Tempting Visions: Women’s Visionary Writing and Its Regulation in Late Medieval England


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project highlights the emergence and influence of a regulatory discourse termed “remedies against temptations,” offering a new account of the relationship between women’s visionary writing and clerical methods for the regulation of female spirituality in late medieval England. The remedies against temptations found articulation in a series of regulatory guides, but also served as an authenticating strategy that female visionaries used in their own works. Within the terms of this discourse, the coherence of feminine identity is put under pressure: female visionaries drew on the remedies to frame themselves as exemplars, while at the same time positioning their texts as sources of devotional and affective scripts which only achieve their exemplarity in their performance by male and female readers.