College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Faculty Bio

Dunn, Caroline

Dunn, Caroline

Associate Professor

Office: B08 Hardin Hall
Phone: 864/656-3153

Ph.D., Fordham University (2007)

Caroline Dunn is a scholar of medieval Europe with a particular focus on women’s roles and social networks in late medieval England. Her book, Stolen Women in Medieval England: Rape, Abduction, and Adultery c. 1100-1500 (Cambridge, 2012) offers the first comprehensive overview of women’s experiences with ravishment, which ranged from forcible rape to consensual elopement and adultery, during the English Middle Ages. Professor Dunn’s current research explores the lady-in-waiting in medieval England. Often stereotyped as gossiping flirts, female attendants in noble and royal households played important political, diplomatic, and economic roles. They built bridges between natal and marital families, between kin and court, and sometimes between countries. Examining these highborn serving women reveals the nuances of soft power, social influence, and economic resources wielded by women who lacked official authority within political institutions or patriarchal households. In addition to classes introducing students to the Middle Ages and early British Isles, Dr. Dunn teaches upper level courses on medieval women, crusades and conquests, medieval aristocratic society, and a senior seminar examining the history of food in the preindustrial west. She received the Dean’s award for teaching excellence in 2011.

Selected Professional Works

Books (Published)

Stolen Women in Medieval England: Rape, Abduction, and Adultery c. 1100-1500. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

“Forfeiting the Marriage Portion: Punishing Female Adultery in the Secular Courts of England and Italy.” In Regional Variations of Matrimonial Law and Custom in Europe, 1150-1600. Edited by Mia Korpiola. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011.

“The Language of Ravishment in Medieval England.” Speculum 86:1 (2011): 79-116.

“Prosecuting Ravishment in Thirteenth-Century England.” In Thirteenth-Century England 13: England and France in the Thirteenth Century. Edited by Janet Burton, Philipp Schofield, and Björn Weiler, 67-82. Woodbridge, Sffk, Boydell & Brewer, 2011.