Skip to main content

Lisa Bitel

Professor of History and Religion

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 821-2150
Office: SOS 282

Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website
Course Information
Monastic Matrix


Ph.D. History, Harvard University, 1/1987
AM History, Harvard University, 1/1982
A.B. , Smith College, 1/1980

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Professor of History and Religion, University of Southern California, 08/15/2010-  
Professor of History and Gender Studies, USC, 08/2001-05/2010  
Professor of History, University of Kansas, 01/01/1999-01/01/2001  
Director of Women's Studies, University of Kansas, 01/01/1998-01/01/2001  
Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies, University of Kansas, 01/01/1995-01/01/1999  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Bitel studies the social, cultural, and religious history of medieval Europe. She has written four books about religion and/or gender in early medieval Europe, one book about religious apparitions and visions in contemporary California, and published articles about sex, dreams, architecture, and Christianity, among other topics. She is currently researching a book on the material history of the unseen in medieval Europe.

Research Specialties

Medieval European history, history of Christianity, religious studies, women's and gender history, Irish history, Celtic literatures and cultures, art and archaeology of medieval Europe, visual and material culture of pre-modern Europe

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

Center for Excellence in Research, Fellow, 2008-2011,
Center for Feminist Research, Chair, Steering Committee,
Center for Religion and Civic Culture,
Interdisciplinary Research Group, CRCC, Director,
Monastic Matrix, Director, editor,



Bitel, L. M. (2009). Landscape with Two Saints: How Saint Genovefa of Paris and Saint Brigit of Kildare Built Christianity in Barbarian Europe. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Bitel, Lisa Marie; Lifshitz, Felice (Ed.). (2007). • Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe : New Perspectives. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Bitel, L. M. (2002). Women in Early Medieval Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Bitel, L. M. (1996). Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender From Early Ireland. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Bitel, L. M. (1990). Isle of the Saints: Monastic Settlement and Christian Community in Early Ireland. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Book Chapter

Bitel, L. M. (2010). • "Material Environment of Christian Visions in Early Medieval Europe". , Looking Beyond: Visions, Dreams and Insights in Princeton: Princeton University.
Bitel, L. M., Gainer (photographer), M. (2010). • "Scenes from a Cult in the Making: Lady of the Rock, 2008". Looking Beyond: Visions, Dreams and Insights in Me Princeton: Princeton University.
Bitel, L. M. (2007). "Period Trouble: The Impossibility of Teaching Medieval Feminist History" in Celia Chazelle and Felice Lifshitz, eds., Paradigms and Methods in Early Medieval Studies. pp. p. 28. New York: Palgrave.

Journal Article

Bitel, L. M., Gainer, M. (2009). • "Looking the Wrong Way: Authenticity and Proof of Religious Vision". Visual Resources. Vol. 25 (1-2), pp. 69-62.
Bitel, L. M. (2007). Tools and Scripts for Cursing in Early and Medieval Ireland. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome. Vol. 51/52 (2006/7)
Bitel, L. M. (2007). Virgins for Sale. Journal of Women's History. Vol. 19 (no. 2 (2007): 170-177)
Bitel, L. M. (2004). "Ekphrasis at Kildare: The Imaginative Architecture of an Early Irish Hagiographer". Speculum. pp. p. 605-627.


Bitel, L. M. (2010). "Can You Tell Me Who The Villains Are?": Rock and Religion, Irish-Style". Religion Dispatches.
Bitel, Lisa Marie (Ed.). (2009). Visual Resources: Special Double Issue: Visualizing the Invisible: Visionary Technologies in Religious and Cultural Contexts. Taylor & Francis.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Digital Repository, Monastic Matrix (, 01/01/2003-  

Honors and Awards

American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, 2010-2011   
Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, 1998-1999   
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, 1995-1996   

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Director of Graduate Studies, History Department, 08/2012-  
Director, Interdisciplinary Research Group, CRCC, 08/2010-  

Service to the Profession

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Editorial Board, Material Religions, 2008-  
Editorial board, History Compass, 2005-  
Editorial board, Feminae, 1998-  
Director and Editor, Monastic Matrix, 1993-  
Faculty may update their profile by visiting