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I am a medievalist who specializes in central and late medieval England, with a focus on women and gender. I am currently working on my dissertation, entitled "Power in the Uterus: Negotiating Royal Infertility in England, 1382-1471." My dissertation examines how childlessness affected royalty. It argues that queenship studies have overemphasized the importance of motherhood for queens; conversely, the importance of fatherhood for kings has been relatively ignored.
I graduated with a BA in European History from the University of Delaware in 2007. My undergraduate thesis was about the political and cultural influence of Isabella Marshal, Sanchia of Provence, and Beatrice of Falkenburg (the wives of Richard, earl of Cornwall), during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). I am from Ohio. Completely unrelated to medieval history, I also have a passion for kangaroos. In January 2006, I went to Western Australia and volunteered at a kangaroo sanctuary. My fields: medieval Europe, early modern Europe, Medieval Islamic History, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, 1000-1500
- B.A. Univ Delaware, 05/2007
- M.A. University of Southern California, 05/2010
Summary Statement of Research Interests
- My dissertation makes a timely and substantive contribution to the emerging field of the history of infertility. It focuses on two case studies of childless (or long childless) unions: Richard II (r. 1377-99) and his first queen Anne of Bohemia; and Henry VI (r. 1422-1461, 1470-71) and his wife Margaret of Anjou (d. 1482). These case studies allow me to explicate the social and cultural milieu surrounding childlessness, including how royalty coped with and compensated for their reproductive failure (including the creation of foster sons and false tales of unconsummated marriages). This work challenges the central place of maternity in queenship studies (queens could, in fact, succeed without producing children), and it examines an understudied facet of medieval kingship – the social and cultural importance of fatherhood. In addition to exploring how specific queens and kings attempted to compensate for their childlessness, this dissertation also explores attitudes towards infertility, as found in medical, devotional, and cultural texts. These reveal that infertility affected gender roles. A woman could still be womanly without children but a childless man was seen as decidedly less mature and manly.
- Fields: Medieval Europe, Early Modern Europe, Medieval Islamic History, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, 1000-1500
- International Congress of the European Middle Ages, University of Leeds, 7/2012
- 15th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, 6/2011
- 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 5/2010
- 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 5/2009
Geaman, K. L. (2009). Mary F. Thurlkill, Chosen Among Women: Mary and Fatima in Medieval Christianity and Shi’ite Islam. Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. pp. 337-339.
Geaman, K. L. (2012). A Personal Letter Written by Anne of Bohemia. The English Historical Review. Geaman, K. L. (2010). Queen’s Gold and Intercession: The Case of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Medieval Feminist Forum. Vol. 46 (2), pp. 10-33.
Honors and Awards
- Schallek Award, awarded by the Medieval Academy of America, Fall 2011