The Matrix site is managed by a large team of people including the Director and Editors who oversee all of the content of the site with input from the Advisory Board. Editors supervise the creation of content provided by our hardworking Research Assistants and contributors. The Goldberg Center at The Ohio State University provides design, layout, and operation of the site.

Many thanks to all who have helped to make this project.


Alison Beach is an Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She specializes in the history of religious women in the central Middle Ages. She is the author of The Trauma of Monastic Reform: Community and Conflict in Twelfth-Century Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Women as Scribes: Book Production and Monastic Reform in Twelfth-Century Bavaria (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and the editor of Manuscripts and Monastic Culture: Reform and Renewal in Twelfth-Century Germany (Brepols, 2007).


Advisory Board

Constance Berman is Professor of History at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Her work centers on medieval social history, on medieval women, and on the economic effects of monasticism. She has written extensively on the Cistercians, their agricultural practices, and their twelfth-century invention of a new institution, the religious Order. She has been especially interested in the importance of women's communities within this reform group (a participation that has been denied by many of its modern practitioners.) She has published Medieval Agriculture, the Southern-French Countryside, and the Early Cistercians (1986), The Cistercian Evolution: The Invention of a Religious Order in the Twelfth Century (2000), and edited Medieval Religion: New Approaches (2005). She is currently working on books about Cistercian Nuns.

Lisa M. Bitel (Director ex officio) is Professor of History and Religion at the University of Southern California. Her list of publications includes: Women in Early Medieval Europe, 400-1100 (2002)Landscape with Two Saints : How Genovefa of Paris and Brigit of Kildare Built Christianity in Barbarian Europe (Oxford University Press 2006), and Our Lady of the Rock: Vision and Pilgrimage in the Mojave Desert (Cornell, 2015), among other books and articles.

Fiona Griffiths is  Professor of History at Stanford University. She is the author of The Garden of Delights: Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) and a series of articles about Herrad of Hohenbourg, Abelard and Heloise, and medieval canonesses.

Felice Lifshitz is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and of Religious Studies at the University of Alberta. She is the author and editor of several books, including Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia: A Study of Monastic Life and Manuscript Transmission (Fordham University Press, 2014), The Name of the Saint: The Martyrology of Jerome and Access to the Sacred in Francia (University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), Viking Normandy: Dudo of St. Quentin's Gesta Normannorum (ORB, 1996) and The Norman Conquest of Pious Neustria: Historiographic Discourse and Saintly Relics (684 -1090) (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Press, Toronto, 1995). She has co-edited three volumes of essays: Why the Middle Ages Matters: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice (with Celia Chazelle, Simon Doubleday and Amy Remensnyder, Routledge, 2011), Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives (with Lisa Bitel, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) and Paradigms and Methods in Early Medieval Studies (with Celia Chazelle, New York: Palgrave, 2007). Most recently, she has co-curated an exhibit at the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library at the University of Alberta, with Joseph F. Patrouch. The catalogue is available as Salt, Sword, and Crozier: Books and Coins from the Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg, c. 1500 - c. 1800 (University of Alberta Press, 2017). She is currently working on a project about the politics of gender and sexuality in medievalist cinema. 

Lester K. Little is the former Director of the American Academy in Rome, and former Dwight W. Morrow Professor of History at Smith College. His publications include Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings (with Barbara Rosenwein, 1998), Benedictine Maledictions: Liturgical Cursing in Romanesque France (1993), Liberty, Charity, Fraternity : Lay Religious Confraternities at Bergamo in the Age of the Commune (1988) and Religious Poverty And The Profit Economy In Medieval Europe (1978). His most recent publication, Plague and the End of Antiquity: the Pandemic of 541-750 (Cambridge University Press, December 2006), a collection of edited essays on the history, archaeology, and epidemiology of the Plague of Justinian.

Catherine Mooney is Associate Professor of Church History at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. She is the editor of Gendered Voices (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999) and the author of Philippine Duchesne: A Woman with the Poor (Paulist Press, 1990) as well as articles on religious women in medieval Europe.

Bruce L. Venarde is Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh.  His research centers around the relationship of religious and social change in the 11th and 12th centuries, with emphasis on monasticism, gender, Latin culture and learning, as well as popular and elite Christianity. He is particularly interested in the relationship between literature and social reality. His courses devote considerable time to the interpretation of medieval documents from law to lyric poetry. He is the author of Women's Monasticism and Medieval Society: Nunneries in France and England, 890-1215 (Cornell University Press, 1997) and Robert of Abrissel: A Medieval Religious Life (Catholic University of America Press).

Sharon Strocchia is an Associate Professor of History at Emory University. She is the author of Death and Ritual in Renaissance Florence (1992) and Nuns and Nunneries in Renaissance Florence (forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press in 2009.) Her current research project, tentatively titled Nuns and the Healing Arts in Late Renaissance Italy (1500-1650), is about nuns as patients in healers in late Renaissance Italy.

Former Board Members

  • Caroline Bruzelius
  • Caroline Walker Bynum
  • Heath Dillard
  • Monica Green
  • Jeffrey Hamburger
  • Penelope Johnson
  • Lynda Coon
  • Mary McLaughlin (†)
  • Jo Ann McNamara (†)
  • June L. Mecham (†)
  • Suzanne Wemple