My work focuses on the Early Middle Ages, with a specific emphasis on Anglo-Saxon England. I am particularly interested in early Insular intellectual and monastic culture.
My monograph, Medical Texts in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture, offers a fresh look at the Old English medical corpus, which contains the earliest complete collections of medical material in a Western vernacular language. While sometimes viewed as belonging primarily to popular culture or folk belief, I show that these texts were part of an elite, learned, intellectual culture.
My current research focuses on intellectual exchange between England and the Continent in the period of the Anglo-Saxon missions. More generally, I am interested in erudition, word play, ‘magical’ texts, theological disputes and exegesis, medieval reception of classical works, and early medieval scribal communities.
D.Phil. in English (to 1550), University of Oxford, 2017.
M.St. in Medieval Studies, University of Oxford, 2012.
B.A. in History (magna cum laude), University of Washington, 2011.
Medical Texts in Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture. Boydell & Brewer Press, 2020.
'The Royal Prayerbook and Early Insular Scribal Communities', Early Medieval Europe 29.2 (2021), 181-200.
'A Blood-Staunching Charm of Royal 2.A.xx and its Greek Text', Peritia 32 (2021), 149-62
'Translation Style and the Old English Herbarium’. Notes and Queries 63 (2016), 9-14.
Kesling, Emily (2021). A Blood-Staunching Charm of Royal 2.A.xx and its Greek Text. Peritia: Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland. ISSN 0332-1592. 32, p. 149–162. doi: 10.1484/J.PERIT.5.128140. Full text in Research Archive
Kesling, Emily (2019). Veronica's Bloods and the Royal Prayerbook.
Kesling, Emily (2019). The Royal Prayerbook and Touching Christ.
Bech, Kristin; Stenbrenden, Gjertrud F & Kesling, Emily (2018). I døde språks selskap: gammelengelsk.
Kesling, Emily (2018). Learned Languages in Insular Charms.