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Name: Georgina Fitzgibbon 

PhD: Medieval History 

Thesis Title: For Fear of the Multitudes: Disruptive Pilgrims and Appropriate Audiences for Cistercian Relics in the Twelfth Century 

Department: History, University of Birmingham 

Supervisors and Institution(s): Dr Simon Yarrow (University of Birmingham); Dr William Purkis (University of Birmingham). 


Current Role: International Adviser at The British Academy.

Thesis submitted, viva pending. 



  •  1-4 July 2019 The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, ‘Dying to Travel: The Pull of Clairvaux Abbey in Twelfth-Century Cistercian Texts’.

  • 10-11 May 2019, Powerful Places, EMREM, University of Birmingham, presenting 'To be associated with their sacred remains': Sacred space and monastic ad sanctos burial in the Exordium Magnum Cisterciense’.

  • 22-23 March 2019, On the Road: Medieval Travel and Travellers, Medieval Studies Institute (MEST) of Indiana University at Bloomington, ‘Final Destination: Clairvaux Abbey and the perception of Cistercian saints in the twelfth-century’.

  • 2-5 July 2018, The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 'Stricter Customs?: Remembering the Impact of Incorporation on Saints' Cults in the 12th Century'. 

  • 10-13 May 2018, International Congress on Medieval Studies, University of Western Michigan, ‘Cistercian Deterrents to Lay Pilgrimage in the Twelfth Century’.

  • 3-6 July 2017, The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 'Cistercians and Their Relics: Engagement with the Cult of Saints in the Twelfth Century'.

  • 19-21 June 2017, The Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University (Missouri), 'Cistercians and Sacred Matter: Engagement with the Cult of Saints in the Twelfth Century'.

  • 16 June 2017, University of Birmingham, Department of History Research Day.

  • 25 May 2017, Midlands3Cities Research Festival, Research Relay.

  • 18-19 May 2017, EMREM, University of Birmingham, ‘Powerful Objects’, organised conference. Presented 'Relics as powerful objects: Bernard of Clairvaux and the body of St Malachy'.

  • 14-16 April, 2017, Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern World, Borderlines XXI, University College Cork, presented ‘Beyond the Flesh? Bernard of Clairvaux as a religious authority for twelfth-century Cistercians’. 

  • 21 -23 September 2016, Treasure in heaven, treasures on Earth; the secular world and material consumption in Western European monasticism c. 1050- c. 1250, Durham University. ‘The Cistercian Order and Secular Burials; Diverse Approaches to Engaging with the Lay World’. 

  • 13 April 2016: Medieval Midlands, University of Nottingham, 'The Power of Ideas: Bernard of Clairvaux and Cistercian Devotional Practice'. 

  • 8 June 2015: MA Medieval Studies Work in Progress Day, University of Birmingham. 'The reception and adaptation of the legends of St Nicholas, as seen through material culture'.

  • 22-23 May 2014: EMREM, University of Birmingham, 'Seen and Unseen: (De)constructing Medieval and Early Modern Perceptions'.'An Unseen and Under-Appreciated Influence? The Impact of Anthropology on the Study of Relics'.


Invited Speaker

  • 15 November 2017, Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages, ‘Posthumous Miracles in Twelfth-Century Cistercian Cults’.



Written pieces

2019, ‘12th-13th c Cistercians’, Database of Religious History, (Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia)

Submitted, ‘The memory of a saint: Managing the legacy of St Bernard of Clairvaux’, The Historian (magazine of the Historical Association).


Book Reviews:

  • Submitted, Review of R. Wisniewski, The Beginnings of the Cult of Relics (Oxford, 2018) for Nottingham Medieval Studies. Due to be published in 2020.

  • Review of T. Licence (ed) Bury St Edmunds and the Norman Conquest (Woodbridge, 2014), The Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History (2016), pp. 477-478.
  • Review of E. Jamroziak, The Cistercian Order in Medieval Europe 1090-1500 (London, 2013), Nottingham Medieval Studies, 60, (2016), pp. 262- 265

 Blog Posts:

Public Engagement Activities


Conference Involvement 

  • 2015- 2016: I was involved in the Medieval Midlands group, which organised a conference on 13th April 2016 on the theme 'Power and Society in the Medieval World'. 
  • 2013- ongoing: I have been involved with the running of the EMREM (Early Medieval, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, Early Modern) Forum since my arrival at the University of Birmingham for my MA in Medieval Studies. This postgraduate forum at the University of Birmingham facilitates discussion (within and across institutions), via skills workshops, roundtables, research presentation sessions and an annual symposium, in addition to maintaining a social media presence on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter. I helped to organise and run our 2015 Symposium on the theme of 'Body and Soul', in addition to chairing the panel on 'Saintly Souls in Human Bodies'. I organised the 2016 Symposium, 'Chaos and Catastrophe; Restoration and Renewal' which took place on 5-6 May 2016. The 2017 conference, 'Powerful Objects', will take place on 18-19 May.



  • 2015- 2018: The Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CeSMA), facilitates research from c.300 to c.1500 AD, across traditional discipline boundaries at the University of Birmingham, running a fortnightly seminar in addition to other projects. I attend the CeSMA management meetings. 
  • 2015- 2019: I am a postgraduate Mentor at the University of Birmingham, communicating with prospective and new students. 
  • 2013-2016: Postgraduate student representative, and attend Staff-Student Committee meetings and CAL Education Board meetings.

Other Research Interests:

  • Anthropological theory 


University email address:

College of Arts and Law Doctoral Researcher Profile:

University of Birmingham Postgraduate Mentor:


Twitter: @GeorgieFitzg