Anais Waag, Scouloudi Fellow (6 months)

Forms and Formalities in Thirteenth-Century Queenship: a comparative study

Anais Waag is a PhD candidate at King’s College London, under the joint supervision of Dr Alice Taylor (KCL) and Dr John Sabapathy (UCL). Her thesis, ‘Forms and Formalities in Thirteenth-Century Queenship: a comparative study’ examines how female power was formally and publicly expressed in the thirteenth century. Making use of the historical ‘auxiliary science’ of diplomatics to analyse a corpus of both female and male royal letters – in England, France, and the Iberian Peninsula – her thesis explores how far a gendered register of power and authority structured these letters, and particularly how gender was expressed through their clauses and formulae.
Anaïs’ particular research focus is on how the formal structures of letter writing were manipulated and used – both successfully and unsuccessfully – by thirteenth-century political actors. Royal letters are an overlooked source often considered less technical and juridical than legal documents, but also overly technical, juridical, and impersonal when compared to later medieval and early modern letters. In applying diplomatics to these letters, her research has unveiled a new political language, and identifies the letter as a key source for revealing public political language. As such, her research offers a new perspective on medieval queenship, its practice, and its expression.
Anaïs previously completed a B.A. in History at Fordham University in New York, and a M.A. in Medieval History at King’s College London.

Publications

Anaïs Waag, ‘Rethinking Battle Commemoration: Female Letters and the Myth of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212)’, Journal of Medieval History (accepted for publication, 2019)
Anaïs Waag, ‘Gender and the Language of Politics in Thirteenth-Century Royal Letters’, Historical Research (accepted for publication as Pollard Prize 2018 runner-up)
Anaïs Waag, ‘The letters of Eleanor and Marguerite of Provence in thirteenth-century Anglo-French relations’, Thirteenth Century England XVI: Proceedings of the Cambridge Conference, 2017 (forthcoming, 2019)