Susan J. Ridyard
Professor of History and Director of the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Cambridge
Professor Ridyard received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Cambridge University and began her academic career as a Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She first came to the US in 1986-7 as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. Her research centers on the social and cultural history of medieval Christianity, and especially on the cult of the saints in medieval Europe. She has published The Royal Saints of Anglo-Saxon England: A Study of West Saxon and East Anglican Cults (Cambridge, 1988) and articles on Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman ecclesiastical history, most recently "Functions of a Twelfth-Century Recluse Revisited," in Belief and Culture in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of Henry Mayr-Harting (Oxford, 2001).
Professor Ridyard's current research, for which she received an NEH Fellowship in 2003, focuses on the canonization of the thirteenth-century English bishop, Thomas Cantilupe. Working mainly with manuscripts from the Vatican Library, she is preparing a critical edition and English translation of Cantilupe's canonization process, the longest and most detailed such record to survive from medieval England. Her goal is to make this text, which offers extraordinarily rich insights into medieval society and devotion, available not only to other scholars but also to undergraduates for whom it has the potential to "bring the past to life" in a remarkable way.
Professor Ridyard has served on the Nominations Committee of the Medieval Academy of America and on evaluation panels for the National Endowment for the Humanities. As Director of the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium she is responsible for an annual academic conference which brings to Sewanee professional medievalists from all over the US and beyond. Further details of the Colloquium can be found at: http://www.sewanee.edu/Medieval/main.html.
Areas of Expertise
- Medieval Britain and Europe; medieval religion, especially history of sainthood