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Queen's University

Laura M. Carlsoncarlson2.JPG

Marjorie McLean Oliver Postdoctoral Fellow




D.Phil. University of Oxford, 2012

M.St. University of Oxford, 2008

M.A. University of Toronto, 2007

B.A. University of San Diego, 2006


My research analyzes the growth of linguistic study, the value of Christian images, and the spiritual implications of human reason in the early medieval period, largely through the prism of the Carolingian Empire. Although the Carolingians frequently have been credited with a reinstatement of Roman models of education, rarely have these advances been contextualized in their pursuit for geopolitical dominance in the Mediterranean. My research emphasizes the intertwined social, religious, and political context of literary culture via an examination of epistolary and intellectual treatises within the Carolingian and larger medieval Mediterranean milieu. As opposed to a traditional model of the Carolingian Renaissance, in which the period’s intellectual and textual developments are circumscribed by the Frankish borders, I investigate how a reinvigoration of Christian literate culture was the lynchpin in the political, religious, and administrative expansion of Charlemagne’s empire-building program.


Courses Taught

History Department

Hist 250: The Middle Ages

Hist 430/828: The Crusades and the Latin Kingdoms

Classics Department

CLST 321: The World of Late Antiquity

LATN 209: Intermediate Latin


Select Publications

The Hispani in Francia: Intellectual Exchange and the Rebirth of Ratio in the Carolingian Empire (ca. 750-850), Amsterdam University Press (anticipated 2015)

‘The Rhetoric of Idolatry: Political and Spiritual Language in the Opus Caroli regis contra Synodum’ (in press)

Writing to Friends and Enemies: Amicitia Vocabulary in Alcuin’s Adoptionist Letters, ca. 790-800’ (in press)

‘Heretics & Rhetoricians: Oral & Textual Discourse in Alcuin’s Works Against the Adoptionists’ (in press)

‘Adoption, Adaptation & Authority: Isidore of Seville & the Opus Caroli Regis contra Synodum’, Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar(London) (in press: anticipated 2015)

‘Dangerous Acquisitions? An Examination of History's Appropriation and Utilization of Ritual Theory’, Journal of the Oxford University History Society, 6, 2009

‘Thomas Fisher MS 5288: A Late Link in the Transmission of Augustine’, Halycon: Journal of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Issue No. 40, December 2007

Research Positions

International Society for the History of Rhetoric Fellowship (2012-2013)

Past & Present Junior Research Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research (2011-2012)



Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000