Brittany Rancour is an art historian specializing in medieval art. She earned her B.A. in archaeology from The College of Wooster (2009) and has archaeological field experience in Cyprus and in the U.S. She received her M.A. in medieval archaeology from the University of York (2010) and her Ph.D. in medieval art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia (2020). She has done extensive archival work for her own research and as an invited curator for the University of Missouri Rare Books and Special Collections Library, where she worked on a digital humanities project that highlighted the medieval and early modern manuscript fragments in the library collection. She has taught courses on material culture ranging from antiquity through the early modern period.
Her research centers on representations of women in art, visual expressions of identity, cross-cultural exchange, and the intersection of memory and materiality. She approaches these large topics through a study of the small, personal seals women used to authenticate documents during the later medieval period in Scotland and Ireland. These seals are physical evidence of women’s presence in legal transactions and thus are representative of their power and authority. The seal iconography communicated information regarding the sigillant’s socio-economic and cultural identity during a period when English influence extended beyond England’s borders.