Irish history and art history
Laura specializes in Irish history, with particular attention to the creation and function of illuminated manuscripts during the early medieval period. Other research interests include Irish national identity formation and the intersections between language, literature, and visual symbolism. She received her B.A. in Art History from Mason, her M.A. in Irish Studies from Catholic University, and she is currently pursuing an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, also at Mason. During the culminating semester of her M.A., Laura interned in Dáil Éireann in Dublin, Ireland, assisting T.D. Jimmy Deenihan in re-election and drafting the Fine Gael policy on the arts, sport, and tourism. Laura completed her PhD dissertation proposal under the guidance of renowned manuscript scholar Michelle Brown at the University of London; while still a work in progress, Laura studies the artistic connections between the medieval Mediterranean and Ireland as evinced in Irish and British illuminated manuscripts in the 7th to 11th Centuries. She held several staff positions in the Department of History and Art History here at Mason from 2005-2012 and she is currently an Administrative Faculty member in the Learning Services division of Counseling and Psychological Services.
“Love is Blindness: Reflections of Ascetic Monasticism in Irish 7th-10th Century Manuscript Illumination”; in “Love, Friendship, Marriage: 32nd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum at Plymouth State University (April 15-16, 2011)”. Ed. Raffaele Florio and Aniesha R. Andrews. CreateSpace.
“Fantasy in the Name of the Divine: The Impact of Myth and Magic in the Life and Accounts of St Columba”, Plymouth State University Medieval and Renaissance Forum. April 24, 2009.
“Establishing an 'Irish' History: A Modern Analysis of the Use of Prose, Poetry, and Gaelic Vernacular in the Medieval Annals of Innisfallen and Loch Cé”, Ohio State University Texts and Contexts: A Manuscript Conference, November 6, 2009.
“Crafting Irish History: The Creation of Irish Identity through the Synthesis of Irish Monastic Annals and Mythological Sagas”, Plymouth State University Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 16, 2010.
“From the Rods of the Fílíd to the Pens of the Poets: The Intersection of Religion and Artistic Expression in Medieval Irish Duanairí”, Ohio State University Texts and Contexts: A Manuscript Conference, October 29, 2010.
“Love is Blindness: Reflections of Ascetic Monasticism in Irish 7th-10th Century Manuscript Illumination”, Plymouth State University Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 15, 2011.
“He Tells of the Perfect Irish Beauty: The Intersections of Pre-Raphaelite Pastoral Imagery and Literary Romanticism in the Women of William Butler Yeats”, American Conference for Irish Studies, Mid-Atlantic Forum. October 5, 2012.
“Echoes of Byzantium: Artistic Exchange between Ireland and the Mediterranean in the 5th to 8th Centuries as Evidenced in the Christ Enthroned page of the Book of Kells”, Plymouth State University Medieval and Renaissance Forum. April 19, 2013.
“Synchronicity of the Multidisciplinary Approach in a University Counseling Center”, presented with Amber Morris. Virginia Counseling Center Conference. May 17, 2013.