Lydia Hayes

BA History and Political Science (Flagler College)
MLitt Mediaeval Studies (University of St Andrews)


Contact Details

Thesis title: Looking Beyond Guinevere: Depictions of Women in Chrétien de Troyes’ Arthurian Romances, Theological Texts, and the Cult of Saints
Supervisor: Professor John Hudson

My research interests revolve around gender in twelfth-century French Arthurian romances, but I am more broadly interested in what gender relationships in literature may reveal about high medieval culture and society. I am particularly interested in the relationship between the secular and the sacred in the High Middle Ages and how the theme of love appears to be at their intersection. As part of my research, I also look at gender and love in biblical commentaries, hagiography, and the material culture of the cult of saints.

I teach on HI2001: History as a Discipline and ME2003: Europe in the High Middle Ages.

Conference Papers:

  • ‘The Experience of Touching Christ: Imitating the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalen in High Medieval Biblical Commentaries,’ ARDIT International Congress, Senses and Sensuality, Barcelona, 2015
  • ‘Reforming the Bride: The Significance of the Feminine Soul in Bernard of Clairvaux,’ Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship sponsored session, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 2015
  • ‘The Body and Blood: The Theological Significance of Perceval’s Encounter with the Blood on the Snow in Le Conte du Graal,’ International Arthurian Society Congress, Bucharest, 2014
  • ‘The Politics of Romance: King Mark in His Conflict with Tristan in the Roman de Tristan en Prose,’ Hortulus sponsored session, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 2014
  • ‘The Flexible Oath: Breaking and Honoring Promises over Relics in High Medieval Arthurian Literature,’ Borderlines XVII: Occupying Space, Trinity College, Dublin, 2013
  • ‘The Corrupting Woman as Intercessor: Enide and Her Marian Attributes in the Marriage Quest of Chrétien’s Erec et Enide,’ Aberdeen-St. Andrews Postgraduate History Conference, St. Andrews, 2013