Dr Karen Burch

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Personal profile

I grew up in the Chicago area, where I completed my MA in Medieval and Renaissance History at Loyola University Chicago. While at Loyola, I began studying emotions history under the instruction of Barbara Rosenwein. Additionally, I worked extensively on the transcription of Newberry MS 5017 under the supervision of John McManamon. This transcription, along with an analytical introduction, won second prise for the McCluggage Award Competition in 2015. In 2015, I was also awarded a full tuition waiver for a PhD course at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Research interests

My major research interests are fifteenth-century Florence and the early Medici, specifically the Laurentian period. My research focuses on emotion, sexuality, and gender and how these manifested in and interacted with household relationships. In my thesis (current title: "The Magnificent Interior: Household and Emotion in the Life of Lorenzo de' Medici"), I study the use of language within letters and poetry, though I have recently begun expanding my work to include visual sources as well.

I also am interested in the history of early modern magic, especially folk magic.

Other work

Between 2007 and 2014, I spent multiple summers teaching English in China to students of all ages. During this time, I also worked as a volunteer English tutor among adult Chinese immigrants in Chicago.

In 2018, I was appointed official archivist and historian for Wasteland Weekend, an annual event held in the Mojave Desert.

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