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Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

Hagiography

2017

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Visionary "Staycations": Meeting God At Home In Medieval Women’S Vision Literature, Jessica Barr Jun 2017

Visionary "Staycations": Meeting God At Home In Medieval Women’S Vision Literature, Jessica Barr

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

Medieval vision literature frequently features descriptions of supernatural travel: to Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory, or to locations that allow the visionary to receive knowledge to which she would not normally be privy. A less explored trope of this literature, however, is the travel-without-travel that occurs when the visionary’s physical location is overlaid with a transcendent mode of perception. This essay will analyze such moments of spatial transformation in late medieval visionary and hagiographic narratives. In the vitae of many medieval holy women, visions that transform the domestic sphere figure as evidence of their sanctity; in first-person visionary accounts, on ...