Dr Eleanor Janega

Dr Eleanor Janega

Guest Teacher

Department of International History

Room No
SAR 2.05
Czech, English, German, Spanish
Key Expertise
Medieval/Modern sexuality, Apocalypticism, Cities, Propaganda, Imperialism

About me

Eleanor's current research focuses on the conceptualisation of sex and its influence on society in the medieval and early modern period.

She speacialises in sexuality, propaganda, apocalypticism, urbanity, and empire, in the late medieval and early modern periods, with a particular emphasis on Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire. She holds a PhD in History and an MA in Medieval Studies from University College London, and a BA in History from Loyola University Chicago.

PhD Thesis

Jan Milíč of Kroměříž and Emperor Charles IV: Preaching, Power, and the Church of Prague

Expertise Details

Medieval/Early modern sexuality; Apocalypticism; Cities; Propaganda; Imperialism


Eleanor is the host of the Medieval Pleasures and Going Medieval series on History Hit Television. She is also, co-host of the Gone Medieval Podcast. 

  • Involved in the podcast Witch for BBC Radio 4 that was published in June of 2022.
  • "In fantasy, medieval life is depicted as all sexual violence and squalor. It's not that simple.", AJ Willingham, CNN, 29 August 2022
  • "Platinum Jubilee: Britain's Greatest Queens", Dan Snow's History Hit podcast, June 2022
  • "What Did Medieval Peasants Know? The internet has become strangely nostalgic for life in the Middle Ages", Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 6 May 2022
  • "Eleanor Janega: Going Medieval", The Weekend with Emilie Donovan, Radio NZ, 2 January 2022
  • "Medieval Christmas", You're Dead To Me, BBC Radio 4, 17 December 2021
  • "Fare Thee Well: The Timeless Endurance of Renaissance Faires", 1A, NPR, 3 November 2021
  • "Going Medieval on White Supremacists:, 1A, NPR, 6 May 2021
  • "Going Medieval: the history of plagues", Radio NZ, 5 April 2021
  • "What Are You Willing to Risk for Sex in a Pandemic?: The coronavirus has realigned the pleasure principle as we struggle between the need for desire and safety", Nona WIllis Aronowitz, Medium, 22 February 2021
  • "Coup Anon feat Elle Reeve and Eleanor Janega", Q Anon Anonymous, Episode 125, 10 January 2021
  • "We Asked an Expert Whether Magna Carta Can Really Help You Defy Lockdown:, James Greig, Vice, 3 November 2020
  • "Bone Detectives: Britain's Buried Secrets", Series 2 Episode 1, Channel 4, 26 September 2020


Eleanor teaches the following courses:

At undergraduate level:

HY118 - Faith, Power and Revolution: Europe and the Wider World, c.1500-c.1800





  • The Once and Future Sex: Going Medieval on Women's Roles in Society (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 2023).
  • "Poverty in Medieval Europe", The Medieval Magazine, Issue 151, July 2022
  • "A plague on all our houses: Making claims for a comprehensive history", Times Literary Supplement, January 21, 2022
  • "Why our Fantasy of a Dark and Bloody Middle Ages is so Hard to Shake: A new history makes the case for light", Slate, 10 December 2021
  • “Morality tales: From cowardly men to wayward wives, pre-modern superstitions transmitted social normas as well as scares”, Red Pepper, 50-51, Autumn 2021. 
  • The Middle Ages: A Graphic History, Icon, (2021).
  • Opinion: Don’t kid yourself the Black Death and its aftermath isn’t cause for optimism about COVID”, Washington Post, April 14, 2020.
  •  “Lies, Damn Lies, and Bohemians”, History Today, October 2018.


Selected Papers

• November 2018: IHR History of Sexuality Seminar, ‘Love in flame: Sex as object in the medieval mind and society’.

• March 2018: The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages, II: Places, Spaces and Objects, ‘Creating Wounds/Creating Empire: The Feast of the Holy Lance and Nail’.

• June 2017: Science Museum Lates, Sex, ‘Sex and the (Medieval) City: Social Hygiene and the Urban Ideal’.

• May 2017: Forgotten Women from a Forgotten Region: Prostitutes and Female Slaves in Central and Eastern Europe in the Long Middle Ages, Department of Medieval Studies, CEU, ‘‘Suspect Women: Prostitution, Reputation, and Gossip in Fourteenth-Century Prague’.

• July 2015: University of Leeds, International Medieval Congress, 2015, ‘Charles IV of Bohemia: Religion, Renewal, and Rulership’.

• September 2014: Royal Holloway, History Research Seminar, ‘”With Fingers Extended”: Preachers and the Court of Emperor Charles IV’.

• January 2014: Institute for Historical Research, Late Medieval Seminar, ‘A New Jerusalem: Preaching, Power, and Empire in Fourteenth-century Bohemia’.

• July 2013: University of Leeds, International Medieval Congress, 2013, ‘The Church of Prague in the Last Days:  Eschatological Reform Preaching in Fourteenth-century Bohemia’.

• May 2012: Western Michigan University, International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2012, ‘“It all begins with succession from the Empire”: Emperor Charles IV and Reform Preaching in Fourteenth-century Bohemia’.

• October 2011: German Historical Institute, Washington DC, Medieval History Seminar 2011, ‘Jan Milíč of Kroměříž and the “Church of Prague”: Urban Culture, Flux, Response, and Gain’.

• September 2011: German Historical Institute, London, German Historical Society Annual General Meeting 2011, ‘”Illuminating the Land of Bohemia”: Local Saints in Fourteenth-century Bohemian Reform Sermons’.

• May 2011: London Medieval Society, Postgraduate Colloquium, ‘“The worst and most horrible neighborhood”: Brothels, Reform, and Display in Fourteenth-century Prague’.

• July 2010: University of Kent, Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, ‘The Use and Abuse of Public and Private Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Towns’,  ‘”A New Jerusalem”: Fourteenth-century Prague as a Stage for Radical Preaching’.

• March 2010: The Urban History Group Annual Conference, University of Durham, ‘Transgressive Cities: Practices and Place’, ‘Babylon or Jerusalem? The Eschatological Preaching of Jan Milíč of Kroměříž in Fourteenth-century Prague’.

• February 2009: School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University of London, International Postgraduate Conference on Central and Eastern Europe, ‘Perpetual Motion? Transformation and Transition in Central, Eastern Europe and Russia’, ‘”The Antichrist comes”: Apocalyptic Preaching in Fourteenth-century Prague’.