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Kate McKee is a first-year doctoral student at New College. Her DPhil project is jointly funded by the AHRC OOC DTP, All Souls College, and the Clarendon Fund. She holds a BA in Italian Studies from Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine, USA) and a MSt in Modern Languages (Italian) from the University of Oxford (New College). 


Kate's DPhil project explores the concept, phenomenon, and implications of smells and smelling in medieval Italian literature, with a particular focus on the works of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.

Conference Papers

[Forthcoming] “Smell as Work in Dante’s Terrace of the Gluttons,” Work and Smell: Comparative Perspectives, Goldsmith’s, University of London, April 25-26, 2024.

“St. Catherine of Bologna’s Spiritual Breadmaking,” Rethinking Mary in Early Modern Europe: Women’s voices and the Virgin Mary, Norwegian Institute in Rome, June 23, 2023.

Prizes and Awards

Italian MSt Dissertation Prize (Best dissertation on a topic in Italian literary studies), University of Oxford (2023)

Raimondi Prize in Italian Studies (Most outstanding Italian Studies student), Bowdoin College (2022)

The Dante Prize (Best Essay on Dante), Bowdoin College (2021)

Departmental Service

President, DPhil Representative, and Italian Sub-Faculty Representative, Graduate Joint Consultative Committee for Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty, University of Oxford (2023-2024)

Treasurer, Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference (2023-2024)