Talia Zajac

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PhD program

Thesis Title

WomenBetween West and East: the inter-rite marriages of the Kyivan Rus Dynasty, ca. 1000-1250.

Research Interests

The story of the marriage of the Rus’ princess Anna Yaroslavna to Henry I of France in the eleventh century sparked Talia Zajac’s interest in other marriage alliances between the Orthodox Riurikid family, the ruling dynasty of Rus’, and its Catholic counterparts. Her work explores the political context of such inter-rite marriages as well as issues of patronage, cultural accommodation, and acculturation associated in the context of the narrative of purported Orthodox/Catholic estrangement.

Talia Zajac’s preliminary research on Anna Yaroslavna within the context of Capetian queenship and marriage practice was published as an abstract in a collection of conference papers from the sixth International Student Scholarly Archaeological conference in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in April of 2007.  In 2010, for the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, she contributed to a re-editing and updating of the Anna Yaroslavna article as well as a substantial re-writing of Arkadii Zhukovsky’s article on Yevpraksiia Vsevolodivna, Rus’ princess and Empress of Germany.

More broadly, her research interests focus of the history of cultural exchanges between Eastern and Western Europe, and especially the role of women as culture-bearers and facilitators of these exchanges.

Conference papers

“Cultural connections between Kyiv and Paris in the eleventh century: the embassy of King Henri I and the cult of St. Clement of Rome.” July 12th 2014.  Kings and Queens Conference Series III: Entourage, Councilors, cousins, courtiers and competitors. Royal Studies Network. University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom.

“‘Intercede for the Peace and Unity of Holy Church’: The Prayer-Book of Gertrude of Poland, Wife of Isiaslav Yaroslavich, c. 1075-1086.” International Medieval Congress 2014. 7-10 July 2014. University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Scholarly Publicatoins

“Marriage impediments in canon law and practise: the case of Orthodox- Catholic intermarriage in Kyivan Rus, ca. 1000–1241.” Proceedings from the Fourteenth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law. (forthcoming)

Review of Andrzej Pleszczynski, The Birth of a Stereotype: Polish Rulers and their Country in German Writings c. 1000 A.D. (Leiden, 2011) in Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 45 (April 2014), pp 252-253

Substantial re-writing, updating, and editing of Arkadii Zhukovsky, “Yevpraksiia Vsevolodivna.” Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Accessed December 10th 2010. Upon invitation by Dr. Marko R. Stech, Project Manager. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto. < http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pages\Y\E\YevpraksiiaVsevolodivna.htm>

“Anna Iaroslavna in the Context of Early Capetian Royal Marriage and Queenship.”

Serednovichni starozhutnosti Tsentralno-Shidnoii Yevropy: Materlialy VI mizhnapodnoii stydentskoii naykovoii arkheolohichnoii conferentsii. [“Medieval Antiquities of Central Eastern Europe: materials from the VIth international student scholarly archeological conference”]. Abstract. Chernihiv, Ukraine: Siveryanska Dumka, 13-15 April, 2007: 74-75.

“Rendering unto Caesar: Church and Crown Relations during the reign of King Stephen, 1135-1154”. The Future of History: Undergraduate Journal. 2.1 (Fall 2006): 5-15.

“Merlin and the Franciscans: The Growth of Prophetic Authority.” Saeculum: The University of Toronto Undergraduate Academic Journal for the Study of Christianity and Culture. March 2006: 27-38.

“Ecce Homo: Changing portrayals of the likeness of Christ in Late Antiquity.”  Saeculum: The University of Toronto Undergraduate Academic Journal for the Study of Christianity and Culture.  March 2006: 16-26.

Editorial Work

Re-edited and updated with revisions, “Anna Yaroslavna.” Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Accessed December 1st 2010. Upon invitation by Dr. Marko R. Stech, Project Manager. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto. <http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pages\A\N\AnnaYaroslavna.htm>

Academic Associations

Medieval Academy of America, 2009-present; Canadian Association of Slavists 2010-present; Early Slavic Studies Association, 2011-present; The Royal Studies Network, 2014-present.

“Gentes Trans Albiam”: Europe east of the Elbe in the Middle Ages International Research Network, 2010-2012.

Extracurricular Activities

Talia Zajac Creative Writing CV 2014