Catherine Crossley

Postgraduate Research Student


Catherine has an MA in Medieval and Early Modern History from the University of Bristol and an MA in Digital Humanities from King's College London.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Monstrous men in the medieval mind: intertextuality and interpretation, c.1200-1350."

The thirteenth century sees a steep rise in visual and textual representations of the borderline human beings known as ‘monstrous men’, with headless Blemmye and single-footed Sciapods (amongst many others) found in a variety of visual media and scrutinised in encyclopedic scientific studies.

This project utilises a core corpus of interconnected illuminated world maps (mappaemundi) and books of beasts (bestiaries) as a starting point to examine medieval ideas about the nature of ‘man’ and ‘beast’, analysing representations of these borderline human monstrous men in text and image. We will take an interdisciplinary approach to the various sources depicting monstrous men to understand contemporary concepts of the essence of humanity, which seem to grow out of a newly imported Aristotelian approach to the natural world.

Catherine's wider research interests cover Medieval history, digital sciences and mappaemundi.

Research Group Membership

Centre for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences