Kent Navalesi

 Kent Navalesi

Contact Information

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of History
309 Gregory Hall
810 South Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

  • Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 PM
View CV - Visit Website

Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Interests

  • Late Antiquity
  • Hagiography
  • Venantius Fortunatus
  • Gregory of Tours
  • Global History
  • Epistolography
  • Gender
  • Theology
  • Classics

Research Description

My research investigates the intersection of religious beliefs and literary culture in the later Roman Empire and the early barbarian kingdoms. My dissertation is the first major study of the seven prose saints’ lives written by the poet Venantius Fortunatus (c.530-609 CE). I argue that Fortunatus appealed to his lay audience not only through tales of miracles but also with a coherent and thoughtful theology tailored to meet the laity's pastoral needs. 

I have also begun to map out a second book-length project examining the reception of fourth- and fifth-century virgin martyr narratives in the Latin-speaking world of Late Antiquity. This project will gather diverse pieces of evidence, such as martyrologies, liturgies, inscriptions, and hagiographical references from the fifth to the seventh century to examine the use of these martyrs’ legends in asceticism and preaching as they found new audiences and cultural expressions. 


  • B.A. History, University of New Mexico, 2008.
  • M.A. Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2010.

Distinctions / Awards

  • Lawrence M. Larson Scholarship in History
  • Teacher Ranked as Excellent: Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
  • Lawrence M. Larson Scholarship for Studies in Medieval or English History


  • HIST 100 Global History (Teaching Assistant)
  • HIST 141 Western Civilization I (Instructor of Record)
  • HIST 498/5 Late Antiquity (Instructor of Record)
  • HIST 245 Women and Gender in Pre-Modern Europe (Instructor of Record)
  • HIST 247 Medieval Europe (Instructor of Record)
  • HIST 142 European Civ 1750 to the Present (Teaching Assistant)

Selected Publications

Website Articles

The Life of Marcellus The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity 2019.
The Life of Albinus The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity 2019.
The Life of Severinus The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity 2019.