Professor Barbara Bombi, a much-admired member of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, has recently been elected a Fellow of the British Academy – a remarkable achievement which reflects Professor Bombi’s expertise and dedication to Medieval studies at Kent.
The British Academy announced its new fellows on 22 July, in a record year where 56% of the new fellows were women. President of the British Academy Professor Julia Black says: “I am delighted that we have so many new female Fellows. While I hope this means that the tide is finally turning for women in academia, there is still much to do to make the research world diverse and open to all.”
Professor Bombi has been with the University of Kent since 2006, following doctoral and post-doctoral study in Italy. Since then she has been a valued teacher and inspiring colleague, working on ecclesiastical and religious history in the pivotal High Middle Ages (1200-1450). Her extensive research history has revealed fascinating and important new perspectives on the medieval papacy, diplomacy and statecraft. Currently Professor Bombi leads the Leverhulme and British Academy-funded Making of Europe project, which seeks to explore the formations of states in Medieval Europe, bringing together researchers from across the discipline – and the world.
“Barbara has worked tirelessly to educate and support our students. She has supervised dozens of excellent MAs and PhDs and she has mentored many members of staff too, offering guidance and support every step of the way,” say Emily Guerry and Rory Loughnane, co-Directors of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, congratulating Barabara on her election. “Barbara is a brilliant scholar who also cares deeply about our staff and students, and we’re so grateful to her for being such an advocate for all of us in MEMS.”
Research success continues in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies with PhD student Anna-Nadine Pike winning a research bursary from the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland. The funding will have a significant impact on Anna-Nadine’s research into Huguenot identities in early-modern Scotland.
With the funding, Anna-Nadine will be able to travel to Edinburgh for a two-week research project. Whilst there she will visit the National Library of Scotland, University of Edinburgh Library and ScotlandsPeople Centre to investigate the manuscripts of Esther Inglis, a daughter of Huguenot parents who emigrated to Britain to escape religious persecution.
The manuscripts are an enterprising topic, having never been analysed as a full collection. “Esther’s beautiful, calligraphic manuscripts form the nexus of my doctoral project, and part of the challenge is viewing as many of these in person as possible,” says Anna-Nadine on her project. “They have never had a full comparative study.”
Anna-Nadine’s project will add to our understanding of Huguenot families in Britain, and reveal how Esther and others in her position thought about their identity in their new surroundings. “Her cross-cultural identity is absolutely central to how Esther presents herself in her manuscripts; her identity is clearly both Huguenot and Scottish,” Anna-Nadine explains. “‘Inglis’ is an Anglicised version of her family’s French name, “Langlois.”
Anna-Nadine’s work is just one example of the ground-breaking work taking place at the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Archival work is a crucial aspect of developing our knowledge and furthering our understanding of Huguenot communities around Britain, so we are very much looking forward to seeing where Anna-Nadine’s work takes her.
Anna-Nadine is part vibrant community of researchers from around the University of Kent who have been working on historical and modern displaced communities. Find about the Migration and Movement Signature Research Theme on the University website.