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Department of Culture and Global Studies

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New postdoc: William Kynan-Wilson

As os October 1, 2015, the project Papal communication in the central Middle Ages has a new postdoc.

From 1 October I will be a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Culture and Global Studies working on the project Papal communication in the central Middle Ages. This interdisciplinary and collaborative project is led by Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt and is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research on a DFF-YDUN grant. This study examines a range of papal communication channels and media (including gift-giving, letters, historical writings, visual and material culture), and it is intimately concerned with analyzing how the papal curia promoted its authority throughout medieval Europe in different ways.

Before moving to Aalborg, I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Art History at the University of Cambridge. My doctoral research examined Anglo-Norman travel accounts of Rome written in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It was particularly concerned with the relationship between literature and visual culture in the Mediterranean world.

I have previously held Research Fellowships at the Gennadius Library in Athens, the Freie Universität and the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, and the Skilliter Centre in Cambridge. I have also received research grants and fellowships from the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, the Bibliographic Society (UK), the British Institute in Ankara, Princeton University and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

In Aalborg my research will focus on a series of texts produced by papal clerics in the twelfth century. These writings proved deeply influential for several centuries, and they are remarkable for their use of visual and material culture, and their manipulation of Rome’s classical culture (both literary and material). I will investigate how these writings were used to construct papal identity in the city of Rome and medieval England.