Sarah Randles

Sarah Randles was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) at The University of Melbourne (2011‒2014), and is an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne and an Adjunct Researcher at the University of Tasmania. She holds a PhD in Art History from the Australian National University, written on the depiction of the Tristan legend in medieval embroidery.  Her current research project investigates the intersection between the emotions and material culture, focusing on the Cathedral of Notre Dame at Chartres.  It focuses on the emotional responses of worshippers to the objects and visual programs of the Cathedral, including relics and other religious material housed there, and the performative aspects of the religious practices at this site. Other research interests include textile history, Arthurian literature and Australian medievalism.  In 2017, she was a Short-Term Project-to-Publication Fellow with CHE.

Sarah has taught in undergraduate and graduate courses in English Literature, History and Art History at the University of New South Wales at ADFA, the Australian National University and The University of Melbourne, and co-designed and convened a PhD elective course on ‘The History of Emotions’ at The University of Melbourne in 2012 and 2013.



Touching Heaven: Objects and Emotions in Medieval Chartres

Emotions and Material Culture at Chartres Cathedral in the Middle Ages

Selected Publications

Edited Collection

Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions Through History, edited by Stephanie Downes, Sally Holloway and Sarah Randles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Journal Articles (refereed journals)

Randles, S. ‘Heraldic Imagery in the Embroidered Tristan Narratives’. Arthurian Literature 32 (2015):155–86.

Randles, S. ‘Material Magic: The Deliberate Concealment of Footwear and Clothing’. Parergon 30.2 (2013): 109–29.

Randles, S. ‘One Quilt or Two? A Reassessment of the Guicciardini Quilts’. Medieval Clothing and Textiles (2009): 93–128.

Book Chapters

Randles, S. Carved in stone: engaging with the past in Medieval Orkney’. In Historicising Heritage and Emotions: The Affective Histories of Blood, Stone and Land, edited by A. Marchant, pp. 19–33. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2019.

Randles, S. ‘Signs of Emotion: Pilgrimage Tokens from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Chartres’. In Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions Through History, edited by S. Downes, S. Holloway and S. Randles, pp. 43–57. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Downes, S., S. Holloway and S. Randles. ‘A Feeling for Things, Past and Present’. In Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions Through History, edited by S. Downes, S. Holloway and S. Randles, pp. 8–23. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Randles, S. ‘“When Adam Delved and Eve Span”: Gender and Textile Production in the Middle Ages’.  In Women and Work in Premodern Europe: Experiences, Relationships and Cultural Representation, c.1100–1800 edited by M. L. Bailey, T. Colwell and J. Hotchin. London and New York: Routledge, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-4724-8832-9.

Randles, S. 'Materiality'.  In Emotions in Early Modern Europe, edited by S. Broomhall, pp. 17­­–20. London: Routledge, 2017.

Randles, S. ‘“The Pattern of All Patience”: Gender, Agency and Emotions in Embroidery and Pattern Books in Early Modern England’.  In Authority, Gender and Emotions in Late Medieval and Early Modern England, edited by S. Broomhall, pp. 150–67. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Randles, S. ‘Re-building the Middle Ages: Medievalism in Australian Architecture’.  In Medievalism and the Gothic in Australian Culture, edited by S. J. Trigg, pp. 147–70. Turnhout: Brepols, 2005; and Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2006.

Selected Presentations

‘“The golden reliquary in which is located the tunic of the Blessed Mary”: The sainte châsse of Chartres as Emotional Object’, ‘Religion and Emotion in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, c.1100–1800’ symposium, The University of Adelaide, 23 November 2018.

‘Laborare est Orare: Gender, Work and Devotion in Medieval Chartres’, 'Entangled Histories of Gender in the Medieval Mediterranean World' seminar, The University of Queensland, 5 May 2018. Invited speaker.

‘“Shining in Unequalled Splendour”: Light, Aesthetics and Emotions in Chartres Cathedral’, ‘Devotion, Objects and Emotion, 1300‒1700’ symposium, The University of Melbourne, 16‒17 March 2018. Invited speaker.

‘The Middle Ages Transported – Medieval Objects in Australian Collections’, 11th Biennial Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies conference, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 7‒10 February 2017.

‘Impressions: Wax and Emotions in the Middle Ages’, 'Art, Objects and Emotions, 1400–1800' collaboratory, The University of Melbourne, 15‒16 November 2016.

‘Impressions: Wax and Emotions in the Middle Ages’, ‘Religious Materiality and Emotion’ symposium, Adelaide, 17‒18 February 2016.