St. Lawrence University Visiting Assistant Professor of History Carolyn Twomey recently collaborated with Professor Daniel Anlezark of The University of Sydney to publish an interdisciplinary book on the ritual, cultural, and environmental history of water in the environment.
In their new book titled “Meanings of Water in Early Medieval England,” Twomey and Anlezark bring together scholars from the fields of archaeology, history, literature, religion, and art history to examine water and its diverse cultural manifestations in the early Middle Ages. According to the publisher, Brepols Publishers, the authors “address how water in the environment functioned on multiple levels, allowing [readers] to examine the early medieval intersections between the earthly and heavenly, the physical and conceptual, and the material and textual within a single element.”
Twomey’s chapter in the book titled “Rivers and Rituals: Baptism in the Early English Landscape” highlights her current scholarship which considers the material and ritual history of baptisms. According to the publisher, additional scholarly essays in the book investigate the agency of water and its inhabitants in Old English and Latin literature, divine and demonic waters, littoral landscapes of church archaeology and ritual, visual and aural properties of water, as well as, human passage through water.
Twomey’s research is interdisciplinary between the fields of history, art history, archaeology, and religious studies of the early Middle Ages. Her work focuses on the cultural and religious meaning of objects and places. At St. Lawrence, she teaches introductory courses on European studies that emphasize hands-on learning about physical and digital medieval objects such as casting pilgrim’s badges in pewter on the quad and reading Beowulf around a fire pit.
Twomey holds a Ph.D. in history from Boston College and a Master of Arts in medieval studies from the University of York (United Kingdom).