Project Team


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Julianne Pigott is a third year PhD candidate in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, Cambridge. Having won a number of academic prizes as an undergraduate at University College Dublin, she was awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge and Trinity College scholarships to pursue research. Her work, under the supervision of Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, is focused on  Eucharistic representations in Irish vernacular hagiography. She was a committee member for Trinity College’s 2013 Arts and Humanities Symposium and  chairperson for 2014. Before returning to university as a mature student, she worked for a decade as an administrator and manager. The skills she developed during her time as a team leader in the private and public sectors, including budget and personnel management, have been invaluable in the successful delivery of this project to date. Julianne is particularly interested in developing a rigorous theoretical foundation, for a typology of motifs in hagiography, which incorporates the best approaches and methods from existing efforts in a range of disciplines.  She publishes a fortnightly column in an Irish newspaper under the title Miracle Mapper.

Isaac Newton Trust Project: Mapping Conversion 

Principal Investigator Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh is Reader in Celtic in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge. Her research focusses primarily on Medieval Ireland in its broader European context. She studies texts and the socio-cultural milieu which shaped  them highlighting intellectual connections across the Insular and wider European world. As a member of ‘Interfaces’ under the auspices of the Centre for Medieval Literature, she works closely with medieval scholars in other fields. She is currently leading two major projects, ‘Converting the Isles’, a Research Network funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and, together with Gregory Toner of Queen’s University Belfast, ‘Text and Meaning:  Contributions to a Revised Dictionary of Medieval Irish’ (funded by the AHRC).


Isaac Newton Trust Postdoctoral Scholar 

Dr Jennifer  Key recently completed her PhD at the School of English at the University of St Andrews, under the supervision of Dr Christine Rauer. She was awarded doctoral funding by the George Buchanan Scholarship and a Foundation Main Grant from the Fund for Women Graduates. Her research interests focus on Old English and Insular Latin literature. As part of her thesis on representations of death in Anglo-Saxon hagiography, Jennifer developed a Motif Index of death-scenes in Anglo-Saxon saints’ lives. The analysis arising from this approach was well-received in a paper delivered at the biennial conference of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists in July 2013. In October 2014, Jennifer began work on the first professional phase of Mapping Miracles, the Newton Trust and Concerting the Isles funded development of a database of conversion motifs in Insular vitae. She hopes to present further details of this work at ISAS 2015 and the International Celtic Congress 2015. 

Isaac Newton Trust Postdoctoral Scholar 

SONY DSCSarah Waidler is a PhD student in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at the University of Cambridge and is funded by a Trinity Hall Studentship and a Celtic Research Trusts Bursary. She did her undergraduate degree at the University of St Andrews and her Masters degree at the University of Glasgow, where she completed a dissertation on Irish and Welsh saints’ Lives. Her PhD is entitled ‘The Hagiographer and His World: the Writing of Saints’ Lives in Ireland in the Central Medieval Period’ and is supervised by Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh. She is the secretary for the London Society of Medieval Studies at the Institute for Historical Research in London and has been a convenor of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures group (CELC). Her interests include the use of Latin and the vernacular in hagiographical texts in the Celtic world, Adomnán’s De locis sanctis, the medieval perception of the past and the writing of pseudo-historical texts, narrative structure and genre in the medieval period and the spread of ideas in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Sarah will commence work on the Newton Trust funded pilot programme in early 2015 following the completion of her doctorate.


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Robert Gallagher is in the final year of an AHRC-funded PhD in Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. For his doctoral thesis, he is examining Latin literary culture in England during the time of Alfred the Great (871-899) and Edward the Elder (899-924), assessing the contemporary values of Latin literature as social, cultural and political commodities, as well as seeking to identify related sources of influence. He previously completed a BA in History and an MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York, for the latter of which he examined monastic relationships in early Anglo-Saxon England as represented in Bede’s ‘Historia abbatum‘. Robert was instrumental in delivering the first Mapping Miracles conference held at Cambridge in May 2013. As his work moves in other directions he is no longer formally a member of the investigation team but hopes the opportunity to collaborate will arise again in the future.