Research Stream

Megan Cassidy-Welch

Megan Cassidy-Welch is an Associate Investigator (2014‒2016) with the Centre, and is Professor of History and Head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland. She holds degrees from The University of Melbourne (BA Hons; PhD) and the University of London (MA, Medieval Studies). Megan has held continuing academic positions at the University of Tasmania, The University of Melbourne and Monash University. She has held an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2001‒2014, The University of Melbourne) and an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2011‒2015, Monash University).

Megan’s research explores the social and cultural history of the thirteenth century, particularly themes of space, memory and war. She is the author of two books: Monastic Spaces and their Meanings: Thirteenth-Century English Cistercian Monasteries (2001) and Imprisonment in the Medieval Religious Imagination, c. 1150‒1400 (2011) and co-editor of Practices of Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (with Peter Sherlock, 2008) and Crusades and Memory (with Anne E. Lester, 2014).

Megan’s current work is concerned with memory and war. Her forthcoming monograph, Remembrance Projects: War Memory and the Crusades, c.1215‒1250, concerns a pivotal moment in the history of crusading and in the development of thinking about war remembrance in Europe, particularly focussing on the Fifth Crusade and its aftermath. It explores acts of preparatory memory (such as will-making) undertaken by crusaders before they set off for war, the materiality of memory in place and ritual, the role of eyewitnesses as communicators of authentic remembrance, cults of heroic warriors, processes of forgetting shamed men such as deserters and prisoners of war, and the place of non-combatants, particularly women, as long-term custodians of memory. The book suggests that long before the so-called ‘memory boom’ of the twentieth century, war provided individuals, institutions and societies with opportunities to communicate and perpetuate ideas about belonging and alienation, gender and identity, and the importance of subjective and collective experience. A related ARC-funded project with Dr Dolly MacKinnon (The University of Queensland) entitled Battlefields of Memory: Places of War and Remembrance in Medieval and Early Modern England and Scotland‘ investigates how sites of war are negotiated and remembered. By analysing the battlefields of England and Scotland during the pivotal period 12501700, this project shows how places of war became important sites of remembrance and how remembrance of war became central to western national cultures.

As an Associate Investigator with the CHE, Megan is working on a project entitled 'Atrocity, Emotion and the Thirteenth-Century Crusades'. This project examines the emotions associated with medieval wartime atrocities. It particularly examines the emotions articulated by both perpetrators and victims to describe and understand acts of massacre, rape and displacement of peoples that occurred during the crusades of the thirteenth century. The textual and visual sources of the crusades are remarkably full of emotional reporting just as they are depressingly full of evidence of acts of appalling violence. Yet the connections between emotions and wartime atrocity have yet to be critically examined for this period. Analysis of those connections will enhance our understanding of how emotions were used historically to find and articulate meaning in acts of extreme violence in warfare. This project is also being developed as a larger-scale research project for ongoing ARC funding.

UQ Academia Profile


Atrocity, Emotion and the thirteenth-century Crusades

Relevant Publications


Cassidy-Welch, M. War and Memory at the Time of the Fifth Crusade (Philadelphia: Penn State University Press, 2019).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan, ed. Remembering Crusades and Crusading (London: Routledge, 2016).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan and Anne E. Lester, eds. Crusades and Memory (London: Routledge, 2015) originally a special issue of the Journal of Medieval History 40:3 (2014)

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. Imprisonment in the Medieval Religious Imagination, c.1150‒1400  (London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan and Peter Sherlock, eds. Practices of Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. Monastic Spaces and their Meanings: Thirteenth-Century English Cistercian Monasteries (Turnhout: Brepols, 2001).

Journal articles

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘O Damietta: Memory and Crusade in Thirteenth-Century Egypt’. Journal of Medieval History 40.3 (2014): 34660.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan, ‘The Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon as a site of crusading memory’. Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies 3 (2014): 120.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan and Anne E. Lester. ‘Memory and Interpretation: New Approaches to the Study of the Crusades’. Journal of Medieval History 40.3 (2014): 22536.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘The Stedinger Crusade: war, remembrance and absence in thirteenth-century Germany’. Viator: UCLA Journal for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 44.2 (2013): 116.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Images of Blood in the Historia Albigensis of Pierre of les Vaux-de-Cernay’. Journal of Religious History (2011): 47891.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Memories of space in thirteenth-century France: displaced people after the Albigensian crusade’. Parergon 27. 2 (2010): 11131.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Space and place in medieval contexts’. Parergon 27.2 (2010): 112.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Prison, power and sacrament: images of St Barbara in late medieval art’, Journal of Medieval History 35: 4 (2009): 114.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘The Crusades: experience, memory and history’, Agora 43: 3 (2008): 1922.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Prisoners of war after Agincourt: gender, mourning and cultures of captivity in fifteenth-century France’, Lilith: A Feminist History Journal 12 (2003): 922.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Pilgrimage and embodiment: captives and the cult of saints in late-medieval Bavaria’ Parergon: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies 20: 2 (2003): 4770.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Testimonies from a fourteenth-century prison: rumour, evidence and truth in the Midi’, French History 16:1 (2002): 327.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Incarceration and Liberation: Prisons in the Cistercian Monastery’, Viator: UCLA Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 32 (2001): 125.

Book chapters
Cassidy-Welch, Megan.  ‘Emotion, Place and Memory at the Royal Abbey of St Denis’. In Performing Emotions in Early Europe, edited by P. Maddern†, J. McEwan and A. M. Scott, pp. 185–99. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2018.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Dixit quod nunquam vidit haereticos: dissimulation and self-censorship in thirteenth-century inquisitorial testimonies’.  In The Art of Veiled Speech: Self-Censorship from Aristophanes to Hobbes, edited by H. Baltussen and P. Davis. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Lay brothers and lay sisters in medieval monastic life’. In The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism, edited by Alison Beach and Isabelle Cochelin. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015 in press)

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘The Stones of Damietta: Remembering the Fifth Crusade’. In The Papacy, Religious Life, and the Crusade in the Early Thirteenth Century (Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West), edited by Jessalynn Bird. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015 in press).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Order, Emotion and Gender in the Crusade Letters of Jacques de Vitry’. In Gender and Emotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Destroying Order, Structuring Disorder, edited by S. Broomhall. (London: Routledge, 2015).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Refugees: views from thirteenth-century France’.  In Why the Middle Ages Matter, edited by Celia Chazelle, Amy Remensnyder and Felice Lifshitz, pp. 141‒53. (London: Routledge, 2011).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Incarcération du corps et libération de l’esprit: un motif hagiographique’. In Enfermements: Le Cloître et la prison au moyen âge, edited by Isabelle Heullant-Donat, Elisabeth Lusset et Julie Claustre, pp. 5770. (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2011).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Images of incarceration in late-medieval art’. In Imagination, Books and Community in Medieval Europe, ed. G. Kratzmann (MacMillan Art Publishing/State Library of Victoria, 2009), pp. 19095.

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Reflecting and creating gender in late-medieval and early modern Europe’. In Practices of Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, edited by M. Cassidey-Welch and P. Sherlock, pp. 317‒26 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘Grief and Memory after the Battle of Agincourt’.  In The Hundred Years War II: Different Vistas, edited by Andrew Villalon and Donald Kagay, pp. 13350. (Leiden: Brill, 2008).

Cassidy-Welch, Megan. ‘A place of horror and vast solitude: medieval monasticism and the Australian landscape’. In Medievalism and the Gothic in Australia, edited by Stephanie Trigg, pp. 189204. (Turnhout: Brepols; Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2005).