Department of History

Washburn Hall, 80 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

401.874.2528 (p); 401.874.2595 (f)

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Fall 2017 Deadlines


Sept. 12 - End of Open Add period

Sept. 19 - End of Permission Number Add Period

Sept. 19 - Last day to add Pass/Fail Option

Sept. 27 - Last day to drop class with no W designation

Oct. 1 - May 2018 graduation applications due

Oct. 18 - Last day to drop classes

Oct. 20 - Last day to change from Pass/Fail Option

Dec. 11 - Last day of classes


Joëlle Rollo-Koster

  • Professor of Medieval History; Chevalier des Palmes Académiques
  • Washburn Hall, 313
  • Phone: 401.874.4089
  • Fax: 401.874.2595
  • Email:


Joëlle Rollo-Koster was born and raised in the town of Toulon located on the southern French Mediterranean coast. She received her undergraduate degree and master’s degree in history from the University of Nice, France.

After moving to the United States, Professor Rollo-Koster enrolled at SUNY Binghamton where she studied with Richard C. Trexler, one of the founders of behaviorist history. Following her social science track, she earned her Ph.D. focusing on the social and demographic history of the papal city of Avignon, capital of Christianity between 1309-­‐1378. Her thesis, “The People of Curial Avignon: A Critical Edition of the Liber Divisionis and the lists of Matriculation of the Confraternity of Notre Dame la Majour,” analyzed three late medieval censuses where she collected data on some 8,000 individuals. This data framed her early research and publications.

Having studied total history, along with applied social scientific methodologies to text and documentation, Professor Rollo-Koster considers herself a social scientist, one who analyzes long-term effects, mentalities, demography, geography, economic conditions, etc.


  • the social/economic history of Avignon in the late Middle Ages
  • death rituals, medieval women, testament studies, and historical anthropology


  • State University of New York at Binghamton, Ph.D., 1992
  • University of Nice, France, M.A. 1982
  • University of Nice, France, Licence 1980
  • University of Nice, France, D.E.U.G. 1979



Select Articles

  • “The Women of Papal Avignon. A new Source: The Liber Divisionis of 1371,” The Journal of Women’s History 8 (1996): 36-59.
  • “Forever After: The Dead in the Avignonese Confraternity of Notre Dame la Majour (1329-1381),” Journal of Medieval History 25 (1999): 115-140.
  • “Amongst Brothers: Italians’ Networks in Papal Avignon (1360s-1380s),” Medieval Prosopography 21 (2000): 153-189.
  • “From Prostitutes to Virgin Brides of Christ: The Avignonese Repenties in the Late Middle Ages,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32 (2002): 109-144 (Selected as the April Article of the Month for the Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index site at
  • “The Politics of Body Parts: Contested Topographies in Late Medieval Avignon,” Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 78 (January 2003): 66-98. (Winner of the Honorable Mention: William Koren Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies).
  • “Looting the Empty See: The Great Western Schism Revisited (1378),” in Rivista di storia della Chiesa in Italia (2005): 429-474.
  • “Prostitutes.” In Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia, ed. Margaret Schaus (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), 675-678.
  • “Civil Violence and the Initiation of the Schism.” In A Companion to the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), ed. Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Thomas Izbicki (Leiden: Brill, September 2009), 9-66.
  • “The Boundaries of Affection: Women and Property in Late Medieval Avignon.” In Across the Religious Divide: Women, Property, and Law in the Wider Mediterranean (ca. 1300-1800), ed. Shona Kelly Wray and Jutta Sperling (New York and London: Routledge, September 2009), 38-
  • With Alizah Holstein, “Anger and Spectacle in Late Medieval Rome: Gauging Emotion in Urban Topography?” In Cities, Texts and Social Networks, 400-1500:  Experiences and Perceptions of Medieval Urban Space, ed. Anne Lester, Caroline Goodson, and Carol Symes (Farnham, GB: Ashgate, 2010), 149-174.
  • “Body Politic.” In SAGE’S Encyclopedia of Political Theory, ed. Mark Bevir (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2010), vol. 1, 133-137.
  • Item Lego…Item Volo…Is there really an “I” in Medieval Women’s Testaments.” In For the Salvation of my Soul: Women and Wills in Medieval and Early Modern France, ed. Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Kathryn Reyerson (St. Andrews, UK: St. Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, August 2012), 3-24.
  • “The Politics of Sede Vacante and the Sack of Rome (1527).” In Aspects of Violence in Renaissance Europe, ed. Jonathan D. Davies (London: Ashgate, 2013), 41-60.
  • “Episcopal and Papal Vacancies: A Long History of Violence.” In Ecclesia & Violentia: Violence against the Church and Violence within the Church in the Middle Ages, ed. Radosław Kotecki and Jacek Maciejewski (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 54-71.
  • “Avignon’s Capitalization and the Legitimation of Transiency.” In Images and Words in Exile: Avignon and Italy in the First Half of the Fourteenth Century (ca. 1310-1352), ed. Elisa Brilli, Laura Fenelli, and Gerhard Wolf (Florence, It.: SISMEL-Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2015), 259-269.
  • “Schism and Schismogenesis.” In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion (VSR), ed. Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal (Leiden: Brill, 2015).

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