Sally Poor

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities

19992000 Forum on Human Nature

Sally Poor

Duke University

Deploying Mysticism: Mechthild von Magdeburg and the Problem of Female Authorship

Dr. Poor’s work on Mechthild of Magdeburg, a 13th Century German woman mystic, has made major contributions to mystics scholarship, the history of women and of female authorship, and to the newly emergent field of the history of the book. During her year at Penn, she will ask two questions critical for feminist theory and gender studies: (1) How do concepts of authority change over time, and (2) What intellectual work do such concepts of authority perform? Her course, “Between Gender and Writing: The Case of Mechthild von Magdeburg,” will introduce graduate students to the writings of this extraordinary medieval female mystic as a unique way to learn about both medieval culture and its continued relevance today.