TitleWriting by, to, and about Women
Date/TimeThursday 7 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairElsa McDonald, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1638-a How to Write a Nun: Baudri of Bourgueil's Poems Addressed to Monastic Women
(Language: English)
Kathrin J. Wankmiller, Institut für Klassische Philologie und Neulateinische Studien, Latinistik und Gräzistik, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Comparative; Language and Literature - Latin; Medievalism and Antiquarianism; Women's Studies
Paper 1638-b Imagining Pilgrimage in The Book of Margery Kempe
(Language: English)
Kyla Drzazgowski, Department of English Language & Literatures, University of British Columbia
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Middle English; Lay Piety; Literacy and Orality; Religious Life
Paper 1638-c Narratives of Women Mystics and the Conversion of Medieval Sápmi
(Language: English)
Biörn Tjällén, Institutionen för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap, Mittuniversitetet, Sundsvall
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Lay Piety
AbstractPaper -a:
Late 11th-century scribe Baudri of Bourgueil is mostly known for his historiographic work. Besides, he is also one of the most productive poets of the 12th-Century Renaissance, although the 256 surviving metrical texts have long been neglected. Central to his poetic oeuvre are pieces addressed to noblewomen of his time, most of them nuns. In these letters, he is playing with genre conventions by remodelling ancient classics like Ovid and Virgil, but also by making references to contemporary texts of the Loire region. The aim of my paper is to outline the literary technique (stylistics, intertextualities, and linguistic aspects) Baudri is using in his texts to create innovative and entertaining poetry.

Paper -b:
This paper will introduce a new reading of Margery Kempe's Book by exploring the text's engagement with imagined pilgrimage, a type of meditative journeying that operated in the border between the inward experience of mysticism and the outward experience of pilgrimage. Curiously, despite having undertaken pilgrimages to Rome, Santiago de Compostela, and the Holy Land, Margery is often regarded in scholarship as more of a mystic than a pilgrim; as this paper will demonstrate, expanding our definitions of pilgrimage will allow for a fuller understanding of Margery's Book and imagined pilgrimage, an established practice that deeply influenced lay spirituality in late medieval England.

Paper -c:
In 1388, a woman of Sámi origin named Margareta sought the support of Swedish prelates for mission and church reform in the North. Supporters (and detractors) wrote on her behalf, leaving us with a composite narrative that can be compared with writings by or about other medieval women mystics. The messages of women like Birgitta of Vadstena were heard all over Europe, and yet the transmission of voice and acts from prophetess to public was rarely straightforward - claims for their legitimacy were shaped by the need to counteract critique of women who upset the ecclesiastical order of authority. Was the writing about Margareta shaped by similar concerns? What can these narratives tell us about the role of new spiritual idioms in the conversion of Europe's northern periphery?