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The Australian National University

Dr Tania M. Colwell

BA, First Class Hons in History and French (Australian National University) and PhD (Australian National University)
Visitng Fellow and Sessional Lecturer
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: + 61 2 6125 4788

Areas of expertise

  • European History (Excl. British, Classical Greek And Roman) 210307
  • British History 210305
  • Historical Studies 2103
  • Literature In French 200511
  • British And Irish Literature 200503

Research interests

  • Cultural, social, and political history of late medieval Europe, esp. France and England
  • Gender history of late medieval Europe
  • Manuscript, early book, and literary culture
  • History of emotions
  • Early encounters; travel narratives and ethnographies

 

Biography

I am a historian of late medieval and early modern Europe, specialising in the cultural and social history of France and England. I am interested in the ways cultural production, especially manuscript and early book culture, contributed to identity formation across the period. My interdisciplinary research explores a range of themes, including gender, patronage, politics, education, the marvellous and monstrous, crusades, emotions and intercultural encounter.

As well as researching and teaching in these areas, I have also been involved in public history in various forms, having worked on projects with the National Trust (UK), the National Museum of Australia, and the Department of the Senate.

 

Researcher's projects

Reading Mélusine: Romance Manuscripts and their Audiences in Late Medieval France, c. 1380–1530

This book examines the historical reception and cultural significance of the popular Mélusine romances, ancestral tales of the Lusignan family which centre on a fairy-dragon and her crusading sons, from the dual perspectives of the French romance manuscripts and their audiences. By investigating the patronage, presentation, transmission, and ownership of the surviving corpus of over thirty manuscripts produced between c. 1380 and c. 1530, Reading Mélusine explains how and why the texts retained their hold on later medieval imaginations, and explores how the cultural values embedded in the romances facilitated their circulation across France and beyond.

Beyond Wonder: Emotions of Encounter in Jean le Long’s ‘Fleurs des histoires de l’Orient’

This project explores representations of emotions of encounter in a French collection of travel narratives and ethnographic texts produced between around 1300 and 1530. It examines shifts in the way emotions shaping experience of intercultural encounter were treated and understood and reflects on their implications for understandings of identity in and beyond France. Research for ‘Beyond Wonder’ has been supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and national and international competitive funding. For more information, see 'Beyond Wonder' project description link below.

Women and Work in Premodern Europe: Experiences, Relationships, Cultural Representation, with Merridee L. Bailey and Julie Hotchin.

This collection investigates how the working lives of historical women were enacted and represented, and analyses the relationships that shaped women’s experiences of work across the European premodern period. By exploring the array of meanings attributed to work for and by women, this project re-evaluates concepts and experiences of work as sites of social, economic, and cultural production in which women’s identities were created and performed between 1100–1800.

 

Publications

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Updated:  22 September 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers