St. Katherine (found in MS. Longleat 55) in the urban community of medieval Bath. My interest with this legend concerns the text?s relationship both to the celebrations of a specific, high-status gild dedicated to St. Katherine, and to the audience which would have participated in the public performance of the legend.
The second project, ?Vernacular Book Production and Late Medieval Women Readers,? is focused on the roles women readers played in the production of late medieval manuscripts, and the transmission of literary culture between readers. This research project, supported initially by SSHRC (2001-2004), has already resulted in articles and conference papers on late medieval women?s reading patterns and codicological studies of manuscripts of women?s texts, and was the focus of a University of Calgary PURE (Projects in Undergraduate Research Excellence) award in 2007.In addition, I am a member of the team researching the Osborne play manuscript (University of Calgary, Osborne MS C132.27); in particular, I have been co-editing the manuscript for publication with the Malone Society and have been involved in the supervision of English students working with the research team. For more information about the project, please see http://homepages.ucalgary.ca/~osborne/