Dr Kimberley-Joy Knight

Postdoctoral Research Associate

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6832

Website History of Emotions Profile
Academia.edu.au Profile
Twitter @drkjknight

Biographical details

Kimberley-Joy Knight is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Sydney node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE). She graduated MA and MLitt in Medieval History from the University of St Andrews and received an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) doctoral fellowship for her PhD research entitled 'Blessed are those who weep: Gratia lacrymarum in thirteenth-century hagiographies'. Her first monograph, Tears and Sanctity: Emotions and the Construction of Sainthood, is currently in preparation.

Kimberley’s postdoctoral research at the University of Sydney CHE explores how love, sexuality and desire were understood, expressed, and enacted in Medieval Norway and Iceland and analyses in what ways they were conditioned by new Christian doctrines.In order to assess the connection between these elements, the project focuses on gestures, somatic semiotics and interactions as a way of examining emotional bonds and relationships.

By examining the gestures associated with love and desire in Old Norse sagas and hagiographies, Kimberley analyses important cultural codes that communicated emotions. Gestures and interactions including handclasps, gazing, hair stroking, laying one’s head into another’s lap, holding another’s neck, kissing and embracing were not impulsive but were subject to and regulated by social conventions. Her research explores how these conventions changed as the influence of Christianity altered the way that people understood emotions.

Kimberley’s research also draws upon the rich runic culture, in particular the inscriptions on sticks and bones that were used as methods of everyday communication. A significant number of these inscriptions, written in both Latin and the vernacular, contain messages that provide an insight into licit and clandestine interactions. These disposable inscriptions range from the sexually crude, to expressions of unrequited love, homosexuality, adultery and betrothal and demonstrate the ways in which love and desire were communicated.

Kimberley is co-convenor of two international research networks:

  • Old Norse and Emotions Research Network (with Carolyne Larrington, Oxford). For details see our recent study day.
  • The History of Law and Emotions Cluster (with Merridee Bailey, The University of Adelaide and John Hudson, University of St Andrews)

Research interests

  • The History of Emotions
  • Medieval Scandinavia
  • The Cult of Saints, Hagiography and Religious Orders
  • Material Culture and Emotions
  • The History of Law and Emotions

Current projects

Associations

  • Australia New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Ecclesiastical History Society (UK)
  • Society for the History of Emotions (Australia)
  • Viking Society for Northern Research (UK)

In the media

Selected grants

2016

  • Treasured Possessions; Knight K, Watts G; Department of Family and Community Services (NSW)/Liveable Communities Grants Program.

Selected publications & creative works

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Book Chapters

  • Knight, K. (2011). 'Si Puose Calcina A' Propi Occhi: The Importance of the Gift of Tears for Thirteenth-Century Religious Women and Their Hagiographers. In Elina Gertsman (Eds.), Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History, (pp. 136-155). London: Routledge. [More Information]

Journals

  • Bailey, M., Knight, K. (2017). Writing Histories of Law and Emotion. The Journal of Legal History, 38(2), 117-129. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2016). Droplets of Heaven: Tear Relics in the High and Later Middle Ages. The Mediaeval Journal, 6(2(2016)), 45-80. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2016). Hair in the Middle Ages. Internet Archaeology, 42, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2016). Lachrymose Holiness and the Problem of Doubt in Thirteenth and Fourteenth-century Hagiographies. Studies in Church History, 52, 118-134. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2015). [Book Review] Writing and Reading in Medieval Manuscript Culture: The Translation and Transmission of the Story of Elye in Old French and Old Norse Literary Contexts. Parergon, 32(2), 290-292.
  • Knight, K. (2014). [Book Review] Studies on Medieval Empathies. Parergon, 31(2), 197-199. [More Information]

Edited Journals

  • Bailey, M., Knight, K. (2017). History of Law and Emotions. The Journal of Legal History, 38(2). [More Information]

Textual Creative Works

  • Knight, K. (2016). Treasured Possessions, Sydney, Australia: ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

Curated / Produced Exhibition / Event

  • Knight, K. (2016). Treasured Possessions. Wollongong City Art Gallery, Community Access Gallery. Wollongong, Australia.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Knight, K. (2015). Dear Valentine, Take Another Little Piece of my Heart, or Hair. The Conversation. [More Information]

2017

  • Bailey, M., Knight, K. (2017). History of Law and Emotions. The Journal of Legal History, 38(2). [More Information]
  • Bailey, M., Knight, K. (2017). Writing Histories of Law and Emotion. The Journal of Legal History, 38(2), 117-129. [More Information]

2016

  • Knight, K. (2016). Treasured Possessions, Sydney, Australia: ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.
  • Knight, K. (2016). Droplets of Heaven: Tear Relics in the High and Later Middle Ages. The Mediaeval Journal, 6(2(2016)), 45-80. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2016). Hair in the Middle Ages. Internet Archaeology, 42, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2016). Lachrymose Holiness and the Problem of Doubt in Thirteenth and Fourteenth-century Hagiographies. Studies in Church History, 52, 118-134. [More Information]
  • Knight, K. (2016). Treasured Possessions. Wollongong City Art Gallery, Community Access Gallery. Wollongong, Australia.

2015

  • Knight, K. (2015). [Book Review] Writing and Reading in Medieval Manuscript Culture: The Translation and Transmission of the Story of Elye in Old French and Old Norse Literary Contexts. Parergon, 32(2), 290-292.
  • Knight, K. (2015). Dear Valentine, Take Another Little Piece of my Heart, or Hair. The Conversation. [More Information]

2014

  • Knight, K. (2014). [Book Review] Studies on Medieval Empathies. Parergon, 31(2), 197-199. [More Information]

2011

  • Knight, K. (2011). 'Si Puose Calcina A' Propi Occhi: The Importance of the Gift of Tears for Thirteenth-Century Religious Women and Their Hagiographers. In Elina Gertsman (Eds.), Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History, (pp. 136-155). London: Routledge. [More Information]

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