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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Katherine Tycz



St Catharine's



Dr Abigail Brundin

About me:

I am pursuing a PhD in Italian at St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge as a member of the Domestic Devotions: The Place of Piety in the Italian Renaissance Home, 1400-1600 project, which is funded by the European Research Council. I hold a BA in Italian & Art History from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and a MA in the History of the Decorative Arts, Design History, & Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. I have worked as graduate researcher in European Sculpture & Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; as a collection cataloguer at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford Connecticut; and contributed to the recent Treasured Possessions exhibition at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum.

My research:

My current research focuses on the relationship of devotees to the material text in the early modern period. I draw from an interdisciplinary approach considering the intersections of literature, material culture, social history, and art. My thesis entitled: ‘Material Prayers: The Use of Text in Early Modern Italian Domestic Devotions’ explores how devotees, from a range of socio-economic backgrounds, employed objects that included religious phrases, words, or prayers for their spiritual, apotropaic, and intercessory qualities.


ITA3: Introduction to Italian 3: Texts and Contexts


‘Mourning Pendant’, ‘Shopping in Renaissance Italy’, ‘Two-handled Pharmacy Jar’, ‘Pharmacy Jar’, ‘Framed Mirror’, ‘Inkstand’, ‘Mourning Rings’, ‘Charger’, & ‘Pilgrim’s Souvenir Bowl’ in Treasured Possessions: From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, edited by Victoria Avery, Melissa Calaresu, & Mary Laven (London: Philip Wilson Publishers for The Fitzwilliam Museum, 2015).

Conference papers:

‘The Materiality of Miraculous & Intercessory Text in Early Modern Italian Home’, paper presented at the conference on Experiencing Devotion in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Sights, Sounds, Objects, Rochester, New York, April 2016.

‘The Writing on the Wall: Devotional Inscriptions in the Early Modern Italian Home’, paper presented at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, April 2016.

‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women’s Use of Holy Words in Early Modern Italy’, paper presented at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Berlin, Germany, March 2015.

‘The Word Made Flesh: Text, Religion, & Women’s Bodies in Early Modern Italy’, paper presented at the conference on Early Modern Women, Religion and the Body, University of Loughborough, UK, July 2014.

Other activities:

I am a co-convener of the Things seminar series at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).