On leave during 2019-2020
Professor Kirakosian holds a joint appointment with the Committee on the Study of Religion, and she also serves on the Committee on Medieval Studies and the Digital Arts and Humanities Committee. For her research on Gertrude the Great, she has been awarded the Harvard Medical School Milton Award and she has also obtained numerous stipends such as the Herzog Ernst Research Scholarship of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the Gerda Henkel Research Fellowship, and the Huntington Library Mayers Fellowship. In March and April 2017, she was invited to a research residency as the Director's Visiting Scholar at Dumbarton Oaks.
Professor Kirakosian studied German Philology and History in Göttingen (M.A.), and History of Art and Digital Humanities at the École nationale des Chartes in Paris (M.A.). She received her Dr.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where she was a Marie Curie Research Fellow from 2010 to 2013. Before coming to Harvard, she worked as a Lecturer at the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty Oxford, and held a position as Lecturer at Somerville College Oxford. She also covered for the Director of Studies for German at Oriel College Oxford. She enjoyed scholarships among others from the European Commission, the Conseil régional d'Île-de-France, the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, and the German History Society.
Her publications include studies on medieval German mysticism, female sanctity, and medieval law. Her recent book deals with the biography of a thirteenth-century Premonstratensian nun and has appeared with De Gruyter in the series Hermaea: Die Vita der Christina von Hane: Untersuchung und Edition. The next book project explores material culture and mysticism in the German reception of Gertrude of Helfta's Legatus divinae pietatis.
Specific teaching topics concern Middle High German as a language, historical linguistics including Old German languages, medieval literature and culture, as well as a wide range of texts such as the Nibelungenlied, Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Gottfried of Strassburg's Tristan and Isolde, and many more. As Associate Professor for Harvard's Committee on the Study of Religion, she also teaches medieval spirituality and church history. She is an instructor for undergraduate lectures such as Hum10 (Humanities Colloquia: From Homer to García Márquez and From Joyce to Homer) and The Real Game of Thrones: Culture, Society, and Religion in the Middle Ages. In a full year's research project class in 2017-2018, she and her students are developing a digital edition of a medieval Mary Magdalene-legend.
Professor Kirakosian is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK, and a member of numerous national and international academic bodies.