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Dr Katherine Travers

Powys Roberts Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Languages

Dr Kate Travers studies the literatures of medieval Italy, and their reception. They work primarily on literatures in Italian, Occitan, and French, and are interested in what medieval literatures and book cultures can tell us about broader political questions.

After completing their PhD at New York University (NYU) in 2021, Kate taught at NYU and Durham University, before joining St Hugh’s College, Oxford, to take up the Powys Roberts Postdoctoral Fellowship in Modern Languages.

 Kate’s work has appeared in The Italianist and NeMLA Italian Studies. They are an Assistant Editor for gender/sexuality/italy.  Kate is currently finishing their first book project, Making the Italian Songbook: Gender and Compilation from Old Occitan Song to Medieval Italian Lyric, that investigates how gender operates within Italy’s medieval poetry books. Drawing on theorists such as Lauren Berlant, Making the Italian Songbook argues that the material aspect of the songbook shapes how gender emerges from the medieval poetry book. The figures of women poets and speakers found in Italy’s collections of medieval poetry shape the Italian songbook as it develops into the authorial collection. The book argues that gender functions as an aesthetic category, like a genre, within the Italian poetry book, expressing the tensions inherent within northern Italy’s plurilingual vernacular culture. Kate’s second book project, Fantasies of Empire in Medieval Italy, focusses on how Italy’s medieval literatures conceptualized “empire” and the ways these literatures were then used to support modern colonial projects.

Kate welcomes enquiries from colleagues and students interested in discussing their research topics, or related interests.

Academic Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles
“‘Facce a parlar pronte’: Speaking Women in Vita nuova 18-19 and Occitan Songbook Vatican Latin 3207 (H)”, NeMLA Italian Studies, XLIII (2021): 123-141.
“‘Sono Masochista?’: Patrizia Valduga and the Poetics of Masochism”, The Italianist 40, no.1 (2020): 103-121.
Book Reviews
Review: “Rime e libri delle rime di Dante. Tra medioevo e primo rinascimento by Laura Banella, Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies 5 (2022): 374-376.
Review: “Dante’s Lyric Redemption: Eros, Salvation, Vernacular Tradition” by Tristan Kay, Italica 95, no. 4 (2018): 661 – 663.
General Reader Publication
“A Name Is Not Enough: The Trobairitz and Problem of Medieval Women Poets”,

Blog Post for Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon,

An International Network Funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Powys Roberts Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Languages
Modern Languages
Academic - Fellows & Lecturers