Godelinde Perk

Fulford Junior Research Fellow; Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow

I am a Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville and a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages.

I am currently undertaking a two-year, EC-funded project titled “Women Making Memories: Liturgy and the Remembering Female Body in Medieval Holy Women’s Texts”. The project centres on vernacular (auto)biographies and visionary texts by devout women from medieval, north-western Europe, and contextualizes these works with the liturgy and memoria (the art of memory).

I hail from from the Netherlands. My academic background is in English literature and Psychology, but after completing my PhD at Umeå University (northern Sweden) in 2017, I branched out into exploring the parallels between continental and English vernacular theology while teaching full-time at Mittuniversitetet (Sundsvall, also in Sweden) between 2017 and 2019.

In general, my work considers the intersection of holy women’s texts, medieval literary theory (my dissertation traced the evolution of Julian of Norwich’ literary thought), material culture, and folklore.

My other research interests include cognitive literary approaches, excursions to modern artists such as fin-de-siecle designer Karin Larsson, and research-by-performance explorations: at the Leeds International Medieval Congress of 2018, at the IMC, two friends of mine and I staged a play based on Middle Dutch sister-books, female-authored collections of women’s biographies.


Julian, God and the Art of Storytelling: A Narrative Analysis of the Works of Julian of Norwich (1342- 1416). Umeå Studies in Language and Literature 32, Umeå University, 2016. (Dissertation.) Also available from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126401

“Was Julian’s Nightmare a Māre? Julian of Norwich and the Vernacular Community of Storytellers.” Medieval Anchorites in their Communities. Ed. Liz Herbert McAvoy and Cate Gunn. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2017.

“A Knot So Subtle and So Mighty’: On Knitting, Academic Thinking and Julian of Norwich.” Cognitive Sciences and Medieval Studies. Ed. Juliana Dresvina and Victoria Blud. University of Wales Press. Accepted for publication.

“From Riches to Rags: Conversion Narratives and Mnemonic Strategies in The Book of Margery Kempe and the Sisterbook of Diepenveen.” Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality. Under review.

“‘Birgitta Never Saw Me This way’: The Book of Margery Kempe as Competitive Fan Fiction”, Gender and Status Competition in Premodern Societies. Ed. Jonas Liliequist Turnhout: Brepols. Under review.

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