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Dr. Joëlle Rollo-Koster



Ph.D., 1992, State University of New York at Binghamton

Research Interests:

History of the medieval papacy, death and memorialization, immigration, women, and historical  anthropology.

Courses Taught:

  • His 111 - History of Ancient Greece and Rome
  • His 112 - History of Medieval Europe
  • His 304 - Western Europe in the High Middle Ages
  • His 305 - The Renaissance
  • His 308 - Between Eve and Mary: Women in the Middle Ages
  • His 401 - Advanced Topics in European History
  • His 495 - Seminar in History
  • His 502, 503 - Special Readings in European History, Independent Study
  • His 506 - Seminar in European History



The People of Curial Avignon (Lampeter, GB, and Lewinston, USA: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009). 464 pp. Winner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship. Link to book

Editor with Thomas Izbicki, A Companion to the Great Western Schism (1378-1417)(Leiden: Brill, 2009). 497 pp. Link to book

Raiding Saint Peter: Empty Sees, Violence, and the Initiation of the Great Schism (1378). (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008), 288 pp. Link to book

Editor of Medieval and Early Modern Rituals: Formalized Behavior in Europe, China, and Japan(Brill Academic Publishers: Leiden and Boston, 2002), 310pp.

Editor with Kathryn Reyerson of For the Salvation of my Soul: Women and Wills in Medieval and Early Modern France (St. Andrews, UK: St. Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, 2012). 128pp. Link to book


"Avignonese Confraternities during the Fourteenth Century," Confraternitas 3 (Fall 1992): 3-7.

"The People of Curial Avignon: A Critical Edition of the Liber Divisionis and the Lists of Matriculation of the Confraternity of Notre Dame la Majour," Thesis Abstract, Confraternitas 4 (Fall 1993): 13-14.

"The Women of Papal Avignon. A new Source: The Liber Divisionis of 1371," The Journal of Women's History 8 (Spring 1996): 36-59.

“Medieval Trades in Provencal Cities: The Criées Publiques of Avignon and Toulon,”in 1996 Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, ed. Barry Rothaus (Greeley: University Press of Colorado, 1997), 52-60.

“Mercator Florentinensis and Others: Immigration in Papal Avignon,” in Urban and Rural Communities in Medieval France, ed. Kathryn L. Reyerson and John Drendel (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 73-100.
“Death and the Fraternity. A Short Study on the Dead in Late Medieval Confraternities,” Confraternitas, 9 (Spring 1998): 3-12.

“Forever After: The Dead in the Avignonese Confraternity of Notre Dame la Majour (1329-1381),” Journal of Medieval History 25 (1999): 115-140.

Biographical entries on King Philip I of Spain (the Handsome), Antipope Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna) and Saint Vincent Ferrer in The Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal (1300-1500), ed. Clayton J. Drees (Greenwood Press: Wesport CT, 2000), 42-44, 394-396,490-491.
“Amongst Brothers: Italians’ Networks in Papal Avignon (1360s-1380s),” Medieval Prosopography 21 (2000): 153-189.

“Merchants’ Tales from Avignon,” in 1999 Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, ed. Barry Rothaus (Greeley: University Press of Colorado, 2001), 33-42.

“From Prostitutes to Virgin Brides of Christ: The Avignonese Repenties in the Late Middle Ages,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32 (2002), 109-144.
*Selected as the April Article of the Month for the Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index.

“Castrum Doloris: Rites of Vacant See and the Living Dead Pope in Schismatic Avignon” in Medieval and Early Modern Rituals: Formalized Behavior in Europe, China and Japan, ed. Joëlle Rollo-Koster (Brill Academic Publishers: Leiden and Boston, 2002), 245-277. Link to book

“The Politics of Body Parts: Contested Topographies in Late Medieval Avignon,” Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 78 (January 2003), 66-98.
*Winner of the Honorable Mention: William Koren Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies (SFHS). The award is presented at each annual meeting of SFHS, to the author (American or Canadian) of a distinguished scholarly article on French history in any time period published in an American, Canadian, or European journal.

“The Road to the Henriad,” Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. Trinity Rep: Fleet Project Discovery Study Guide (October 2004), 17-18.

"Looting the Empty See: The Great Western Schism Revisited (1378)," in Revista di storia della Chiesa in Italia, ed. Agostina Paravicini-Bagliani (2, 2005): 429-474.

"Prostitutes." In Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia, ed. Margaret Schaus (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), 675-678.

"The Return of the Prodigal Son: The Papal Entry of the 1377 and the Roman Topography of Contest," in European History: Lessons for the 21st Century. Essays from the 3rd International Conference on European History, ed. Gregory T. Papanikos and C. J. Nicholas Pappas (Athens, Greece: ATINER, 2006), 227-237.

"Ritual, Liturgy and Political Legitimization in Schismatic Avignon," in Procession Performance, Liturgy and Ritual: Essays in Honor of Bryan R. Gillingham, ed. Nancy Van Deusan (Ottawa: Institute for Medieval Music Publications, 2007), 119-136.

"Empty See and Ritual Pillaging in the Middle Ages," in Public Life, Gender, and Private Conduct across the Early Modern and Modern World: Essays in Honor of Richard C. Trexler, ed. Peter Arnade and Michael Rocke (Toronto: CMRS, 2008), 237-252.

"Introduction: The Great Schism and the Scholarly Record," in A Companion to the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), ed. Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Thomas Izbicki (Leiden: Brill, September 2009), 1-8.

"Civil Violence and the Initiation of the Schism," in A Companion To the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), ed. Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Thomas Izbicki (Leiden: Brill, September 2009), 9-66.

"The Boundaries of Affection: Women and Property in Late Medieval Avignon," in Gender, Property, and Law in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Communities in the Wider Mediterranean 1300-1800, ed. Shona Kelly Wray and Jutta Sperling (New York and London: Routledge, 2009), 38-51.

With Alizah Holstein, "Anger and Spectacle in Late Medieval Rome: Gauging Emotion in Urban Topography?" in Cities, Texts and Social Networks, 400-1500: Experiences and Perceptions of Medieval Urban Space, ed. Anne Lester, Caroline Goodson, and Carol Symes (Farnham, GB: Ashgate, 2010), 149-174.

"Jacques Le Goff," in French Historians 1900-2000: New Historical Writing in Twentieth-Century France, ed. Philip Daileader and Philip Whalen (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), 371-393.

"Body Politic" for SAGE'S Encyclopedia of Political Theory, ed. Mark Bevir (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2010), vol. 1, 133-137.

Item Lego…Item Volo…Is there really an “I” in Medieval Women’s Testaments,” in For the Salvation of my Soul: Women and Wills in Medieval and Early Modern France, ed. Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Kathryn Reyerson (St. Andrews, UK: St. Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, August 2012), 3-24.

“Celestine and rules for papal abdication,” Providence Journal, February 13-15, 2013
Link to article

“The Politics of Sede Vacante and the Sack of Rome (1527),” in Aspects of Violence in Renaissance Europe, ed. Jonathan D. Davies, University of Warwick (London: Ashgate, 2013), 41-60.  Link to article

“The true Knights Templar,” Providence Journal, July 11, 2013
Link to article

“The Labyrinth in History,” Providence Journal, September 16, 2013
Link to article

“Episcopal and Papal Vacancies: A Long History of Violence,” in Ecclesia & Violentia:  Violence against the Church and Violence within the Church in the Middle Ages, ed. Rados?aw Kotecki and Jacek Maciejewski (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 54-71.

Contact Information:

Department of History
University of Rhode Island

80 Upper College Road
113 Washburn Hall
Office: 313 Washburn
Phone: (401) 874-4089

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