Abstract: In Medieval Accounts of the Resurrected Dead, I argue that resurrection accounts offer insight into some of the key concerns of late-medieval spirituality, particularly the structure and logic of the afterlife, the nature of the body and the soul, and the relationship between the living and the dead. I track medieval resurrection accounts through four case studies, each of which examines a different genre of medieval popular literature: legend, hagiography, history, and exemplum. Texts in these genres offer differing perspectives on resurrection, perspectives rooted in authors’ respective audiences and goals. Despite the differences between these genres, each one regards resurrection accounts as true events that actually occurred. Similarly, I treat resurrection accounts as narrative constructions of genuine phenomena, written texts that simultaneously represent both spiritual truth and a social reality for medieval peoples.
The graduate area certificate in medieval studies was completed through the Medieval Studies Institute at Indiana University. My coursework through the institute centered on medieval languages and religious folk practices.
My MA thesis examines the ways that sacred narratives are used in Chaucer's "The Prioress's Tale" and its analogues to express fundamental concerns of people and their faith. I begin with a treatment of the blood libel legend, looking particularly at the cases of William of Norwich and Hugh of Lincoln and comparing them to Chaucer's literary reinterpretation of the genre. I show how the blood libel legend is not only a product of medieval notions about Jews and Judaism, but also provided fertile ground on which medieval peoples explored the concepts of holiness and sanctity. From there, I consider aspects of worldview that are implicated in the legend, using the concepts of ostension and imitation to make some suggestions about the legend's origin, transmission, and function. The boy saints of the blood libel legend acquire their sacred power through their unwilling imitation of Christ's crucifixion. "The Prioress's Tale" and its analogues continues these imitative practices but refocuses the imitation on Christ's resurrection rather than his Passion. I argue that this refocusing is accomplished by combining features of the blood libel legend with features from the Marian miracle tale genre. Finally, I conclude with an extended consideration of the Marian miracle tale. Mary developed into a powerful figure in vernacular religious practice and became associated with fertility and resurrection.Top of page
My undergraduate degree focused on medieval literature and culture, particularly of the British Isles. My work in the English department focused on medieval literature, folklore, and the interplay between oral and literary narrative traditions. My work with Irish literature, both medieval and post-medieval, also explored this dynamic. In the music department, I took courses in music theory, but also in ethnomusicology, in the ways that music if performed within a system of human performers. In all my undergraduate work, I focused on the intersection of elite and vernacular cultures.Top of page
I am a graduate student in folklore and medieval studies at Indiana University. I work generally with medieval religious folk culture. My current research is on medieval saints' legends and vernacular models of sanctity.