Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Gender and sexuality in medieval and early modern Europe
  • How visual and material culture reflects and impacts social history


2019-2020University of Guelph, Master of Arts in History (in progress)
2015-2019University of Toronto, Honours Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction, majors in History and Art History, minor in History of Religions

Research Experience

Fall 2018Independent Study Project, Sodomy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, supervised by Dr. Mairi Cowan

Designed and developed an independent study course, including selecting the readings and designing assignments.

The course examines sodomy as it was understood in medieval and early modern Europe through its legal, religious, and social implications via an intersectional analysis of gender, sexed bodies, and social status.
2016-2019Research Assistant for Dr. Evonne Levy, Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga

Manuscript preparation, including copyediting a paper and preparing a bibliography.

Archival, library, and web research to find articles and books.

Work on the History of Art History in Canada Project (1933-present), including gathering and interpreting data, working on the website, keeping detailed and accurate records, and working collaboratively with shared files.
2018-2019Internship, ArQuives (previously the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives)

Designing, researching, and developing Genderqueer in Canada, a digital exhibition in the OMEKA platform to hosted on the ArQuives’ website.



Mara-McKay, Nico. “Becoming Gendered: Two Medieval Approaches to Intersex Gender Assignment.” Prandium: The Journal of Historical Studies at University of Toronto Mississauga 7:1 (2008).

Mara-McKay, Nico. “Marvellous Anxiety: Horror Painting in Seventeenth Century Naples.” Crossing Borders: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship. (Under consideration.)

Teaching Experience

Fall 2019Teaching Assistant for Dr. Peter Goddard, Early Modern Europe, University of Toronto Mississauga

The course examined trends, development, evolution and events that together shaped early modern institutions in the Eurasian West.

Graded and met with sixty students to help support their learning and think their way through the material and assignments.
Fall 2017Teaching Assistant for Dr. Christopher Petrakos, Happiness, University of Toronto Mississauga

The course investigated the concept of happiness from its earliest articulations to today, across time and place, and drew on a wide array of sources in disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, particularly history and philosophy.

Developed and prepared lectures and discussion material for two tutorials comprised of thirty students each (sixty students total), including reading assignments, essay writing, formatting Chicago Manual of Style, and quizzes.

Graded student attendance, participation, and essays for content and style.

Received the Teaching Assistant Award from the Department of Historical Studies for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Honours and Awards


2020Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarship, University of Guelph
2019-2020Graduate Tuition Scholarship, University of Guelph
2019-2020University Graduate Scholarship, University of Guelph


2019Dean’s Graduation Award, University of Toronto
2019Award for Outstanding Performance in Visual Studies, University of Toronto
2015-2019Dean’s List Scholar, University of Toronto
2015-2018 Joseph Alfred Whealey Incourse Scholarship, University of Toronto
2018 UTM Experiential Learning Bursary, University of Toronto
Fall 2017Best Exhibition Proposal in Curatorial Studies Award, Sheridan College
2017University of Toronto Excellence Award in Social Sciences and Humanities
2017Marjorie E. Simonds Travel Award, University of Toronto
2016History Emeriti Award, Historical Studies, University of Toronto


2018Teaching Assistant Award, Historical Studies, University of Toronto
2013Writer’s Grant, Toronto Arts Council


Papers Presented

Mara-McKay, Nico. “Early Modern English Witch Bottles and the Logic of Counteractive Magic.” Paper presented at the Experience and Expression in the Renaissance: Exploring Early Modern Media Conference by the Association of Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 15 March 2019.

Mara-McKay, Nico. “Becoming Gendered: Two Medieval Approaches to Intersex Gender Assignment.” Paper presented at the Second Annual Prandium Conference, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, 19 March 2018.

Mara-McKay, Nico. “Katherina Hetzeldorfer and the Consequences of a Woman Living as a Heterosexual Man in Fifteenth-Century Germany.” Paper presented at Revealing the Renaissance: (De)constructing Early Modern Identities, Fourth Annual Conference by the Association of Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 16 March 2018.

Mara-McKay, Nico. “The Materiality of Meret Oppenheim’s Surrealist Objects.” Paper presented at Back to Basics: Materials and Process, the Third Annual History of Art Undergraduate Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 17 March 2017.


Mara-McKay, Nico and Konrad Boeschenstein. “Witch Pee and Costly Codices: Undergraduate Research Opportunities at U of T.” Toronto District School Board, Department of History, Unviersity of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 2 May 2019.

Mara-McKay, Nico. “The Future of (Chaos) Magick.” Talk presented at Flambeau Noir, Ottawa, ON, 30 April 2017.

Mara-McKay, Nico. “The History of Tarot Visuals.” Talk presented at First Thursdays: Be Magik, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON, 3 November 2016.


Mara-McKay, Nico with Salako Kalfou and April Snellings, moderated by Alison Lang. “Witch, Please: Myth versus Reality.” Panel presented at Dark Carnival, Hamilton, ON, 10 July 2016.

Mara-McKay, Nico with Lynx Sainte Marie, Clementine Morrigan, Jenna Danchuk, and Amrit Brar, hosted by Jonathan Valelly. “Magick and the Occult in the Independent Arts.” Panel presented at Canzine, Toronto, ON, 17 October 2015.

Writing and Editing

2016-PresentCopy Editor, Broken Pencil Magazine

Copy editing and proofreading for a print magazine devoted to the independent arts.
2000-2019Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Spiral Nature Magazine

Founder and publisher of a popular online magazine focusing on witchy topics in history and popular culture.

Oversaw a diverse team of editors, staff writers, and freelance contributors.
2016-2019Computerized Notetaker for Disability Services, George Brown College

In-class note taking for Deaf students, where the students have access to the notes in real time, and are provided edited versions afterwards.
2012-2015Website Administrator, Canadian Women in the Literary Arts
2013Writer’s Grant, Toronto Arts Council


Canadian Society of Medievalists, Member (2019-Present)

Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies, Member (2019-Present)

Medieval Academy of America, Member (2019-Present)

Renaissance Society of America, Member (2019-Present)

Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, Member (2018-Present)

Academic Community Involvement

2018-2019 Secretary (elected executive), Historical Studies Society, University of Toronto Mississauga
2017-2018Marketing Director (elected executive), Historical Studies Society, University of Toronto Mississauga
2017-2019Volunteer Note Taker, AccessAbility Services, University of Toronto Mississauga
2016-2017Volunteer Coordinator (elected executive), OUT @ University of Toronto Mississauga


English, fluent (reading, writing, oral)

French, intermediate (reading, oral)

Latin, beginner (reading, writing, oral)

German, beginner (reading)