- Medieval saints’ cults and pilgrimage
- Medieval hagiography (saints’ lives and miracle narratives)
- Women’s history and gender
- The history and anthropology of pilgrimage
My doctoral research – published in the form of journal articles and book chapters – focused on the depiction of female pilgrims in twelfth-century miracle narratives. My current research looks at pilgrimage more broadly, and combines the disciplines of history and anthropology to explore how pilgrims’ beliefs, practices and experiences have continued, developed and changed from the Middle Ages to the present day. As a social and cultural historian I am particularly interested in the ways in which pilgrimage absorbs and reflects collective ideas, values and anxieties in different times, contexts and places. My research approach includes anthropological fieldwork which has provided me with a greater understanding of pilgrimage as a ‘lived’ practice and prompted new research questions for pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and beyond.