Alison More

Dr. Alison More is the inaugural holder of the Comper Professorship in Medieval Studies at the University of St. Michael’s College.

As a passionate Latinist, Professor More is interested in alternative interpretations of absences and inconsistencies in the historical record. In particular, her research investigates the intersections between social and religious culture in Northern Europe from 1250 to 1450.

She co-teaches the Boyle Seminar in Scripts and Stories, which introduces first-year students to Medieval and Celtic studies. In addition, Professor More has organized the Annual Medieval Women’s Writers Workshop at the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies since 2017, and regularly hosts symposia on Medieval women writers.

Professor More came to St. Mike’s from the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent where she designed and taught core courses on Latin and palaeography. She studied Latin in Rome with Reginald Foster, and has further developed her skills through teaching and research fellowships at Harvard, the University of Edinburgh, and Radboud Universiteit.

 Professor More has been looking for a lost Scrabble board, with points re-weighted for play in Latin, since her arrival at St. Mike’s.

  • Areas of Expertise
    • Medieval religion and society
    • Manuscript studies
    • Sermon studies
    • Religious and quasi-religious orders
    • Franciscan studies
    • Medieval Scotland
    • Women and gender in the premodern world
  • Links
  • Publications


    Fictive Orders and Feminine Religious Identity, 1250-1550 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

    Representing Medieval Genders and Sexualities in Europe: Construction, Transformation, and Subversion, 600-1530. Co-edited with Elizabeth L’Estrange (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011; paperback, Routledge, 2016).


    Journal Articles

    ‘Franciscans and Tertiaries in later Medieval Scotland’ Franciscan Studies (2019), 109-31.

    ‘Tertiaries and the Scottish Observance: St Martha’s Hospital in Aberdour and the Institutionalisation of the Third Order’ Scottish Historical Review (2015), 121-39.

    ‘Institutionalizing Penitential Life in Later Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Third Orders, Rules and Canonical Legitimacy’ Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 83 (2014), 296-322.

    ‘Institutionalization of Disorder: The Third Order and Canonical Change in the Sixteenth Century’ Franciscan Studies 71 (2013), 147-63.

    ‘Both in the World and of It: Affectivity, Corporeality and Cistercian Conversi in Thirteenth-Century Liège’ Studies in Spirituality 23 (2013), 61-79.

    ‘According to Martha: Extra-Regular Women and the Gospel Life’ Franciscana 10 (2008), 255-80.


    Book Chapters

    ‘Lay Piety and Franciscan Tertiary Identity,’ in Non enim fuerat Evangelii surdus auditor, ed. M. Cusato and S. McMichael (Brill, 2020), 334-47.

    ‘Striving for Religious Perfection in the Lay World,’ Cambridge History of Monasticism in the Latin World, ed. I. Cochelin and A. Beach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1057-73 (with Anneke Mulder-Bakker).

    ‘Religious Order and Textual Identity: The Case of Franciscan Tertiary Women,’ in Nuns’ Literacies: The Antwerp Dialogue (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 69-79.

    ‘Franciscan Feminine Virtue: The Changing Portrayal of Clare of Assisi in Sermons,’ in Models of Virtue, ed. E. Lombardo (Padova: Centro Studi Antoniani, 2016), 75-90.

    ‘Canonical Change and “Franciscan” Tertiary Orders,’ in Religious Orders and Religious Identity Formation, ed. B. Roest & J. Uphoff (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 69-85.

    ‘Dynamics of Regulation, Innovation and Invention’ in Observant Reform in the Late Middle Ages and Beyond, ed. J. Mixson and B. Roest (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 85-110.

    ‘Preaching, Reform and Catholic Identity in Late Medieval Scotland: The Case of Johannes Royardus’ in Scottish Religion at Home and in the Diaspora, ed. D. MacLeod and S. Macdonald (Guelph: Series in Scottish Studies, 2014), pp. 13-38.

    ‘Gracious Women finding Glory: Clare of Assisi and Elizabeth of Hungary in Franciscan Sermons’ in Franciscan Preaching: Every Miracle from the Beginning of the World Came About through Words, ed. T. Johnson (Leiden: Brill, 2012), pp. 209-30.

    Plantula Francisci, plantula mei: Margaret of Cortona as a Model Penitent’ in Her Bright Merits: Essays in Honor of Ingrid Peterson, ed. M. Meany (St. Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute Press, 2012), pp. 157-72.

    ‘“Reading the Wormy Corpus”: Ambiguity and Discernment in Medieval Hagiography’ in Parasites, Worms, and the Human Body in Religion and Culture, B. Gardenour and M. Tadd (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 81-94.

    (with Elizabeth L’Estrange) ‘Representing Medieval Gender and Sexualities in Europe’ in Representing Genders and Sexualities in Europe: Construction, Transformation and Subversion, ed. E. L’Estrange and A. More (Ashgate: Aldershot, 2011), pp. 1-14.

    ‘Convergence, Conversion and Transformation: Gender in Thirteenth-Century Liège’ in Representing Genders and Sexualities in Europe: Construction, Transformation and Subversion, ed. E. L’Estrange and A. More (Ashgate: Aldershot, 2011), pp. 33-48


    Forthcoming Publications

    ‘Between Charity and Controversy: The Grey Sisters, Liminality, and the Religious Life,,’ in Between Orders and Heresy: Rethinking Medieval Religious Movements, ed. Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane and Anne Lester (under contract with University of Toronto Press). 8,897 words.


    Reference Entries

    ‘Nuns, Roman Catholic’ and ‘Virgin Mary,’ in The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today’s World, ed.  M.Z. Strange, C.K. Oyster, and J.G. Golson (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011), v. 3, pp. 1029-31 and v. 4, p. 1523.



    Steven Bednarski, ‘A Poisoned Past: The Life of Margarida de Portu, a Fourteenth-Century Accused Poisoner (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014)’ in  Journal of Renaissance and Reformation Studies (2019), 195-97.

    Elizabeth M. Tyler, ‘England in Europe: English Royal Women and Literary Patronage, c.1000-1150 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017)’ in The Journal of Medieval Latin 28 (2018) 373-76.

    Tanya Stabler Miller, ‘Beguines of Medieval Paris (Pennsylvania: University of Philadelphia Press, 2014)’ in Journal for Gender History (2015), 244-45.

    Paul A. MacKenzie, trans., ‘Caritas Pirckheimer: A Journal of the Reformation Years, 1524-1528. (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2006)’ in Medieval Feminist Forum 44 (2008), 119-22.

    A. Schultz, ‘Courtly Love, the Love of Courtliness, and the History of Sexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)’ in Canadian History Journal 43 (2008), 279.

    Mulder-Bakker, ed. ‘Mary of Oignies: Mother of Salvation (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006)’ in Church History and Religious Culture 88 (2008), 259-61.



    Cristina Andenna, ‘Feminine Religious Life in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries: An Excursus,’ under contract for Cambridge History of Monasticism in the Latin World, ed. I. Cochelin and A. Beach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1039-56 (French to English).

    Maria Pia Alberzoni, ‘Jordan of Saxony and the Monastery of St. Agnese in Bologna,’ Franciscan Studies 68 (2010), 1-19 (Italian to English).

    Maria Pia Alberzoni, ‘Elizabeth of Hungary: Mother of the Friars Minor’ Greyfriars (2011), 213-36 (Italian to English).


    Works in Progress

    ‘Medieval Religious History is Women’s History’, under consideration by the Harvard Theological Review.

    The Monastery in the World: The Villers Community and Popular Religion in Liège (monograph in progress)

    ‘Beguines, Tertiaries, and Mendicants,’ invited paper for inclusion in A Companion to Women’s Monasticism, edited by Kimm Curran and Janet Burton for Cambridge University Press.

    Edition of beguine rules and statutes from 1250-1500 (with Monica Sandor) to be published in the Brepols series Disciplicina Monastica.

    ‘Innovation, Invention, and the Quasi-Religious Life,’ in New Monasticisms volume, ed. Christina Andenna

  • Presentations

    Invited Lectures

    ‘Regularisation, Innovation, and Invention: Observant Reform and Lay Piety,’ Workshop: “L’Observance, enter normailsation et repression,’ Académie de France à Rome, October, 2019.

    ‘Translating Sanctity: The Lives and Afterlives of the Liégoise Mulieres Religiosae,’ University of Arkansas, March, 2019.

    Clara in natura, clarior in fama, clarissima in gratia: Clare of Assisi and Feminine Holiness in Later Medieval Europe,’ Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies & Istituto Italiano di Cultura, March, 2019.

    ‘Fictive Histories and Penitential Disorder: Feminine Religious Identity, 1200-1450,’ Lecture Series, Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Kent, March, 2017.

    ‘Changing Identities: Religious Women in the Later Medieval World,’ Colloquium at The College of New Rochelle, March, 2016.

    ‘Irregular and Extra-Regular: Fictive Histories and Penitential Disorder in Early Modern Europe,’ Harvard Humanities Seminar, Women and Culture in the Early Modern World, March, 2015.

    ‘Fictive Histories and Penitential Disorder: “Irregular” Women in Medieval Christianity,’ Harvard Divinity School, February, 2015.

    ‘Regularising the Irregular: “Unconventual” Women and the Creation of Order Identity in the late Middle Ages,’ University of Edinburgh, May, 2014.

    ‘Clearer and Clearer: Clare of Assisi as a Model of Virtue and Reform.’ Invited lecture as part of the workshop ‘Models of Virtue: The Role of Virtues in Sermons and Hagiography for new Saints’ Cults (13th to 15th Century).’ Instituto de Filosofia, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal, 2013.

    ‘Identity, Preaching and Literacy: The Emergence of a Textual Identity in Houses of Franciscan Tertiary Women.’ Invited lecture for the conference ‘Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe.’ Antwerp, Belgium, 2013.

    ‘Religious Orders and Religious Identity Formation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ca. 1420-1620.’ Invited lecture at the Ruusbroecgenootschap, Antwerp, Belgium, 2013.

    ‘La Regolarizzazione delle Beghine.’ Invited lecture at the Università Cattolica del Sacre Cuore, Milan, Italy, 2010.

    ‘Regularising Extra-Regular Religious Women: The Development of Beguine Rules in the Thirteenth Century.’ Invited lecture for a graduate research colloquium at the Universität Trier, Trier, Germany, 2009.


    Select Conference Papers and Workshop Participation

    ‘Tradition and Transformation: The Changing Face of Tertiaries in Later Medieval Europe.’ Tri-Annual Conference on the History of Women Religious, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, 2019.

    Masculinity and Corporeality in the Vitae of Thirteenth-Century Conversi.’ Canadian Society of Medievalists, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, 2019.

    ‘Textuality and Female Education in the Low Countries.’ Renaissance Society of America, Toronto, 2019.

    ‘A Mother and a Spider: Alijt Bake and Religious Identity.’ Colloquium on Medieval Women Writers, Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, November 2017.

    ‘Domus Sanctae Marthae: Striving for Religious Perfection in the Lay World.’ Invited as part of a colloquium to facilitate work on the Cambridge Series in the History of Western Monasticism (with Anneke Mulder-Bakker), Heiligkreuztal, July 2014.

    ‘Imposing Rules on Tertiaries.’ International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 2012 (delivered in one of two sessions co-organised by Alison More and Bert Roest).

    ‘Both in the World and of It: Affectivity, Corporeality and Cistercian Conversi in Thirteenth-Century Liège.’ Religious Masculinities, Huddersfield, 2012.

    ‘Regularising the Irregular: Leo X and the Institutionalisation of the “Third Order”.’ Presentation for the workshop ‘Pluralism and Identity Formation in the Catholic World: From the Libellus ad Leonem X (1513) to the Council of Trent.’ Università di Bologna – Dipartimento di Paleografia e Medievistica, 2012.

    ‘Strategies of Reform in Sixteenth-Century Scotland.’ Presentation for the Workshop ‘Strategies of Catholic Identity Formation in a Period of Religious Confusion (c. 1510-1560).’ Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 2011.

    ‘Predicatore “biografo”: Jan Brugman e le due vite di Lidwina.’ Presentation for the Seminar: ‘Per la formazione dell’uomo moderno. Modelli e percorsi per la perfezione nelle vite dei predicatori.’ Università di Bologna – Dipartimento di Paleografia e Medievistica, 2011.

  • Education

    PhD, Medieval Studies (2005) — University of Bristol, UK

    Visiting Student, School of Latin Letters, Università Pontificia Gregoriana, Rome, Italy, 2002-2004 (Invited by Reginald Foster, OCD)

    MA, History (1999) — Queen’s University, Canada

    BA (Hons), History and Classics (1998) — University of Toronto