Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Notre Dame
Website URL
medieval nuns, liturgy, book history, literacies
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Personal Info

About Me

Katie Bugyis is a historian of Christian theology, liturgical practice, and material culture, who is particularly interested in reconstructing the lived experiences of religious women in the Middle Ages through their documents of practice and other material remains. Her book, The Care of Nuns: Benedictine Women’s Ministries in England during the Central Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2019), recovers the liturgical practices of Benedictine nuns in England from 900 to 1225 primarily through detailed analyses of the books their communities produced and used. Integrating methodological approaches yet to be employed in the study of these women—from ritual studies to manuscript archaeology—she demonstrates that they actively participated in the organization, performance, and memorialization of their liturgical practices, including public teaching and preaching, reading the gospel liturgically, hearing confessions, and offering intercessory prayers for others.

Bugyis is currently working on two other book projects. The first, Liturgy Matters: Benedictine Women’s Communities in Medieval England, reclaims the materiality of Benedictine nuns’ liturgical practices by viewing these women as “technologists” who transformed—and were transformed by—their sensual engagement with the objects they created, acquired, handled, and treasured. This book situates every object within the ritual contexts in which it was used; interrogates the scripts directing interactions with it; and highlights its abilities to transfigure appearance, refashion identity, and (re)invest authority and agency.

Bugyis’s second project, Hives of Prophets: Women Religious and the Honeybee in the Middle Ages, documents and analyzes the appropriation of the figure of the honeybee by religious women from across Western Europe during the Middle Ages for the authorization of their prophetic speech acts, liturgical and pastoral ministries, and circumvention of clerical control.

Bugyis has published numerous book chapters and articles, in such journals as SpeculumTraditioChurch HistoryThe Journal of Ecclesiastical History, and Journal of Medieval History. She also has coedited two volumes, Women Intellectuals and Leaders in the Middle Ages (Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming) and Medieval Cantors and Their Craft: Music, Liturgy, and the Shaping of History (York Medieval Press, 2017). Her research has won fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Medieval Academy of America, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
England, France, Germany
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Gender, Libraries & Archives, Literary History, Material Culture, Religion, Women