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Ph.D., City University of New York Graduate Center, New York NY,  2000.
Major: Medieval History; Minor: Comparative Literature.

Dissertation: "Mighty in War: The Role of Matilda of Tuscany in the War between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV." Director: Professor Howard L. Adelson. Committee: Professor Pamela Sheingorn, Professor Richard Lemay, Professor Thomas Head, Professor Kathleen B. Williams.

Distinguished Scholar Dissertation Fellowship: Helaine Newstead Bequest Award ($10,000), 1996-97

M. Phil., History, CUNY Graduate Center, New York NY

B.A., English Literature, Temple University, Philadelphia PA




State University of NY at New Paltz, Lecturer in History, 1990-1993.

Part-time: (adjunct positions in History)

School of Visual Arts, SUNY-New Paltz, Manhattan College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Queens College CUNY.

Courses taught: The Modern World, Problems in European History, Western Civilization I, Ancient Civilizations, Medieval Europe+, Medieval Society+, The Crusades+, History of England I+, Art of War: Ancient & Medieval++
(+course substantially revised; ++course created)


“The Geography of Power: Matilda of Tuscany and the Strategy of Active Defense” in Crusaders, Condottieri and Cannon: Medieval Warfare in the Mediterranean Region, ed. L.J. Andrew Villalon and Donald J. Kagay (Brill, 2003)

“Matilda of Tuscany,” “Beatrice of Lorraine,” “Sichelgaita of Salerno,” ”Kang Keqing,” “Chaike Belchatowska Spiegel,” and “Ani Pachen” in Amazons to Fighter Pilots: A Biographical Dictionary of Military Women, ed. R. Pennington (Greenwood, 2003)

“Sichelgaita of Salerno: Amazon or Trophy Wife?” Journal of Medieval Military History 3 (2005)

“The Vita Mathildis of Donizone of Canossa As a Source for Military History” in Festschrift for Bernard S. Bachrach. (Medieval Institute Publications, forthcoming, solicited by editors)

Women and War in the Middle Ages, (Pen and Sword, UK., proposal solicited; submitted)

“Women and Military Power in Eleventh-Century Italy” (War & Society, submitted)

Medieval chapters in Women and War through History, ed. R. Pennington (Praeger, forthcoming).



David Nicolle, ed. Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour; Ian G. Peirce, Swords of the Viking Age (Boydell Press, 2002). Speculum 80.2 (April, 2005) pp. 647-50

Joanna H. Drell, Kinship and Conquest: Family Strategies in the Principality of Salerno during the Norman Period, 1077-1194 (Cornell, 2002). Medieval Feminist Forum (forthcoming)

Jeffrey L. Forgeng, The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship: A Facsimile and Translation . . . MS. I.33; Paul Wagner & Stephen Hand, Medieval Sword and Shield: The Combat System of . . . MS. I.33. De Re Militari online reviews (forthcoming)

Kelly DeVries, Joan of Arc: A Military Leader;  Stephen W. Richey, Joan of Arc: The Warrior Saint. New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter (forthcoming)

Advisory board, contributor. Women and War through History, ed. R. Pennington (Praeger, forthcoming).

Contributing editor, translator, Amazons to Fighter Pilots: A Biographical Dictionary of Military Women, 2 vols., ed. R. Pennington. (Westport CT: Greenwood Press, 2003)

Bernard S. Bachrach, Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire, lead review, New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter, Spring 2002

Richard P. Abels and Bernard S. Bachrach, eds. The Normans and Their Adversaries at War: Essays in Memory of C. Warren Hollister.

Matthew Strickland, War and Chivalry; Nicholas Hooper & Matthew Bennett, Cambridge Illustrated Atlas: Warfare in the Middle Ages, 768-1487, New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter, Summer, 1997.

Christopher Marshall, Warfare in the Latin East, 1192-1291, lead review, New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter, Fall 1992

"Military Women in Fantasy and Science Fiction" Minerva: Quarter­ly Report on Women and the Military 1 (Fall 1983) pp. 59-68




2003- "Sichelgaita of Salerno: Amazon or Trophy Wife?" 38th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 8-11.

2001- "The Countess Strikes Back: Sorbara (2 July 1084)."   36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 10-13.

2000 - "The Geography of Power." 35th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 4-7.

1999 - "The Norman Policy of Gregory VII: Success or Failure?" American Historical Association, Annual Meeting, Washington DC, January 7-10

1998 - "Never Grieve That You Bear Arms: Matilda of Tuscany, John of Mantua, and the Theory of Just War." International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 13-16.

- Invited participant, roundtable discussion on "The Military History of Women: Amazonian Past or PC Propaganda?" Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, April 23-26, Wheaton IL.

1997 - Presider, panel on The Sources of Medieval Military Technology, 32nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.

- "The Battle of Volta, 15 October 1080 (Or a Few Days Later)" panel on Medieval Armies on the March, Conference on The Medieval World in Motion, CUNY Graduate Center, February 28.

- Organizer of above panel

1996 - "Matilda, Medieval Strategist: New and Complementary Directions in Women's History and Military History" presented at New York Military Affairs Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center, April 28.

1995 - Organizer/Presider, panel on Reconstructing Dance, Medieval Through Early Modern, from Text and Iconography; Conference on Perspectives on Movement: Interpretation of Dance through Writing, CUNY Graduate Center.

1994 - "The Contribution of the Countess Matilda During the Investiture Controversy: A Strategic Analysis," panel on Women and Warfare; 29th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.

- Presider, panel on Infantry; 29th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.



The contrast between representations of Matilda of Tuscany in 11th-century texts and representations of the Countess Matilda in later texts is marked. Successive writers reveal the desires, biases, pretensions, and fears of their time through their interpretation of the historical record of a woman of military prowess. Each era fills the gaps differently.

The project will require extensive use of archival materials. The successive representations of the aristocratic, competent, twice-married Matilda--as virgin saint, amazon, complete with male sidekick, deluded dupe of the popes, "high-strung" neurotic, and, after nearly 900 years, candidate for canonization--include several unpublished vitae of varying dates. My dissertation deals with Matilda as represented in contemporary sources; the next stage is to collate the published and unpublished sources for a study of the images of Matilda through the succeeding centuries.



Latin, utilize previously untranslated primary sources, including poetry. French, German, Italian, utilize secondary sources from 16th-century through current scholarship; familiar with early typefaces including Fraktur. Knowledge of medieval vernacular literature in Old and Middle English, Old Norse, Old Provençal, Old French, Middle High German.

Summer Intensive in Medieval Latin, Cornell University, 2000.


Competent to teach a range of courses with emphasis on the Medieval and Ancient eras. Capable of customizing and creating courses to meet curriculum demands.

Surveys: World History, Western Civilization, Women's History, Problems in European History

Medieval: European History, Culture and Society, History of England, Military History, History of Science

Ancient: Ancient Mediterranean History, Ancient Civilizations, Military History

Interdisciplinary: Medieval Studies; Medieval Literature; Women, War and Society; The Woman Warrior in Art and History: A Cross-Cultural Survey; War and Chivalry



Summer Seminar Fellow, United States Military Academy, West Point, 2001.

Graduate Research Assistantships; State (NY) University Fellowship; Mellon Foundation Intern, Community College Faculty Development Program; Helena Rubinstein Foundation Tuition Awards.



Board of Directors, New York Military Affairs Symposium, since 1987

Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East

The Haskins Society for Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Anglo-Norman, and Angevin History

De Re Militari: Association for the Advancement of Pre-Modern Military Studies

Board of Directors, Association for Historical Fencing



Faculty advisor (at SUNY-New Paltz) to the Student Coalition for Universal Medievalism.

Steering Committee, Doctoral Students' Council (at CUNY Graduate Center)

Rector of the Medieval Study (interdisciplinary student group at CUNY Graduate Center)



Proprietor, Hungry Samurai Publishers' Services. Literary Market Place listing since 1980; Copy editing, substantive editing, ms. evaluation, rights & permissions clearance, translation; clients include Encyclopaedia Britannica, Overlook Press, W.W. Norton, Praeger Publishers, Doubleday, Greenwood, Holt-Rinehart, and private clients.

Editor and founding publisher of Fighting Woman News- a quarterly publication on women and the martial arts and self defense. Full responsibility for locating writers, reviewers, photographers, artists. Prepared all materials for publication. Coordinated production staff, circulation, mailing, etc.

FWN addressed a more mature and better-educated readership than most martial arts publications; Published substantive, footnoted articles on historical and cultural topics as well as practical material; favorably reviewed in Library Journal and Books for Libraries; sold in 1990.

Writer, produced articles, reviews, commentary, short pieces, press releases; published in consumer and specialized periodicals.


Popular Articles (a selection)

"Fighting Woman"- a monthly column on women in martial arts and self-defense that ran in Black Belt magazine for nearly two years.

"How to Choose a Self-Defense School" in The New York Women's Yellow Pages (St. Martin's Press). This was quoted in The Wall St. Journal.

"Harlem's Great Black Hope," a profile of the late karate master Frederick J. Hamilton, in Black Belt.

"Stealth and Style: the Kung-Fu Fighting of Tyari Casel," a cover story in Black Sports.

"West Point Woman," a feature about the first female cadets, appeared in Seventeen magazine.



Martial Arts:Kendo, 3rd-degree black belt; naginata, aikido, European classical fencing.  Have organized martial arts demonstrations and seminars including those given by ranking Japanese women.

Dance: Classical Ballet, Early Dance. Perform with Zaravanda Baroque Dance Ensemble.


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