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About Dr Katherine Wilson

I am a historian of the Later Middle Ages (1300-1500) interested in the shifting patterns and uses of material culture. I am the Principal Investigator of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded network grant on the subject of ‘The Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700’, partnered with the Open University and Grosvenor Museum, Chester. My monograph The Power of Textiles: Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018) reveals textiles as objects that contributed to the projection of urban social status and the cultural construction of political authority by medieval rulers.

After completing my AHRC funded doctoral studies at Glasgow University in 2009, I worked as a teaching fellow in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews, 2009-2010 and as a Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York 2010-2012, before being appointed as Lecturer in Medieval History at Chester in 2012.

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • Rebellion and Society in the Late Middle Ages
  • Approaches to the Age of the Black Death
  • Power, Ritual and the State: Court and Cities, 1363-1477
  • Europe and the Wider World: Turning Points in History, 1000-2000
  • Journeys in the Past
  • The Mystery of History
  • Constructing Histories
  • History Dissertation

Postgraduate:

  • The Power of the Court
  • Approaches to Historiography
  • Research methods and skills in History

Research

My principal research interests lie in seeking to understand the relationship between social, economic and cultural change in fourteenth and fifteenth century Europe through the examination of shifting patterns in the uses of material culture. My research and published work to date has focused on a powerful late medieval polity, the Burgundian Netherlands (1363-1477), examining the means by which objects contributed to the projection of social status for urban inhabitants and the cultural construction of political authority in the Burgundian territories. I have also examined and reconstructed the biographies of medieval producers and users of objects. My research is developed from my archival work on ducal accounts, ducal and urban inventories, wills and literary works.

 

Externally Funded Projects:

 

Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Grant: ‘The Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries, 1000-1700 (MOB)’.

 

I am the Principal Investigator (with CI Dr Leah Clark, Open University) of an AHRC network grant. Mobility of Objects across Boundaries (MOB) is a research network which reconsiders the history of objects across Western Europe AD 1000-1700. It brings together art historians, historians, archaeologists, literary scholars, digital humanists and museum curators to examine selected objects from this period and understand the impact and consequences of mobility of objects to larger historical transformations 1000-1700. We are working with the Grosvenor Museum, Chester to examine understudied objects in their collections and to bring them to wider public attention as well as produce educational resources.

 

For more information, please visit the project website.

 

The Production, Commercialisation and Consumption of Luxury Textiles 1400-1600

 

I was the co-organiser (with Professor Bart Lambert, Vrije Universiteit Brussels) of a research network of scholars from America, Belgium, France, Italy and Austria, all of whom investigated the interdependency of the Low Countries, Italy, and their neighbouring territories in the production, commercialisation and consumption of luxury textiles 1400-1600. The network produced an edited volume with Ashgate/Routledge Press.

Research Supervision

I have supervised doctoral work on later medieval material culture and late medieval crime. I welcome enquiries for research at MRes or doctoral level in any of my research areas listed above or on courtly and urban cultures.

Published Work

Books and monographs

Wilson, K.A., The Power of Textiles. Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (1363-1477) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018)

Wilson, K.A and Lambert, B., (eds.), Europe’s Rich Fabric. The Consumption, Commercialisation and Production of Luxury Textiles in Italy, the Low Countries and Neighbouring Territories (Fourteenth-Sixteenth Centuries) (Ashgate Early Modern Series, 2016).

Full papers in refereed journals

Wilson, K.A., ‘The household inventory as urban 'theatre' in late medieval Burgundy’Social History, 40: 3, August (2015), pp. 335-359. Open Access. Social History Blog here

Wilson, K.A., ‘Paris, Arras et la Cour : Les tapissiers de Philippe le Hardi et Jean sans Peur. 1363-1419’Revue du Nord, 389 (2011), pp. 11-31.

Parts or chapters of books

Wilson, K.A., 'Hidden narratives behind 'art' of the Middle Ages' in Whose Middle Ages?:A Reader (Fordham: Fordham University Press, 2019).

Wilson K.A, ‘Furnishing the Dukes with a Royal Reputation. The use of chambers and chapels at the Burgundian Court’, in S. Hoppe, S. Breitling, M. De Jonge (eds), The Interior as Embodiment of Power. The Image of the Prince and its Spatial Setting, 1400-1700 (Munich, 2018), pp. 57-78.

Wilson, K.A and Lambert, B., 'Luxury Textiles in Italy and the Low Countries and Neighbouring Territories (Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries): A Conceptual Investigation', in K. A. Wilson and B. Lambert (eds.), Europe’s Rich Fabric. The Consumption, Commercialisation and Production of Luxury Textiles in Italy, the Low Countries and Neighbouring Territories (Fourteenth-Sixteenth Centuries) (Ashgate Early Modern Series, 2016), pp. 1-10.

Wilson, K.A., ''In the chamber, in the garde robe, in the chapel, in a chest': The possession and uses of luxury textiles. The case of Later Medieval Dijon', in K. A. Wilson and B. Lambert (eds.), Europe’s Rich Fabric. The Consumption, Commercialisation and Production of Luxury Textiles in Italy, the Low Countries and Neighbouring Territories (Fourteenth-Sixteenth Centuries) (Ashgate Early Modern Series, 2016), pp. 11-34.

Wilson, K.A., ‘Tapestry of the Burgundian Dominions. A complex object’ in T. Hiltman (ed.) La cour de Bourgogne et l’Europe: Le rayonnement et les limites d’un modèle culturel, (Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Ostfildern, 2013), pp. 317-332.

Wilson, K.A., ‘Political tapestries of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless’, in E. J. Anderson and J. Farquhar (eds.) Visible Exports/Imports: New Research on Medieval and Renaissance Art and Culture, (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge 2012), pp. 145-158.

Other significant contributions to journals, e.g. book reviews

Wilson, K.A., Review of Magnanimous Dukes and Rising States: the Unification of the Burgundian Netherlands 1380-1480, Reviews in History (2018). Online Open Access journal.

Wilson, K.A., Review of Popular Protest in Late Medieval English Towns by Samuel K. Cohn and Douglas Aiton, Social History 38: 4 (2013), pp. 510-542.

Wilson, K.A., Review of the exhibition, ‘Catherine’s world: devotion, demons and daily life in the 15th century’ held at Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, Renaissance Studies 24: 5 (2010), pp. 752-758.

Qualifications

MA History (Glasgow), PGCE History (Aberdeen), M.Phil (Glasgow), PhD (Glasgow), Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.