I first began writing about Patient Griselda from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Clerk’s Tale in the 1980s. A chapter of my dissertation addressed what I called her negative poetics. That dissertation I finished in 1991. Now it is 30 years later and that chapter has finally been published as an article in Medieval Feminist Forum–but in … More The Rewards of Patient Scholarship with Patient Griselda
Delighted to have written the featured article for this issue of Humanities about the pilgrimage connections between Geoffrey Chaucer and Jack Kerouac. This photo from our pilgrimage in 1994 from Winchester to Canterbury by my husband, Jim, shows that women pilgrims still walk to sacred shrines even in our modern world.
Feeling rather dreary while waiting in the post office line for two hours, I got an email out of the blue with this message: “I’m a history student in West Yorkshire in England and I just wanted to tell you I loved your book. I quoted you several times as a secondary source for my … More An Unexpected Lagniappe
This year more of my students worked on anchorites than ever before. Covid-19 has affected all of us, but students in my Medieval Women Writers class gravitated towards those women walled up for life in cells who dedicated themselves to God. Julian of Norwich in particular was an inspiration to my brilliant and creative students. … More Anchorites in the Age of Covid-19: Zooming with Julian of Norwich
Thanks to my student, Aphrodite, for calling my attention to this great video.
CNN has reported, “An eight-year-old girl has discovered a pre-Viking-era sword in a Swedish lake, prompting locals to name her the “Queen of Sweden.” What could be more exciting news?
Not everyone wants to stay in a nunnery. Recent archival work discovered the clever attempt by Joan of Leeds to escape her confinement. As Alison Flood tells us, “A team of medieval historians working in the archives at the University of York has found evidence that a nun in the 14th century faked her own … More Medieval Nun Fakes Her Own Death
My Amazing Students did it again–totally impressed me with projects and writings I never could imagined save for their brilliance! I was touched by my student Elizabeth’s point concerning her short story, “Revelation”: “The main driving force of this creative project was my desire to see women’s experiences used as an authoritative tool to heal … More My Amazing Students: Creativity that Heals, Provokes, and Amuses
No one wants to be silenced. Forced silence oppresses. Yet some literary characters chose to be silent. They do so as a form of self-empowerment. “Self-chosen silence can be more powerful than speech in many circumstances.” Last semester I taught my class called The Sounds of Silence: A Biodiversity of Mute and Quiet Women in … More Silent and Quiet Women: Silence as a Tool for Empowerment
It’s hard to believe that Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist artwork, “The Dinner Party,” was once panned by a New York Times art critic. Fortunately, those days are past (I hope). A recent retrospective article in the NYT examines the history of reactions to Chicago’s work, now housed at the Brooklyn Museum. Chicago has … More Let’s Dig In! Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party”