Miss Katy Mortimer

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PhD, Funded by TECHNE DTP (AHRC): Understanding Western Christian Narrative Representations of Christian-Muslim Diplomacy within a Crusading Context, c.1095-c.1291

My PhD examines how medieval authors in Latin Christendom shaped their presentation of diplomatic interaction between Christians and Muslims within the context of ‘crusading’. The project utilises narratological theory as a lens through which to examine contemporary narratives, and seeks to make an important contribution to debates concerning the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’ between ‘Islam and the west’. My thesis will add nuance to the discussion through employing a narratological methodology for the first time as a means of interrogating medieval literature on this topic.

The methodology approaches texts holistically by focusing on four key sources or authors in their entirety, and considers how different authors across space and time explored the topic of interfaith diplomacy alongside other key themes. This thesis will show that discomfort, interest and agenda varied between texts, and that the presentation of Christian-Muslim diplomacy took of different roles within each story-world.

Scholarships and Awards

  • Haskins Society Bursary - Award for oversees postgraduate students attending the Haskins Society Conference in Chapel Hill, NC: award of $500 (November, 2019)
  • One Year Sandwich PhD Program - Israeli Council for Higher Education: scholarship of 80,000 NIS (October 2019 - October 2020)
  • TECHNE DTP - AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership: full scholarship and fee-waver (2017-20)
  • QMUL Masters Support Scheme: full scholarship and maintenance grant (2015-16)
  • Digital Editing of Medieval Manuscripts (DEMM) training programme: travel, accommodation and participation scholarship funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ Programme (2015-16)



  • History and Meanings, UoL e-degree, RHUL (2021-22)
    Compulsory foundation course, this module introduces students to the history of historical writing from Antiquity through to the modern era. Students grapple with a multitude of questions and theories to equip them for their own development as historians. 
  • Magna Carta and Its Legacy, UoL e-degree, RHUL (2021-22)
    A foundation course, this module engages with the history of Magna Carta medieval through to modern, considering how it has been used and interpreted throughout the centuries and across the globe.
  • Doing History: Visiting Tutor, Department of History, RHUL (2018-19)
    First year undergraduate course designed to give students an insight into the various methodologies used in historical research, and to equip them with the skills needed to effectively utilise primary evidence throughout their own study.

Brilliant Club:

  • 'Windrush, Migration and Belonging in Modern Britain' (April 2021-June 2021)
    The course examines the recent history of migration in Britain, with a focus on the second half of the twentieth century. It introduces KS3 students to university-style learning, allowing them to work closely with primary sources such as letters and oral testimony, and though doing so develop skills required to enter into higher education. 


  • Contributor, 'The Student Experience in the Middle Ages' (2020-present)
    Led by Professor Peter Denley, Queen Mary University of London. The project (ongoing) is creating a website and accompanying sourcebook to publish numerous sources related to the medieval student experience. As a contributor I research various sources and write accompanying blog posts to introduce these resources to non-specialist audiences. 
  • Proof Reader (Medieval Latin), Medieval Jerusalem Digital Map Project (2019-20)
    Led by Dr Jonathan Rubin, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv. The Project (ongoing) is building a multilayered digital map of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (c.1099-c.1291), which will be publically available as a research and learning tool. My role involved checking Latin editions and translations to ensure the information on the maps is accurate. 
  • Contributor, Digital Editing of Medieval Manuscripts Project, DEMM (2015-16)
    Co-run by Queen Mary University of London and four other EU universities and institutions (funded by the Strategic Partnership strand of the European Union's Erasmus+ programme). Using TEI, HTML and CSS coding I developed a digital edition of a medieval Latin manuscript, namely the letter of the First Crusader Anselm of Ribemont.
  • Researcher and Developer, Interactive Crusades Timeline, led by Dr Thomas Asbridge, QMUL (2015-16)
    Led by Dr Thomas Asbridge, Queen Mary University of London. The project created a digital interactive timeline for the traditional crusading period (c.1095-c.1291). I worked alongside Dr Asbridge and one other student to develop the timeline. My role invovled developing the timeline itself as well as researching the crusades and writing up key events and sources in bitesized chunks for non-specialist users. 

Educational Background

  • MA Medieval and Renaissance History, Queen Mary University of London. Award: Distinction (2015-16)
  • BA History, Queen Mary University of London. Award: First Class Hons (2012-15)

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