Margery Kempe & Other Creatures

The fourth episode of the neurodissent podcast is now available! In it, we talk about the Christian mystic Margery Kempe. Kempe lived in England from about 1373 AD to 1438 AD. She did something few medieval women did: she wrote a book about herself, with the help of a scribe. In her book, Kempe describes her encounters with demons and the spirits of holy people like Jesus Christ and St. Jerome. We explore how Kempe and other people around her took seriously the existence of demons and spirits, and how these beliefs may have been both a source of care and community as well as a source of violence.

Content warning: In this episode, we mention sexual violence, self-harm, and suicidality.

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I use open access sources in my scholarship, so that listeners and readers can engage with the texts I use. The sources referred to in this episode are listed below.

References for Season 1, Episode 4: “Margery Kempe & Other Creatures

  1. Donohoe, Róisín. 2019. ‘Unbynde her anoone’: the Lives of  St. Margaret of Antioch and the lying-in space in late medieval England. Gender in medieval places, spaces and thresholds. University of London Press. 
  2. Fasham, Cecily. 2019. Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich. Something Rhymed
  3. Foucault, Michel. 1965. Madness & Civilization: A History Of Insanity In The Age Of Reason. Random House. 
  4. Janega, Eleanor. 2021. On Margery Kempe and the Bad Art Friend. Going Medieval. 
  5. Mclemore, Emily. 2021 Sex, Teaching Violence, and The Book of Margery Kempe. Medieval Studies Research Blog.
  6. Staley, Lynn (Editor). c. 1440 / 1996. The Book of Margery Kempe. Medieval Institute Publications.
  7. Trull, Denise. 2021. Marvelous, Medieval Margery. Dappled Things. 

Other credits

Music: “Grit” by Shaolin Dub, licensed use