Organizers

Joseph George Akl, Département d’Histoire, Université de Montréal.
Member and research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Joseph George Akl is a current PhD student in history at the Université de Montréal. He studies the beguines from the city of Metz and its surroundings under the direction of professor Gordon Blennemann. 

For the Other Sister, Joseph will focus on beguine networks and how beguines can be social, economic, and spiritual mediators. He also assisted in the administration and planning of The Other Sister’s first international conference.

Dr Angela Carbone, University of Bari – Aldo Moro.
Member of The Other Sister project.

Angela Carbone is Associate Professor of early modern History at the Department of Humanistic Research and Innovation of the University of Bari Aldo Moro. Her main areas of research are: family; gender history; charity and assistance. Among her list of publications are: Esposti e orfani nella Puglia dell’Ottocento (Cacucci Editore, 2000); Vita nei Sassi. Famiglia, infanzia e assistenza a Matera in età moderna (Cacucci Editore, 2005); Ritirate dalle cose del mondo. Donne e istituzioni nel Mezzogiorno moderno (Guida Editori, 2020). 

For the Other Sister project, Prof. Carbone aims to work on non-cloistered women in early modern Southern Italy and Mediterranean (Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Malta). Using the rich and unexplored archival sources, her new researches will interest different female figures: monache di casaconverserepentant women.   

Dr Isabelle Cochelin, Department of History, University of Toronto.
Co-founder of The Other Sister project.

Isabelle Cochelin is Associate Professor of Medieval History at the Department of History and the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto. After an MA on a female recluse (Juette/Yvette of Huy 1158-1228), she has worked almost exclusively on monks (8th-12th cent.) for the last thirty-three years: their daily lifeoblationnovitiatespaceshierarchyservants, etc., first and foremost using and pondering upon monastic customaries. After years of teaching the history of medieval monasticism, she became convinced, however, that much more should be done on non-cloistered religious women.

For the Other Sister project, Prof. Cochelin plans to work on the non-cloistered religious women working in hospitals and the secular canonesses. Her researches will take into consideration both the medieval and early modern period.

Julia Cole, Department of History, University of Toronto.
Member and research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Julia Cole is a current doctoral student at the University of Toronto. She studies Fontevraud Abbey in the late Medieval and Early Modern periods under the supervision of Professor Isabelle Cochelin. Her research investigates the ways that the nuns administrated the abbey’s patrimonial lands and the economic actions of widows living there. 

For the Other Sister, Julia intends to compare the lives of the influential and wealthy noblewomen who took their vows at Fontevraud with the lives of secular canonesses in (northern) France and Belgium.  

Dr Mary Harvey Doyno, Sacramento State University.
Member and co-organiser of The Other Sister project.

Mary Harvey Doyno is associate professor in the Humanities and Religious Studies department at Sacramento State University.  She is the author of The Lay Saint: Charity and Charismatic Authority in Medieval Italy, 1150-1350 and is currently working on a book that explores the relationship between female religious and the institutional church titled, Making Women Real: Female Religious, the Rhetoric of Reform and the Growth of the Institutional Church.

Prof. Sylvie Duval, University of Bologna Alma Mater.
Link with Sorores.

Sylvie Duval who was a member of The Other Sister project from 2020 to 2023 will now serve as link between The Other Sister and Sorores. She is an Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Bologna Alma Mater. She is a specialist of the history of medieval religious women, and in particular of the Observance Movement. Among her publications are: “Comme des anges sur terre”: les moniales dominicaines et les débuts de la réforme observante, 1385-1461. (École Française de Rome, 2015), and La beata Chiara conduttrice: le vite di Chiara Gambacorta e Maria Mancini e i testi dell’Osservanza domenicana pisana. (Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2016). She is interested in the city of Milan, where medieval semi-religious women were extremely numerous. Generally assimilated to the humiliate, they did not belong however to the Order of the Humiliates. Most of them were incorporated into the Dominican or Clarissan orders during the Fifteenth century. Prof. Duval is also studying the city of Lyon, starting from the important abbey of St Pierre, around which numerous female religious, who were not nuns, lived and interacted with the urban society.

Emma Gabe, Center for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto.
Member and research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Emma Gabe is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto. She studies laysisters in late-medieval female monasteries in German-speaking regions. Living alongside choir nuns, these women helped complete the monastery’s physical and manual work and their religious devotions were simplified. 

For the Other Sister, Gabe will research laysisters (also called converse nuns) in northern Europe from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries. 

Meghan Lescault, Department of History, University of Toronto.
Member and research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Meghan Lescault is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. She is writing her dissertation on the topic of secular canonesses in the Southern Low Countries (modern-day Belgium) from 1200 to 1600. These women have often been neglected in the religious historiography partly due to tradition that imposes a monastic model on female religious life. Lescault seeks to give the canonesses their proper place in the historical record by studying them as non-cloistered women.

For the Other Sister project, Lescault is focusing on secular canonesses throughout Europe from 1100 to 1800.

Laura Moncion, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto.
Member and research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Laura Moncion is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Canada. She is working on a dissertation on late-medieval women recluses in German-speaking towns, under the direction of Isabelle Cochelin and Shami Ghosh. Her work has been published in postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studiesImaginations: Revue d’études interculturelles de l’image/Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, the Heythrop Journal, and the Global Medieval Sourcebook

As part of the Other Sister project, Moncion will focus on the longue durée and global history of religious reclusion, asking whether and how this phenomenon can be observed in contexts beyond medieval Europe, and furthermore how gender factors into this practice.

Dr Alison More, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.
Co-founder of The Other Sister project.

Alison More is Associate Professor of Medieval Studies and the inaugural holder of the Comper Professorship in Medieval Studies at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. Her research investigates the intersections between social and religious culture in Northern Europe from 1250 to 1450. She is primarily is interested in women’s experiences, as well as alternative interpretations of absences and inconsistencies in the historical record. Her publications include Fictive Orders and Feminine Religious Identities (OUP, 2018)

For the Other Sister, Prof. More plans to focus on the roles that women commonly known as beguines and tertiaries held in the cities of the southern Low Countries during the later medieval and early modern period. She is also planning to do some further work of the Grey Sisters, and other women who worked in hospitals. 

Dr Nieto Delfi-Isabel, Queen Mary University, London.
Member and co-organizer of The Other Sister project.

Delfi Nieto-Isabel is a Marie Skłodowska–Curie Fellow, Lecturer in History and a Fellow at the Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. She’s currently working on her EU-funded project, ILLITTERATAE, which aims to research women’s role in the transmission of alternative religious ideas, focusing on communities of beguines across the medieval Mediterranean. She completed her PhD at the University of Barcelona in 2018, focusing on the application of Social Network Analysis to the study of dissident religious movements in the Late Middle Ages, and was a Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer in the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School in 2021-22. She has recently co-edited Living on the Edge: Transgression, Exclusion and Persecution in the Middle Ages (Gruyter, 2022).

Devon Sherwood, Department of History, University of Toronto.
Member and research assistant of The Other Sister

Devon Sherwood is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. She studies secular canonesses in Northern France (1200-1600) under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Cochelin. Her research investigates the differences between how cloistered and uncloistered religious women viewed their gender roles in medieval society. 

For the Other Sister, Devon plans to work on secular canonesses at the end of the Middle Ages. 

Kristin Simpson, non-degree student, University of Toronto. Kristin is the communication assistant for the Project The Other Sister

Kristin Simpson is a non-degree student at the University of Toronto taking classes in medieval studies and considering future graduate work in this area. Right now, she is particularly interested in Walter de Châtillon’s Alexandreis. Over two decades ago, she earned a BA in English and Latin and an MA in English (focusing on Old and Middle English), as well as a BEd, all from the University of Toronto. Since then, she has worked as an academic editor and held various jobs in K–12 education, including co-founding an alternative school.

Dr Patricia Stoop, University of Antwerp.
Member and co-organizer of The Other Sister project.

Patricia Stoop is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ruusbroec Institute of the University of Antwerp. In her interdisciplinary research Patricia Stoop focuses on women’s participation in the intellectual, religious, and literary culture of the Low Countries (c. 1350–1650). She is one of the initiators of the international project Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe (in collaboration with Virginia Blanton, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Veronica O’Mara, University of Hull). The three edited volumes have been published by Brepols (2013, 2015, and 2017). Other key publications are Schrijven in commissie. De zusters uit het Brusselse klooster Jericho en de preken van hun biechtvaders (ca. 1456–1510) (2013) and, together with Veronica O’Mara,  Circulating the Word of God in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Catholic Preachers and Catholic Preaching Across Manuscript and Print (c. 1450 to c. 1550) (2022).

For the Other Sister project, Dr. Stoop aims to work on the literary and intellectual culture in communities of non-cloistered women.

FORMER CO-ORGANIZERS

2022-2023

Dr Kirsty Schut, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto.
Research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Kirsty Schut was a 2022/23 Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. She obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies in 2019 with a dissertation on the fourteenth-century Dominican theologian John of Naples. Her current research focuses on the phenomenon of lay Christians seeking to die and/or be buried in religious habits from the Middle Ages into the modern era. Her first publication on the topic is “Death and a Clothing Swap: An Unusual Case of Death and Burial in the Religious Habit from Fourteenth-Century Naples,” Viator 2019 [2020]: 185-226.

For the Other Sister project, Kirsty was keeping an eye out for lay burials in ‘other sister’ type habits and ‘other sisters’ being buried in monastic habits.

2020-2023

Dr Isabel Harvey, Université Catholique de Louvaini/GRHS-UQAM.
Former co-Investigator of The Other Sister project.

Isabel Harvey is FNRS postdoctoral fellow in Early Modern Italian History at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and member of the Groupe de Recherche en Histoire des Sociabilités (GRHS) of the UQAM. Her current research project, entitled “The Environmental Impact of the Catholic Church: Missions, Mobility, and Climate in Southern Italy, France, and North America in the Early Modern Period,” focuses on the Catholic Church’s environmental impact and its strategies of environmental adaptation in the context of the evangelizing missions between the 16th and 18th centuries. Her main areas of research include the early modern Catholic Church, women religious life and circulation of information. 

For TOS, Dr. Harvey started this blog and worked on non-cloistered religious women from early modern Papal States – especially the cases of the little cities of the Marche and Umbria – and Naples – the Dominican Third Order. 

2021-2022

Dr Michael Hahn, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto/University of London.
Former research assistant of The Other Sister project.

Michael Hahn is a medievalist, theologian and church historian. While in our research group, he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and Tutor in the History of Christianity for the University of London’s distance-learning Divinity courses. He works primarily on the intersection of late-medieval mystical theology and the development of early-Franciscan theologies, institutions and identities and gained a PhD in this field from the University of St Andrews. As well as continuing existing research into the early-Franciscan mystical traditions, Dr. Hahn is now embarking on a new project entitled From Umbrian Laywoman to the “Teacher of Theologians”: how Angela of Foligno was made Magistra Theologorum. This project seeks to identify the cross-confessional and cross-temporal perceptions and receptions of Angela of Foligno and her Liber from her death in 1309 to 1624 when Angela was called Magistra Theologorum (“Teacher of Theologians”) by the Dutch Jesuit Maximilian Sandaeus. 

For the Other Sister, Dr. Hahn worked on the mystical authority claimed by (and associated with) laywomen such as Angela of Foligno, and the changing perception of Angela’s alignment to Franciscan spirituality as her Liber circulated throughout Europe after her death.

2020–2021

Gustave Ineza, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.
Former research assistant of the Other Sister project.

Gustave Ineza is a PhD Candidate at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominican friars. He started studying Christian-Muslim relations at Blackfriars Hall/University of Oxford in 2011. His current research includes the study of colonial influences on Christian-Muslim relations in formerly colonized African countries. He is working on The Evolution of Christian-Muslim relations in Rwanda, from the Belgian Colonial Period to the post-genocide era. This historical assessment aims to demonstrate that interfaith relations are not static but depend on various forces, including non-theological ones. 

For the Other Sister project, Ineza focused on the beguines and tertiaries.

Camila Justino, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.
Former communications assistant of The Other Sister project.

Camila Justino is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto pursuing a major in Books and Media Studies and a double minor in Medieval Studies and Celtic Studies. She has four books published for youth in Brazil. Her first non-fiction essay written in English was published by Guts Magazine and is included in the book Wherever I Find Myself (Caitlin Press, 2017). A second essay, “Dear English Language,” will also be included in Tongues: On Longing and Belonging through Language (Book*Hug in 2021). The undefined place of religious women from the Middle Ages and the aesthetics and the motives of vernacular theology inspire Camila’s writings. She is writing Broken English her first book in English. 

For the the Other Sister, Camila was responsible for the communication between participants.

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