Ethical Evolution: Medieval Irish Advice Manuals and Their Influence Abroad


Location: Flanner Hall, Room 424

Amber Handy, Ph.D. candidate, medieval history; Ph.D. doctoral minor candidate, gender studies

Handy is currently finishing her dissertation The Specula Principum in Northwestern Europe, A.D. 650-1000: The Evolution of a New Ethical Rule. In the project, she examines the advice manuals written for rulers in Ireland, England, and Carolingian Europe in the early medieval period, focusing on the influence of the earlier Irish versions on their continental counterparts and on the negotiations within the text between the older ethical codes and the relatively recent ideas of Christian kingship.

Handy’s primary research interests are gender, youth, and education. She has presented portions of her research at conferences around the country, including the Harvard Celtic Colloquium and the International Congress on Medieval Studies and assisted with the organization of the Celtic Studies Association of North America annual meeting held at Notre Dame in April 2010. Handy has developed and taught four classes of her own design, including an undergraduate seminar entitled Marriage, Women, Family, and Sexuality in Medieval Europe (at Notre Dame, spring 2009), Introduction to Gender Studies (at Indiana University, South Bend; spring 2010), and Ireland in the Dark Ages and The Viking Age (Notre Dame) as the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies Predoctoral Teaching Fellow for 2010–11.

Sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies