I write about religion, gender, medicine, and the body in public and academic venues such as The New York Times, Religion Dispatches Magazine, Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and elsewhere. My academic research interrogates medieval intellectual categories in order to reveal how individuals sorted, valued, and regulated their world. At the same time, I am interested in how such medieval constructions as "nature," "body," and "medicine" continue to resonate in contemporary statements of value and social regulation.
My most recent book, Acts of Care: Recovering Women in Late Medieval Health (Cornell University Press) explores the healthcare practices of nuns and beguines who lived in Northern Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. I am now conducting research for a book entitled, Coeval Entanglements: Disruptive Chronologies of Late Medieval Performance, which examines nineteenth-century philological efforts to furnish a text of orality and the production of knowledge about "the medieval" that resulted from collecting and translating French performance traditions, including healing rituals, convent drama, dit, and other forms of writing orality in France, the Caribbean, and south Louisiana. I am also co editor-in-chief (with Shazia Jagot and Julie Orlemanski) of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies.
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, gender relations in medieval Europe, medieval drama and medievalism, research methods, and historiography.