Bio


Fiona Griffiths is a historian of medieval Western Europe, focusing on intellectual and religious life from the ninth to the thirteenth century. Her work explores the possibilities for social experimentation and cultural production inherent in medieval religious reform movements, addressing questions of gender, spirituality, and authority, particularly as they pertain to the experiences and interactions of religious men (priests or monks) with women (nuns and clerical wives). Griffiths is the author of Nuns' Priests' Tales: Men and Salvation in Medieval Women's Monastic Life,The Middle Ages Series (The University of Pennsylvania Press: 2018) and The Garden of Delights: Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century, The Middle Ages Series (The University of Pennsylvania Press: 2007); she is co-editor (with Kathryn Starkey) of Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019) and (with Julie Hotchin) of Partners in Spirit: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100-1500 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Her essays have appeared in Speculum, Church History, the Journal of Medieval History, and Viator. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; and the Institute of Historical Research (University of London).

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, History
  • Professor (By courtesy), Religious Studies
  • Professor (By courtesy), German Studies

Honors & Awards


  • Violet Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2019-2020)
  • Jane Dempsey Douglass Prize, American Society of Church History (2009)
  • Margaret Wade Labarge Prize, Canadian Society of Medievalists (2008)
  • Humboldt Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2007-2008)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, NEH (2007-2008)
  • Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize, American Society of Church History (2006)
  • Walter Jackson Bate Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2003-2004)
  • Scouloudi Research Fellow, Institute of Historical Research (London) (1997-1998)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Councillor, Council of the Medieval Academy of America (2019 - Present)
  • Executive Committee, CARA (Committee on Centers and Regional Associations), Medieval Academy of America (2019 - Present)
  • Herbert Baxter Adams Prize Committee, American Historical Association (2016 - 2019)
  • Advisory Board, Monastic Matrix (2015 - Present)
  • Editorial Board, The Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures (2015 - Present)
  • Advisory Board, The Medieval Review (2014 - Present)

Program Affiliations


  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professional Education


  • PhD, Cambridge University

2021-22 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Introduction: Amputation and warfare in the eleventh century: absence, sensation, and embodiment POSTMEDIEVAL-A JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL CULTURAL STUDIES Griffiths, F., Starkey, K. 2021
  • Froibirg Gives a Gift: The Priest’s Wife in Eleventh-Century Bavaria Speculum Griffiths, F. J. 2021; 96 (4): 1009-1038

    View details for DOI 10.1086/716002

  • The Mass in Monastic Practice: Nuns and Ordained Monks The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism in the Latin West Griffiths, F. J. Cambridge University Press. 2020: 729–746
  • Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts Sense, Matter, and Medium Griffiths, F. J., Starkey, K. De Gruyter. 2019; 1

    View details for DOI 10.1515/9783110563443

  • Sensing Through Objects SENSORY REFLECTIONS: TRACES OF EXPERIENCE IN MEDIEVAL ARTIFACTS Griffiths, F., Starkey, K., Griffiths, F., Starkey, K. 2018; 1: 1–21
  • Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts SENSORY REFLECTIONS: TRACES OF EXPERIENCE IN MEDIEVAL ARTIFACTS Griffiths, F., Starkey, K. 2018; 1
  • Nuns' Priests' Tales: Men and Salvation in Medieval Women's Monastic Life NUNS' PRIESTS' TALES: MEN AND SALVATION IN MEDIEVAL WOMEN'S MONASTIC LIFE Griffiths, F. J. 2018: 1–349
  • SUSAN GROAG BELL'S "MEDIEVAL WOMEN BOOK OWNERS" AFTER 35 YEARS JOURNAL OF WOMENS HISTORY Griffiths, F. J. 2017; 29 (3): 208-213
  • Partners in Spirit: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100-1500 Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts Griffiths, F. J., Hotchin, J. Brepols. 2014; 24
  • Women and Men in the Medieval Religious Landscape Partners in Spirit: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100-1500 Griffiths, F. J., Hotchin, J. Brepols. 2014: 1–45
  • Women and Reform in the Central Middle Ages Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe Griffiths, F. J. Oxford University Press. 2013: 447–463
  • Like the Sister of Aaron’: Medieval Religious Women and Liturgical Textiles Female vita religiosa between Late Antiquity and High Middle Ages: Structures, Norms and Developments Griffiths, F. J. Brepols. 2011: 343–374
  • The cross and the cura monialium: Robert of Arbrissel, John the Evangelist, and the pastoral care of women in the age of reform SPECULUM-A JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL STUDIES Griffiths, F. J. 2008; 83 (2): 303–30
  • Siblings and the sexes within the medieval religious life CHURCH HISTORY Griffiths, F. J. 2008; 77 (1): 26–53
  • Reforming Women in the Garden of Delights GARDEN OF DELIGHTS: REFORM AND RENAISSANCE FOR WOMEN IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY Griffiths, F. J., Griffiths, F. 2007: 194-+
  • 'Men's duty to provide for women's needs': Abelard, Heloise, and their negotiation of the cura monialium JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL HISTORY Griffiths, F. J. 2004; 30 (1): 1–24
  • Brides and Dominae: Abelard’s Cura monialium at the Augustinian Monastery of Marbach Viator Griffiths, F. J. 2003; 34: 57-88.