Miss Claire Trenery

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Personal profile

Please note that this page will not be updated from 1 January 2017 since I have finished my doctoral studies at RHUL.  For an up-to-date profile, please visit my Academia page.

 

RESEARCH

Thesis title: 'Miracles for the Mad: Representations of Madness in English Miracle Collections from the Long Twelfth Century' (submitted June 2016, passed by examiners December 2016)

I am interested in the reception of medical ideas in miracle narratives from twelfth- and thirteenth-century England, focusing on the impact of theological and medical learning on the medieval understanding of the body, mind and soul.  I work from miracle manuscripts and published miracle collections, focusing specifically on cases of madness where the connections between the body, mind and soul are most evident.  My aim is to explore monastic medical learning and to increase our understanding of the medieval concept of humanity through a study of its outsiders.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Journal Articles

‘Insane Innocents: Mad Children in Benedict of Peterborough’s Miracula Sancti Thomae Cantuariensis’, Journal of Family and Community History, 18 (2015), 139-55 [peer-reviewed]

Articles in Edited Volumes

‘Madness in the Middle Ages’, co-authored with Peregrine Horden, in The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health, ed. by Greg Eghigian (forthcoming Routledge, 2017) [commissioned]

‘Demons, Saints and the Mentally Ill in the Twelfth-Century Miracles of Thomas Becket’, Demons and Illness: Theory and Practice from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period, ed. by Catherine Rider and Siam Bhayro (forthcoming 2017) [peer-reviewed]

Reviews

Review of Sari Katajala-Peltomaa and Susanna Niiranen, eds., Mental (Dis)Order in Later Medieval Europe (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2014); x + 285 pp.: 9789004264144, 115€ (hbk), in History of Psychiatry (March 2016), 101-02

Review of Wendy J. Turner, Care and Custody of the Mentally Ill, Incompetent, and Disabled in Medieval England (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013); xii + 336 pp.: 978-2-503-54039-9, 85€ (hbk), in History of Psychiatry, 26 (March 2015), 117-18

 

TEACHING

Qualifications

2015: Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in recognition of attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education.

2013-14: inSTIL (accredited by the Higher Education Authority).

Experience

2013-16: Teaching Assistant at King's College London, teaching 'The Making of Britain 400-1400'.

2013-16: Visiting Seminar Leader at Royal Holloway, University of London, teaching selected 2-hour seminars on 'Medicine and Society in Medieval Europe'.

 

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION

International Exchange Organisation

2014: With Professor Miles Taylor (IHR) and Professor Sarah Maza (NWU), I was involved in organising an exchange trip between London and Chicago.  I organised activities for the week in London (including a two-day conference, museum visits, socials and archival study).  I was also in charge of supervising the English students whilst in Chicago.  This exchange was an excellent opportunity to further international conversations and to establish connections in the USA.

Conference Organisation

2014: Breaking Boundaries, Institute of Historical Research and History Lab, 24-5 March 2014.  Keynote speakers: Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and Dr Erik Mathisen.

Research Papers

For paper abstracts, please visit my Academia page.

'Was Madness a "Mental" Illness?: The Influence of Ancient Models of the Body, Mind and Soul on Representations of Madness in Twelfth-Century Miracle Texts', Ancient "Holism", Wellcome Trust, 11-12 September 2017.

'"Each things recounds at the sensation of its opposite": The Exorcisms Performed by Saint Hugh of Lincoln', International Medieval Congress 2016, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 3-6 July 2017. 

'The Holy Fool and the Madman: When was Mental Abnormailty a Disability?', Disease, Disability and Medicine in Medieval Europe, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, 2-4 December 2016.

'Diagnosing a Demoniac: Representations of Demonic Illness in the Miracles of Saint Bartholomew in London', Religion and Medicine: Healing the Body and Soul from the Middle Ages to the Modern Day, Birkbeck, University of London, 15-6 July 2016.

'In Through the Mouth: Demonic Possession and Saintly Exorcism in the Miracles of Saint Bartholomew', International Medieval Congress 2016, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 4-7 July 2016. 

'Demonic Diagnoses in the Miracles of Saint Bartholomew in London', (Un-)heilige Krankheiten. Besessenheit in Medizin, Religion, Damonologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen, 17-8 March 2016.

'The Curse and the Cure: The Impact of Learned Medicine on Hagiographical Representations of Insanity in Twelfth-Century England', International Medieval Congress 2015, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015. 

'Madness, Medicine, and Miraculous Healing in Twelfth-Century England', Monastic Sciences: Medicine, Mechanica, Philosophia, The Leeds Monasticism Conference, University of Leeds, 8-9 May 2015. 

'Madness, Miracles and Medicine in the Monastery', Beyond Leeches and Lepers, University of Edinburgh, 2 May 2015. 

'The Cure-Seekers and their Companions at Canterbury and Coldingham', co-presented with Ruth Salter, History Lab Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, 12 March 2015. 

‘Miracles for the Mad: A Hagiographical Study of Body and Mind’, International Medieval Congress 2014, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 7-10 July 2014. 

‘When Saint Meets Medicus: Spiritual and Earthly Healing in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Hagiography’, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 8-11 May 2014. 

'Miracles for the Mad: The Representation of Insanity in English Miracle Collections from the Long Twelfth Century', Historical Perspectives on Health, the Body and Human Behaviour: What Can the Past Tell Us?, Royal Holloway University of London, 30 April 2014.

'Diseases of the Body and Mind: Contrasting Representations of Mental Illness in the  Twelfth-Century Miracles of Saint Thomas Becket', Postgraduate Research Forum, Royal Holloway University of London, 30 April 2014. 

‘Medical Interpretations of Insanity and Epilepsy in the Twelfth-Century Miracles of Thomas Becket’, The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages, University of Reading, 14-5 March 2014. 

'Violent Insanity in the Miracles of William of Norwich', Late Medieval Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, 24 January 2014.

‘Insane Innocents: The Representation of Mentally Ill Children in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century English Miracles’, Imperfect Children, The Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Leicester, 6-7 September 2013. 

'The Perfect and Imperfect Body and Mind in the Miracles of Saint Hugh of Lincoln', The Mutilated Body, Medieval and Early Modern Student Association, Durham University, 8-9 July 2013. 

‘Mental Illness in the Miracles of Thomas Becket’, International Medieval Congress 2013, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 1-4 July 2013. 

'Demons, Saints and the Mentally Ill in the Twelfth-Century Miracles of Thomas Becket', Demons and Illness: Theory and Practice from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period, University of Exeter, 22-4 April 2013. 

'Medicine and Religion: The Impact of Medical Theories on the Representation of the Mentally Ill in the Thirteenth-Century Miracles of Saint Hugh of Lincoln', New Perspectives (2013): Religious Life in Medieval Lincolnshire, Lincoln Record Society, 12-3 April 2013. 

‘Medicine and Mental Illness in the Miracles of Thomas Becket’, A Picture of Health, Sponsored by the Wellcome Trust at the Royal College of Art, 4-5 April 2013. 

'Madness in the Middle Ages: The relationship between mind and body in the twelfth-century miracles of Thomas Becket', Mind and Body, 19th Annual Postgraduate Medieval Studies Conference, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol, 22-3 February 2013. 

‘Insanity and Epilepsy: Exploring Mental Illness in the Twelfth-Century Miracles of Thomas Becket’, Historical Research Seminar, Queen Mary, University of London, 16 October 2012. 

‘Miracles for the Mad: Mental and Physical Illness in the Twelfth-Century Miracles of Thomas Becket’, Postgraduate Research Forum, Royal Holloway, University of London, 5 September 2012.

 

SCHOLARSHIPS AND PRIZES

AHRC Block Grant Partnership Doctoral Studentship (2012-2015)

Caroline Barron Prize for highest grade in MA Medieval Studies, RHUL (2012)

Vellocott History Prize, Peterhouse Cambridge (2007)

 

ACADEMIC NETWORKS

From 2013-14, I was the Chair of History Lab, the national network for postgraduate students in history and related disciplines based at the Institute of Historical Research.  I continue to play an active role in the IHR by remaining a History Lab member.

From 2012-14, I was the Membership Secretary of the London Medieval Society, which holds three colloquia each year at the Lock-Keeper's Cottage, QMUL.  I have continued as a member of the society and enjoy engaging in London's medieval research.

I am a member of the Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages and the London Society for Medieval Studies.

I participate in the Medieval Medicine Reading Group, held monthly at the Wellcome Collection.

 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

23 April 2014: Medieval Day at Canewdon Endowed Primary School – I was invited to take part in the Key Stage One Medieval Day as a guest speaker.  I spoke to the children about medieval shields, helped them to design their own shields, led them in medieval games and rhymes and organised a medieval banquet at which they could try some popular medieval food and smell some medieval herbs.

September 2013: Imperfect Children: A Medieval Perspective - Guest blog post for the Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Leicester reflecting on Imperfect Children conference (held 6-7 September 2013).

May 2013: Secret Cinema - Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' was brought to life in a 14-story tower block to give audience-members an immersive experience of the film.  A group of historians introduced film-goers to emotional states of the past in the form of a party game in order to question and explore the idea of the classification and understanding of feelings and emotions.  Click here for blog.

May 2013: Suicide Walk - An interdisciplinary project for artists, musicians, psychologists, neurologists, legal specialists, charity workers, archeologists and historians.  A series of walks took place across the South Downs Way during which issues and ideas relating to suicide were discussed.  The walks were recorded and formed part of an exhibition at the Royal College of Art. 

7-9 April 2013: Barbican Wonder Street Fair - The street fair was an interdisciplinary public engagement project designed to bring together historians, neuroscientists, artists and performers in the study of the brain and mind.  The Wellcome Trust sponsored a stall for historians to discuss with members of the public and other participants historical states of mind and emotion.

13 March 2013 : The Carnival of Lost Emotions – Public engagement project with the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary University of London and supported by the Wellcome Trust in aid of Brain Awareness Week.  The event took place at St Bartholomew’s Pathology Museum in London and was designed to introduce members of the public to obscure terms for emotional states that were used from antiquity to the modern day.

 

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