Katherine Cross
Lecturer in Medieval History



BA, MSt (Oxon), PhD (UCL)

Katherine Cross is a Lecturer in Medieval History. She completed her PhD at UCL and then worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher for the British Museum’s Leverhulme-funded ‘Empires of Faith’ project, as well as holding a Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, University of Oxford.

Katherine works on the cultural history of northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages, focusing on viking identity, religious conversion, and historical narratives in England and Normandy. She is also interested in how early medieval artefacts are collected and displayed in museums.



Katherine works on the cultural history of northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages. Her research investigates processes of conflict, migration and religious change, how these processes were presented in historical narratives, and how they influenced material culture. 

Her book, Heirs of the Vikings: History and Identity in Normandy and England, c. 950 – c. 1015, was published by York Medieval Press in 2018. This work investigated some of the consequences of Viking-Age migration to England and Normandy, where Scandinavian settlers had firmly established themselves for generations. Depictions of Scandinavia and the events of the Viking Age from the two regions – in genealogies, origin myths, hagiographies, histories, and charters – demonise, glorify and transform vikings. The book compares how the viking past was used in the mixed societies of England and Normandy, demonstrating its local, political significance for Anglo-Saxon and Norman elites. 

Between 2013 and 2018, Katherine worked on the British Museum’s Leverhulme-funded ‘Empires of Faith’ project, which took a comparative view of developments in religious art, iconography and material culture in the first millennium. The project team curated a major exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, called Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions (October 2017 – February 2018). The team also produced several publications, the latest of which, Art and Religion from India to Ireland: Historiographical Trends in the Study of the First Millennium, is forthcoming with OUP in 2019. Katherine’s contributions to the project focused on the role of material culture in religious change and conversion in the early medieval British Isles. 

Having pursued two very different comparative projects, Katherine is interested more broadly in approaches to comparative history.




Contact details

Dr Katherine Cross
Lecturer in Medieval History
Vanbrugh College V/A/223
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: Internal 2924, External (01904) 322924

Student hours