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Bronach Kane

Dr Bronach Kane


Senior Lecturer in Medieval History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


Research interests

  • Late medieval British and European history
  • Social, cultural and religious history of late medieval England
  • Gender and women's history
















Book sections






Research projects

Popular memory and gender in the medieval ecclesiastical courts of Canterbury and York

This project extends a doctoral study of the church courts of York to include the courts associated with the diocese and province of Canterbury, focusing particularly on perceptions of the past among those below the level of the gentry. The initial stages of the project, and particularly the doctoral study, yielded a number of publications on gender and the practical application of canon law in various types of litigation. The study explores the early development of witness testimony in the two courts, particularly how deponents understood the canon legal requirement of proof. Themes relating to group and individual memory, autobiography, and the landscape and genealogy are considered, alongside the place of embodiment and sexuality in remembering the past.

Gender and Social Belonging in England, 1250-1500

This Leverhulme-funded project investigates gendered forms of emotion, intimacy, and friendship in late medieval England. The study addresses the meaning of gender in social practice, exploring the dynamics of intimacy, friendship and neighbourliness in pre-Reformation England. The project examines the boundaries and expectations of proximity in local settings, focusing on concepts of social belonging as neglected themes in late medieval historiography. It considers how masculinities were negotiated in popular cultures, while simultaneously reasserting the critical importance of feminist history in medieval studies.


My teaching focuses primarily on later medieval social, cultural and economic history, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, and lay-Church relations. I have taught a number of modules on gender, masculinity and women's history, exploring continuity and change in these areas, both in terms of historiography and social practice.

My work also concentrates on the role of the Church in social, economic and religious contexts, as well as the relationship between the institutional Church and the laity. I would be happy to supervise students in any of these areas, and particularly on gender and social history.

  • HS1101 Medieval Europe
  • HS1107 History in Practice
  • HS1711 Exploring Historical Debate
  • HS1804 Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval Europe
  • HS1801  Dissertations
  • HST634 Belief and Disbelief in the Middle Ages
  • HST911 Approaches to the History of Medieval Britain


Education and qualifications

  • BA (Hons) First Class, Modern History, Queen's University Belfast (QUB)
  • MA in Medieval History, University of York
  • PhD in Medieval History, University of York

Career overview

  • 2019- Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Cardiff University
  • 2013-19 Lecturer in Medieval History, Cardiff University
  • 2011-13 Lecturer in Medieval History, Bath Spa University
  • 2009-12 Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Queen Mary University of London (transferred to Bath Spa University in 2011)

Notable achievements

  • Institutional CI,GW4 Medieval Studies initiative
  • Organiser, 'Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives', Royal Historical Society symposium, Bath Spa University, 2013 (funding – Royal Historical Society)
  • Organiser of annual Gender and Medieval Studies conference, Bath Spa University, 2013 (funding  – Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature)
  • Organiser of 'The Experience of Neighbourliness in Europe, 1200-1700', Bath Spa University, 2013 (funding – Economic History Society; Royal Historical Society)

Honours and awards

  • 2020 Women's History Network Book Prize 
  • 2012 - 2013 University Research Fellowship, Promising Researcher Award, Bath Spa University
  • 2009 – 2012 Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship, Queen Mary, University of London
  • 2008 EHS Power Fellow, Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, London
  • 2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh
  • 2004-2007  AHRC Doctoral Research Award

Professional memberships

  • Pre-1800 Book Reviews Editor, Gender & History journal (2014-present)
  • PhD external examiner, Complutense University, Madrid, 2013
  • Convenor of European History, 1150-1550, IHR Seminar, Senate House, London (by invitation)
  • QMUL member of the Centre for the History of the Emotions, Queen Mary, University of London (2009-12)
  • Member of the Social Church Research Network (by invitation) - annual research workshops organised by Dr Ian Forrest (Oriel College, Oxford) and Dr Sethina Watson (University of York)
  • Member of the American Historical Association
  • Member of the International Society for Cultural History
  • Member of the Canterbury and York Society