Greetings, dear reader.
My name is Dr. Laura Kalas Williams, Postdoc, medievalist, feminist, mother, teacher, juggler, domestic diplomat, indefatigable thinker, and old-leather-bound-book obsessive.
Oh, and unashamed proponent of the Hygge lifestyle (if there are candles, furry throws, log fires, books and glasses of Chianti, I’m in). Sorry if that makes me sound boring.
This site is for medieval musings, thoughts about medieval gender, physiological modification, and the interplay of science and gender. Here, I shall ponder questions about the human body, identity, and women’s religious experience in the Middle Ages. I hope that you will join me in such musings.
My PhD thesis interpreted The Book of Margery Kempe from a medieval medical perspective, using the broad framework of the human life cycle to explore Margery Kempe’s conceptualisations of pain. I am planning a postdoctoral project which will develop these explorations, opening my research out to several other European female visionaries and questioning the ways in which bodily and mystical experience collide via complex identity-modifications. Scientific understandings of the female body in the Middle Ages and the corporeal metamorphoses of religious women underpins my work. The transhistoricity of the medieval and the modern continues to surprise me, and I am interested in researching further the highly sophisticated medieval ideas about health, spirituality and gender that seem to play out quite markedly in the technological age.
I was the winner of the 2015 Gender and Medieval Studies graduate student essay prize, and my article is published in Medieval Feminist Forum here.
Please sign up to my site and join me in my thinking about all things medieval, medical, and metamorphic!