Katie Bugyis is a historian of medieval religious women, especially interested in recovering the liturgical practices they cultivated and the levels of literacy they attained as readers, copyists, and composers of different genres of texts, from prayers to plays. Her book The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England during the Central Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) reconstructs the liturgical and pastoral roles Benedictine nuns performed on the basis of the books they produced and used.
At Radcliffe, Bugyis is pursuing her current book project, “Liturgy Matters: Benedictine Women’s Communities in Medieval England,” which reclaims the materiality of Benedictine nuns’ liturgical practices by viewing these women as “technologists” who transformed—and were transformed by—their sensual engagement with the objects they created, acquired, handled, and treasured. This book situates every object within the ritual contexts in which it was used; interrogates the scripts directing interactions with it; and highlights its abilities to transfigure appearance, refashion identity, and (re)invest authority and agency.
Bugyis earned a BA, MMS, and PhD at the University of Notre Dame and an MAR at Yale Divinity School. She has published numerous articles and coedited two volumes, Taken Seriously: Women Intellectuals, Professionals, and Community Leaders of the Medieval World (Boydell Press, 2019) and Medieval Cantors and Their Craft: Music, Liturgy, and the Shaping of History (York Medieval Press, 2017). Her research has won fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Medieval Academy of America, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.