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Dr Katherine Harvey

BA (Hons), MA, PhD (King’s College London), FRHS

Wellcome Trust Research Fellow



  • Katherine Harvey is a medieval historian, specialising in the bishops of later medieval England. She completed her PhD at King’s College London in 2012, and has since worked as an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck (2012-13) and as Postdoctoral Fellow for the Society for Renaissance Studies (2013-14). Since September 2014 she has been a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Birkbeck. She is also one of the convenors of the IHR History of Sexuality Seminar

Research and teaching

  • Research
  • My research focuses on the bishops of later medieval England, in the centuries between the Norman Conquest and the Reformation. My first book (developed from my PhD thesis) considered episcopal appointments in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century England. I have also worked on the episcopal body, in particular its significance for our understanding of episcopal masculinity and sexuality. My current research project is ‘Medicine and the Bishop in Medieval England, c. 1100-c. 1400.’
  • Teaching
  • Having previously taught medieval and early modern history at King’s College London, I now contribute to medieval courses at Birkbeck, including ‘The Medieval World, 1100-1500.’


  • Books
  • K. Harvey, From King John’s Freedom of Election Charter to Papal Provision: Episcopal Appointments in England, c.1214-c.1344 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014)
  • Articles and chapters
  • K. Harvey, ‘Episcopal Virginity in Medieval England’, Journal of the History of Sexuality (2017)
  • ‘Food, Drink and the Bishop in Medieval England, c. 1100-c. 1300’, Viator 46.2 (Forthcoming, 2015)
  • K. Harvey, ‘Episcopal Emotions: Tears in the Life of the Medieval Bishop’, Historical Research 87 (2014)
  • K. Harvey, ‘The First Entry of the Bishop: Episcopal Adventus in Late Medieval England’ in J. S. Hamilton (ed.), Fourteenth Century England VIII (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2014)
  • K. Harvey, ‘Perfect Bishop, Perfect Man? Masculinity, Restraint and the Episcopal Body in the Life of St Richard of Chichester’, Southern History 35 (2013)
  • K. Harvey, ‘Bishops, Kings and Queens’, History Today 62.10 (2012)
  • K. Harvey, ‘Objections to Episcopal Elections in England, 1216-1272’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 55 (2011)
  • Reviews
  • I have contributed book reviews to publications including Journal of Ecclesiastical History, European Review of History, Reviews in History and The Times Literary Supplement.

Current activities

  • My current research project, ‘Medicine and the Bishop in Medieval England, c. 1100- c.1400’, is funded by a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Research Fellowship. The project investigates the role of medicine in the life of the late medieval bishop, who is considered as a patient, as a possessor of medical knowledge, and as the subject of medically-based interpretation. The project will contribute to our understanding of the role and significance of the late medieval bishop, and will shed light on the links and potential tensions between spiritual and medical understandings of health and well-being as they existed in late medieval England.
  • I am medieval and early modern editor for Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality, and a member of the Advisory Board for British History Online.