The Cartulary of Prémontré. Co-edited with Heather Wacha. Medieval Academy Books Series 118. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2023.
The Cartulary of Prémontré offers a full critical edition, consisting of a transcription of the cartulary’s 509 charters together with historical notes and apparatus. The thirteenth-century cartulary of the abbey of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Prémontré is one of the few manuscripts to survive from this monastery. Offering a window into daily life in medieval France and to contemporary documentary practices, the cartulary of Prémontré is a rich source for the socio-economic and religious history of the Picardy and Champagne regions during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The charters contained in the cartulary illuminate how this major northern French abbey functioned as a mother house for the Premonstratensian Order, and how it interacted with people – both elite and non-elite as well as secular and ecclesiastical. It also reveals the complexities of cartulary production within a larger institutional and archival context.
In an introductory essay, Heather Wacha and Yvonne Seale consider not only the history of the manuscript and of the abbey of Prémontré, but also the cartulary’s materiality, its place within the broader field of cartulary studies, and what it shows us about women’s roles in contemporary society. In doing so, this volume offers new connections between the field of cartulary studies and feminist studies.
“Sister Warriors: Medievalism and Tropes of Women’s Empowerment in Netflix’s Warrior Nun”, in The Year’s Work in Medievalism 35/36 (2020/21), 34-49.
Taken as a whole, Warrior Nun provides a neat example of how a certain genre of medievalizing media trades on the promise of engagement with contemporary issues such as feminism, while in reality using assumptions about the Middle Ages to justify rather conservative story telling choices.
“When Audre Met Christina: Modelling Academic Dialogue for Humanities Students”, in Syllabus 11:1 (Spring 2022).
In an assignment in a Humanities/Great Books course, students were guided to begin making more nuanced connections between assigned texts. They learned to develop skills in academic debate beyond looking for binary winners and losers, and instead to begin looking for generative and consensus readings.
“The Cartulary of Prémontré: People, Places, and Networks from Medieval to Digital”, in Medieval People: Social Bonds, Kinship and Networks 36 (2022), 353-372. Co-written with Heather Wacha.
The cartulary of the northern French abbey of Prémontré was produced in the mid-thirteenth century, and preserves acts dating mostly from 1120s-1230s, with some later additions. Although the abbey of Prémontré was the motherhouse of a prominent monastic order, and despite the relative abundance of its documentary record, that sourcebase has been comparatively little studied. In this article, we discuss the process of undertaking the first full edition of this manuscript, some preliminary findings, and the scope that new digital technologies might afford in future prosopographical studies of the cartulary.
“Putting Women in Order: A Comparison of the Medieval Women Religious of Ballymore-Loughsewdy and Prémontré,” in Martin Browne, Tracy Collins, Bronagh McShane, and Colmán Ó Clabaigh O.S.B., eds., Brides of Christ: Women and Monasticism in Medieval and Early Modern Ireland. Studies in Honour of Dagmar Ó Riain Raedel (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2023), 85-99.
“Communities of Medieval Women Religious and Their Landscapes,” in Janet Burton and Kimm Curran, eds., Medieval Women Religious, c.800- c.1500: New Perspectives. Studies in the History of Medieval Religion 52 (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2023), 166-181.
“Pleading the Belly? Pregnant Behind Bars in Medieval Ireland”, in Salvador Ryan, ed., Birth and the Irish: A Miscellany (Dublin: Wordwell Books, 2021), 45-48.
“The Cartulary of Prémontré.” Inside My Favorite Manuscript Podcast, June 20, 2023.
In Episode 21 of Inside My Favorite Manuscript, Dot and Lindsey sit down with Yvonne Seale and Heather Wacha to talk about Soissons, Bibliothèque municipale, 0007, aka the Cartulary of Prémontré. Prémontré was the parent house of the Premonstratensian Order, an the cartulary contains legal documents related to the house and its holdings. In our conversation we talked about the house itself, people and events mentioned in the documents, and how the cartulary was written (and how it was changed later).
Review of Ruth Harwood Cline, The Congregation of Tiron: Monastic Contributions to Trade and Communication in Twelfth-Century France and Britain (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019), in The Catholic Historical Review, 108:4 (Autumn 2022), 800-801.
Ruth Harwood Cline’s study of the Tironensian Order’s expansion and economic activities during the first century or so of its existence is one clearly grounded in a deep familiarity both with the relevant primary sources and with the geography of the wide swathe of western France, Britain, and Ireland in which the order’s houses were located. The Tironensians offer a rich and promising source base for any scholar of medieval monasticism.