The landscape of the European Middle Ages presents an explicitly gendered and social homogeneity, but this is not to say that there were not figures who defied communal expectations. While drawing on scholarly research surrounding gender and sexuality in the Middle Ages, I argue that we can and should examine these deviating figures through both a historical and contemporary understanding of the term “queer,” with consideration to the multitude of identities the term encompasses. This paper pays particular at- tention to the narrative of 15th-century Christian mystic Margery Kempe. The Book of Margery Kempe traces her journey as a mystic and prophet and the discord between her and several people and institutions. By applying a broad understanding of queerness to Kempe’s character, we see how Kempe’s identity as “this creature” becomes both the cause of her social exile and a tool to legitimize herself.
"Preaching Mysticism from the Margins: A Queer Analysis of Margery Kempe,"
Proceedings of GREAT Day: Vol. 2019
, Article 2.
Available at: https://knightscholar.geneseo.edu/proceedings-of-great-day/vol2019/iss1/2