Earenfight Publishes on Queens in Medieval Europe

Written by Laura Paskin
May 6, 2013

History Professor Theresa Earenfight has just published Queenship in Medieval Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). In her book, she documents the lives and works of queens and empresses across Europe, Byzantium, and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages.

“Medieval queens led richly complex lives and were highly visible women active in a man's world. Linked to kings by marriage, family, and property, queens were vital to the institution of monarchy,” Earenfight said.

Her book highlights four crucial moments across the full span of the Middle Ages – ca. 300, 700, 1100, and 1350 – when Christianity, education, lineage, and marriage law fundamentally altered the practice of queenship. She also examines theories and practices of queenship in the context of wider issues of gender, authority, and power.

Earenfight received her Ph.D. from Fordham University and joined the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1998. She is known internationally for her scholarship on medieval Europe and gender issues. In addition to many articles, she is the author of The King's Other Body: Maria of Castile and the Crown of Aragon (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and edited Women and Wealth in Late Medieval Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Queenship and Political Power in Medieval and Early Modern Spain (Ashgate, 2005).

Earenfight has received numerous awards for her scholarship, including a Fulbright fellowship to Spain and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She was awarded the Theiline Pigott McCone Chair in Humanities for 2013-15 by Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, SJ. The award recognizes her outstanding teaching and scholarship in a basic humanities discipline in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 42 undergraduate majors, 37 minors, and 7 master’s degrees.