Samantha Kahn Herrick
Associate Professor, History
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002
M.Phil., Oxford University, 1993
Medieval European history, Christian hagiography and apostolic legends, France
Herrick’s research focuses on Europe in the central Middle Ages (roughly 700 to
1300), particularly the uses and significance of Latin hagiographical legends.
In addition to studying how and why medieval people fashioned and disseminated
stories about the past, she is also interested in how historians can use
problematic but abundant hagiographical legends to supplement the very limited
number of more “reliable” sources that survive. Her first book, Imagining
the Sacred Past: Hagiography and Power in Early Normandy, demonstrated the
political significance of legends celebrating largely imaginary saints in
eleventh-century Normandy. She recently edited a volume on history and
hagiography, in which leading scholars demonstrate just how to use such sources
and what can be learned from them. She is currently writing a monograph
about a sizeable but neglected body of apostolic saints’ lives, tentatively
entitled Networks of Shared Imagination: Apostolic Legends of Medieval
Europe. This book explores the legends’ local significance, how they
traveled over space and time, and how numerous authors drew on them to
construct a larger historical vision. She has been a Fulbright Fellow;
Professeur invitée at the Université Paul Verlaine in Metz (France); a member
of the Institute for Advanced Study; a Faculty Fellow at Syracuse’s Humanities
Center; and a Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at
the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She teaches courses on medieval
civilization, the Crusades, the legend of Mary Magdalen, and the history of
food in pre-modern Europe.
Networks of Shared Imagination:
Apostolic Legends of Medieval Europe (in progress)
The Saint and Her Town: Martha of Bethany and Medieval Tarascon (in progress)
“A Fifteenth-Century Pilgrim’s Book from Provence” (in progress)
“Getting Ahead in a Twelfth-Century City: The Ambitious Monks of
Saint-Clément, Metz,” in The Learned and Lived Law: Essays
in Honor of Charles Donahue, ed. Saskia Lettmaier, Nikitas
Hatzimihail, Elizabeth Papp Kamali (2022).
"'Very Great Strife': The Monks
of Saint-Clément as Competitors in Twelfth-Century Metz," Journal
of Medieval History 46 (2020) DOI: 10.1080/03044181.2020.1812423.
Hagiography and the History of Latin
Christendom, 500-1500. Editor. Reading Medieval Sources,
4. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
“Saints’ Lives on the Move: The Circulation of
Apostolic Legends,” in Hagiography and the History of Latin
Christendom, 500-1500: A Companion, ed. Herrick, 78-97.
"Friend or Foe? The Bishops of Metz in Monastic Historical
Narrative, c. 1000-c. 1200," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 71
"Apostolic Founding Bishops and Their Rivals," in Espace sacré, mémoire sacrée: Le culte des évêques
dans leurs villes (IVe-XXe siècle), ed. Christine Bousquet-Labouérie and Yossi Maurey, Hagiologia 10,(Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), 15-35.
"The Interdependent Vitae of Apostolic Saints," Hagiographica: Rivista di agiografia e
biografia della «Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino» 19 (2012): 33-56.
"Le pouvoir du passé apostolique," in Hagiographie médiévale: idéologie et pouvoir.
Colloque international du Centre d'Études superieures de Civilisation médiévale
de Poitiers, ed. E. Bozoky (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), 129-38.
"Studying Apostolic Hagiography: The Case of Fronto of Périgueux, Disciple of Christ,"Speculum 85 (2010): 235-270. 2010.
"Remembering the Vikings in the Duchy of Normandy," Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 3rd ser. 7 (2010): 1-25. (Abstract). 2010.
"Between Neighbors and Saints: Waleran I of Meulan and the Allegiance of Lesser Lords in the Eleventh Century," Haskins Society Journal 20 (2008, published 2009): 78-93. 2009.
"Rivalry and Alliance: Conceptualizing Ecclesiastical Networks in the Middle Ages," European Studies Forum 38 (Oct. 2008): 36-39. 2008.
Imagining the Sacred Past: Hagiography and Power in Early Normandy. Harvard Historical Studies 156. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2007.
"Heirs to the Apostles: Saintly Power and Ducal Authority in Hagiography of Early Normandy," in Robert F. Berkhofer III, Alan Cooper, and Adam J. Kosto, eds. The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350. Aldershot: Ashgate. 11-24. 2005.
"Reshaping the Past on the Early Norman Frontier: Vigor of Bayeux," Haskins Society Journal 12 (2003): 133-149. 2003.
Papers and Presentations
27th International Medieval Congress, "Hagiography and
History: Where Do We Go From Here?" Round Table,
moderator. Leeds, UK, July 2020 [cancelled].
27th International Medieval Congress, "Bishops Without Borders? The Legendary
Travels of Apostolic Founding Bishops," Leeds,
UK, July 2020 [cancelled].
Sewanee Medieval Colloquium,
"Positing Saints" (respondent), Sewanee, TN, April 2020 [cancelled].
New York State Association of European Historians, "Recycling
History: Borrowing the Past in the Middle Ages," Buffalo, NY, Sept. 2018
25th International Medieval Congress, "Gone but Not Forgotten: Saints Omitted
from the Legenda aurea," Leeds, UK, July 2018.
“Bad Sources? Seeing the Middle Ages through
Apostolic Hagiography,”Department of History/Classics, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies
Graduate Research Cluster/Simpson Center for the Humanities; University of
Washington, Seattle, WA, April 2017
“Networks of Shared Imagination: Medieval Legend
and the Construction of History,” Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, Feb. 2017
Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, "Seeking Advantage in
Twelfth-Century Metz: The Multifaceted Strategies of the Monks of
Saint-Clément,” Boston, MA, February
Medieval Congress, "Friend or Foe? The Bishops of Metz in Monastic
Historical Narrative, c. 1000-c. 1200," Leeds, UK, July 2015
Medieval Congress, "Hagiographical Networks: Sharing Stories about
Apostolic Saints," (Session organizer), Leeds, UK, July 2014
Medieval Congress, "Cooperative Cults? The Intertwined Legends of
Apostolic Saints," Leeds, UK, July 2013
History Department Workshop, "Networks of Imagination: Apostolic Legends
in the Middle Ages," Syracuse, NY, Dec. 2012
Quodlibet Society, Cornell
University (invited lecture), "Intertwined Stories: The Overlapping Vitae
of Apostolic Saints," Ithaca, NY, April 2012
Medieval Table, School of
Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, "Agendas and
Interconnections: Apostolic Legends," Princeton, NJ, April 2012
Medieval Table, School of
Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, "A Web of Interconnected
Legends: Making Sense of Apostolic Hagiography," Princeton, NJ, Oct. 2011
St. Peters College,
Oxford, Colloquium to honor Henry Mayr-Harting, Regius Professor of
Ecclesiastical History Emeritus (invited paper), "Peter's Staff:
Miraculous Revivals, Traveling Tales, and Networks of Apostolic Sanctity,"
Oxford, UK, April 2011
Medieval and Renaissance
Studies Working Group, Syracuse University, "Puzzling Over Apostolic
Hagiography: A Case Study, Questions, and Possibilities," Syracuse, NY,
"Apostolic Founding Bishops and Their Rivals /
Les évêques fondateurs apostoliques et leurs rivals," Studium Conference -
Sacred Space, Sacred Memory: Bishop-Saints and Their Cities, Université
François Rabelais, Tours (France), June 2010.
"Hagiographie medievale: ideologie et pouvoir," Colloque
international, Centre d'Etudes superieures de Civilisation medievale de
Poitiers (invited paper), "Le pouvoir du passe apostolique",
Poitiers, France, Sept. 2008
European History Colloquium (invited paper) "Lenquais Becomes Lycaonia:
The Dossier of Fronto of Perigueux and the Study of Apostolic
Hagiography", Ithaca, NY, March 2008
16th Biennial New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies,
"Inventing Apostolic Tradition in Medieval Perigueux", Sarasota, FL,
"Texts in Motion," the 2008 Marco Institute Manuscript Workship,
"The Hagiographical Dossier of Fronto of Perigueux, Knoxville, TN, Feb.
"Recontres d'histoire du Moyen Age," Centre Regional Universitaire
Lorrain d'Histoire, Universite Paul Verlaine, Metz (invited lecture),
"L'Apostolicite dans l'hagiographie medievale de France: Problemes et
possibilites, Metz, France, Dec. 2007
14th International Medieval Congress, "The apostolicity of St. Fronto of
Perigueux", Leeds, UK, July 2007
82nd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, "Holiness and
History: Apostolic Tradition in Frankish Hagiography, Toronto, Ont., April 2007
25th Annual Meeting of the Charles Homer Haskins Society, "Betwixt and
Between: Waleran of Meulan and His Powerful Neighbors", Washington, D.C.,
13th International Medieval Congress, Organizer and Moderator of Session
"Exploring Apostolicity: Apostolic Traditions in Medieval France",
Leeds, UK, July 2006
Quodlibet Society, Cornell University (invited lecture), "Imagining Sacred
Pasts: Hagiographic Legends of Medieval France", Ithaca, NY, Oct. 2005
12th International Medieval Congress, "Inventing Apostles in Hagiography
of Medieval France", Leeds, UK, July 2005
40th International Congress on Medieval Studies, "A Sacred Realm:
Apostolic Saints and the Collective Identitiy of France", Kalamazoo, MI,
11th International Medieval Congress, "Remembering the vikings in the
Duchy of Normandy", Leeds, UK, July 2004
50th Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, "From
Local Rivalry to Collective Myth: Legends of Apostolic Foundation in
Hagiography of Medieval France", Paris, France, June 2004
10th International Medieval Congress, "Heirs to the apostles: Saintly
Power and Ducal Authority in Hagoigraphy of Early Normandy", Leeds, UK,
20th Annual Meeting of the Charles Homer Haskins Society, "Reshaping the
Past on the Early Norman Frontier: Vigor of Bayeux", Ithaca, NY, Oct. 2001
36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, "Early Saints and Their
Reuses in Later Periods: Vigor of Bayeux, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2001
Syracuse University, Associate Professor of History, Syracuse, NY, August 2009-present
Syracuse University, Assistant Professor of History, Syracuse, NY, August 2003-2009
Northeastern University, Lecturer in History, Boston, MA, Winter 2003
Harvard University, Tutor and Teaching Fellow, Cambridge, MA, 1997-2001
Medieval European history, saints and hagiography, memory, literacy, networks, urban history, rivalry, pilgrimage, circulation of texts
Research Grants and Awards
Solmsen Fellow, Institute
for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2016-17
Syracuse University Humanities Center Faculty Fellow, spring 2015
Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, 2011-12.
Appleby-Mosher Faculty Research Grant, Syracuse University, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Professeur invitée, Université Paul Verlaine, Metz (France) Nov.-Dec. 2007
Pigott Faculty Research Grant, Syracuse University, 2006
Center for European Studies, Syracuse University, Faculty Course Development Grant, 2004
Harold K. Gross Prize, awarded by the Harvard University Department of History for the dissertation showing greatest promise of a distinguished career of historical research, 2003
Packard Humanities Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2001-2002
George Chase Christian Scholarship, Harvard University, 1996-2002
Fulbright Fellowship for research in France, 1999-2000
Social Science Research Council, International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship, 1999-2000
Harvard University Lurcy Traveling Fellowship (declined), 1999-2000
Ephraim Emerton Fellowship in History, Harvard University, 1995-1996
Euretta J. Kellet Fellowship, awarded by Columbia University for two years of graduate study at Oxford University, 1991-1993