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Queen's University

Laura CarlsonCarlson.jpg

Post Doctoral Fellow


Phone:  533-6000, Ext: 78998
Fax: 533-6298
Office:  Watson 234 


D.Phil. in Medieval History, Oxford University (2012)
M.St. in Medieval History, Oxford University (2008)
M.A. in Medieval Studies, University of Toronto (2007)
B.A. with Honors in History & Anthropology, University of San Diego (2006)


Post-Doctoral Research
Past & Present Junior Research Fellowship, The Institute of Historical Research, London (2011-2012)

My research fosters a much-needed reappraisal of the availability and transmission of classical and late antique rhetorical works within continental Europe from 750 to 850. Although rhetorical study during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries has received significant scholarly attention, particularly regarding the rebirth of the ars dictaminis and other classical modes of rhetorical learning, the period ranging from roughly the fifth to the eleventh century remains largely unstudied, often described as a stagnant intellectual atmosphere for the linguistic disciplines. Yet this ignores both the availability of classical and late antique rhetorical material during this period (providing the manuscript tradition which made the twelfth century linguistic "revival" possible) and the express focus of numerous educational centres in the early medieval west on the nature and use of language. My research illuminates this relatively dark period of rhetorical study, through a combined study of in-depth manuscript evaluation and broad analysis of the dissemination and transmission of classical and late antique rhetorical material. In particular, I examine this renewed prominence of linguistic study via the leading political and educational force during this period: the Carolingian Empire.


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


-"Heresy and the Art of Rhetoric: Alcuin's Works against Adoptionism"
Paper presented at "The Study of Language in the Medieval West" colloquium, June 2012

-"Letter & Spirit: Language, Philosophy, and Authority in Carolingian Europe"
Paper presented at the Director's Seminar, Institute for Historical Research, London, December 2011

-"Creating a Christian Language: Letter & Spirit at the Carolingian Court"
Paper presented at the Institute for Historical Research's "Earlier Middle Ages" Seminar, London, October 2011

-'The Freedom of Meaning: the Psychology of Scriptural Symbolism and Interpretation in Carolingian Europe'
Paper presented at the "Reading Medieval Minds" Session: International Medieval Congress, Leeds University, July 2011

-"Negotiating the Borderlands: Frankish-Iberian Relations in the Wake of 711"
Paper presented at the "Aftermath of 711" Conference, Oxford University, June 2011

-"An Encyclopedic Theology: Theodulf of Orléans and the Carolingian Wiki-Bible"
Paper presented at the Oxford Medieval History Seminar, May 2011

-"The Mysterious Pseudo-Augustinian Speculum: Investigations into Carolingian Biblical Theology"
Paper presented at the Oxford Medieval Church and Culture Seminar, May 2011

-"Theodulf of Orleans and the Latin Language: Christian Oral Performance and Linguistic Reformation"
Paper presented at the Medieval Academy of America Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, April 2011

-"Saragossa: Education and Influence on the Medieval Frontier"
Paper presented at the Princeton-Oxford-Vienna Early Medieval Exchange Seminar, Princeton University, April 2011

-"For Answers, see Appendix: Theodulf of Orleans and Carolingian Biblical Symbolism"
Paper presented at the IMBAS: Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Medieval Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, November 2010

-"Face to Face for the First Time: Gospel Illustration and Explanation in Carolingian Baptismal Ceremonies"
Paper presented to the International Medieval Congress, Leeds University, July 2010

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000