Dr. Kathryn Jasper earned her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley in History and Medieval Studies in 2012. She is Associate Professor of History and Director of European Studies at Illinois State University. She serves as the co-Leader of the Latin Section in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: https://lan.illinoisstate.edu/latin/. Jasper contributed significantly to the development of the Classical Studies minor, and the European Studies Major and Minor at ISU. Jasper is also co-director of a summer study abroad program to Orvieto, Italy: https://about.illinoisstate.edu/orvietoprogram/pages/default.aspx
499Independent Research For The Master's Thesis
490Readings -- Field Of Study
115Second-Year Latin (Part I)
308Selected Topics In European History
300Senior Seminar In History
291Undergraduate Teaching Experience In History
I study approaches to rural land tenure in religious houses during Late Antiquity and through the central Middle Ages, especially in northern Italy. I am also interested in how people communicated and disseminated ideas about land management. My background in archaeology affords me a unique perspective in terms of theory and praxis, and my current project incorporates both documentary and physical evidence. At present I am completing a book on how interactions with the natural environment and contemporary economic practices influenced religious behaviors. How did a reformed congregation behave economically amidst an increasingly more commercialized economy, an environment constantly in flux, and waves of new religious movements focused on poverty during the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries? Constructions of “wilderness” shaped interactions with the physical world in Renaissance Italy. The book's inherent interdisciplinarity combines the fields of history, economic geography, archaeology, and environmental studies. Consequently, the project utilizes different tools to address its research questions. I use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map property acquisitions over time. Data from archaeological survey (topographical maps that I created) shows the physical characteristics of specific landscapes and places. Finally, qualitative data analyzing software serves to isolate and pattern the frequencies of terms pertaining to property, infrastructures, and stewardship in relevant documents.