Abigail Hartman '17

Lecturer, History

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Abigail Hartman was born and raised in Greenville, SC, and did her undergraduate degree at Furman, where she majored in History. Although her early research focused on early modern European history, in her postgraduate work at the University of St Andrews in Scotland she turned to medieval history. Regardless of era, she is especially interested in social history, and has a particular interest in communal responses to crisis (war, epidemic, famine) and the dynamics of religious devotion and praxis in the European Middle Ages. Her M.Litt. dissertation, for instance, focused on the short-lived cult of the English rebel baron Simon de Montfort (d. 1265), who died gruesomely in battle fighting against his king and was afterwards acclaimed as a saint by his supporters. Her doctoral thesis, "The ‘Cellites’ and the Rise of Death Charity in Late Medieval Germany," investigated religious laypeople in fourteenth- to sixteenth-century German towns who gathered in communities, lived lives of voluntary poverty, and attended the sick and dying and buried the dead (including victims of plague). Her current research continues to focus on the Cellites, exploring how they interacted with municipal and ecclesiastical authorities -- whether local priests or urban magistrates -- and how their piety played out on a practical level in their pre-Protestant Reformation contexts.

Honors & Awards

  • Erasmus+ Programme Fellowship, Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn (2020)
  • Royal Historical Society, Non-UK Research Award (2020)
  • Brepols, The Medieval Journal/St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies Graduate Essay Prize (2019)


  • Ph.D., University of St Andrews
  • M.Litt., University of St Andrews
  • B.A., Furman University


  • ‘No Greater Act of Mercy: “Cellites” and the Ars moriendi in the Fifteenth Century,' in Timothy G. Fehler and Jared Thomley (eds.), Do Good Unto All: Charity and Poor Relief across Christian Europe, 1400-1800 (Manchester University Press, 2023)
  • ‘And the Violent Take it by Force: Poetry and the Cause of Simon de Montfort after the Battle of Evesham,' The Medieval Journal 9 no. 2 (2019), pp. 41-61
  • Signs and Wonders in Britain’s Age of Revolution: A Sourcebook (Routledge 2018), co-edited with Furman Prof. Timothy G. Fehler