Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Website URL
orality, performance, francophone peripheries, history of the body, caregiving, gender, medieval Christianity
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Personal Info

About Me

I write about religion, gender, medicine, and the body in public and academic venues such as The New York TimesReligion Dispatches Magazine​Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and elsewhere.

My most recent book, Acts of Care: Recovering Women in Late Medieval Health (Cornell UP, 2021) explores the caregiving practices and healthcare knowledge of nuns and beguines who lived in Northern Europe in the late Middle Ages. I am also the author of Holy Matter: Changing Perceptions of the Material World in Late Medieval Christianity (Cornell UP, 2014), co-editor (with Sharon Strocchia) of the award-winning collection Gender, Health, and Healing, 1250-1550 and (with Kristen Burnett and Lynn M. Thomas) of the Special Issue “Health, Healing and Caring” (Gender & History 33.3, 2021). I am co editor-in-chief (with Shazia Jagot and Julie Orlemanski) of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies.

I am presently conducting research for Chansons creoles: Archiving the Medieval in Nineteenth-Century Francophone Peripheries. This book offers a new genealogy of medieval studies by exposing nineteenth-century French efforts to furnish a text of oral tradition, and the consequent production of knowledge about “the medieval” that resulted from collecting and translating performance traditions– poésies populaires, healing rituals, convent drama, dit, and other forms of orality– in francophone peripheries in Brittany, the Caribbean, south Louisiana, and Nova Scotia. 

Born and raised on the Vermilion Bayou, I am now Associate Professor of History and Affiliated Faculty in Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, where I teach courses on the history of medicine and the body, history of Christianity, feminist theory, medieval drama and medievalism, historical research methods, and historiography.

Recent Publications


2021: Acts of Care: Recovering Women in Late Medieval Health (Cornell University Press).

2014: Holy Matter: Changing Perceptions of the Material World in Late Medieval Christianity (Cornell University Press).

Edited Volume:

Gender, Health, and Healing, 1250-1550, co-edited volume with Sharon Strocchia [Under Contract with Amsterdam University Press, currently at press; forthcoming 2020]

Peer-reviewed Articles: 

2019: ““Dialogue and Destabilization: An Index for Comparative Global Exemplarity,” Religions 10 (10) special issue on Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method.

2018: “The Sacrificial Herb: Gathering Prayers in Late Medieval Pharmacy,” Postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Studies 9.4, 432-443.

2017: “Saints’ Lives as Efficacious Texts: Cistercians Monks, Religious Women, and Curative Reading,” Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 92.4 (October): 1101-1143.

2015: “Cult and Codex: Hagiographic Writing and Carthusian Reading in Royal Library of Belgium MS 8060-64.” Viator: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies46.3 (Autumn, 2015): 255-276.

2014: “Affective Medicine: Later Medieval Healing Communities and the Feminization of Health Care Practices in the Thirteenth-Century Low Countries,” Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures40.2 (July, 2014): 113-143. Selected as “Article of the Month “ by Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

2013: “Wessel Gansfort, John Mombaer and Medieval Technologies of the Self: Affective Meditation in a Fifteenth-Century Emotional Community,” Fifteenth-Century Studies 38 (July, 2013): 153-174.

2012: “Manual Thinking: John Mombaer’s Meditations, the Neuroscience of the Imagination, and the Future of the Humanities,” Postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Studies3.2 (Fall 2012): 341-354.

2009: “Rethinking the Twelfth-Century Discovery of Nature,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies39.2 (2009): 225-255.

2009: “Nature and Spirituality in the Twelfth Century: Problems and Approaches,” Religion Compass4 (June 2009): 595-607.

2008: “Spiritual Arborescence: The Meaning of Trees in the Late Medieval Religious Imagination,” Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality(April, 2008): 64-82.

Peer-reviewed Book Chapters:

Expected, 2020: “Caring by the Hours: The Psalter as a Source of Gendered Healthcare” in Gender, Health, and Healing, 1250-1550, eds. Sara Ritchey and Sharon Strocchia (Amsterdam University Press).

Expected, 2019: “Sanitas and Sanctity: Hagiographic Approaches to Healthcare in Medieval Latin Christianity,”Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500, edited by Samantha Herrick (Leiden: Brill).

2019: “Obstetric Media: Text, Image, and the Performance of Labor in Cistercian Communities” in Pregnancy and Childbirth from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance, ed. Costanza Dopfel (Turnhout: Brepols).

2018: “The Wound’s Presence and Bodily Absence: The Experience of God in a Fourteenth-Century manuscript,” in Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in  Medieval Artifacts, eds. Fiona Griffiths and Kathryn Starkey. Berlin: De Gruyter,
pp. 163-180.

2014: “Illness and Imagination: the Healing Miracles of Clare of Montefalco,” in The World of St. Francis: Essays in Honor of William R. Cook.  Edited by Bradley Franco and Beth Mulvaney. Leiden: Brill, pp. 80-99.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
France, Belgium
Expertise by Geography
France, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Medicine, Religion, Women