Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Boeles Rowland
University of Leuven
Website URL
Late medieval, social history, law and society, marriage making, gift giving, material culture and the history of emotions
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Anna Boeles Rowland is a postdoctoral teaching assistant at the University of Leuven.  She moved to Leuven from the University of Oxford where she completed her PhD in 2018.  She is currently working on a number of articles based on her doctoral research which examined the role of the gift in communicating marital consent in late medieval London. Her research on marriage dispute records has shown that ordinary people saw marriage consent not just as the legally binding words of marriage, but as more of a psychological change, expressed and made visible through gesture and ritual—particularly through the exchange of gifts.

This research highlights how in the late middle ages we see an increasing tension between legal and social forms of proof in which we must consider the court not just as a place of justice but a platform for self-justification, emotional expression, exoneration and gendered displays of power.

Her next project will examine the role of emotion in shaping the expectations that ordinary people held about the law in the late middle ages. The project will show that those who approached the courts – litigants, witnesses, and petitioners – did so while expressing and reasoning through emotions. This project will also examine how justice seeking, both now and in the middle ages, can be understood as a way to seek an emotional resolution.


Recent Publications

Anna Boeles Rowland & Rachel M. Delman,  ‘Introduction: people, places and possessions in late medieval England’, Journal of Medieval History45:2 (2018).

Idem, ed., ‘People, Places and Possessions in Late Medieval England’, Journal of Medieval History45:2 (2018).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Law, Material Culture