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Nuns' Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Kansas City Dialogue


Virginia Blanton

Veronica O’Mara

Patricia Stoop


The present volume is the second in a series of three integrated publications, the first produced in 2013 as Nuns' Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Hull Dialogue. Like that volume, this collection of essays, focused on various aspects of nuns' literacies from the late seventh to the mid-sixteenth century, brings together the work of specialists to create a dialogue about the Latin and vernacular texts that were read, written, and exchanged by medieval nuns. It investigates literacy from palaeographical and textual perspectives, evidence of book ownership and exchange, and other more external evidence, both literary and historical. To highlight the benefits of cross-cultural comparison, contributions include case studies focused on northern and southern Europe, as well as the extreme north and west of the region. A number of essays illustrate nuns' active engagement with formal education, and with varied textual forms, such as the legal and epistolary, while others convey the different opportunities for studying examples of nuns' artistic literacy. The various discussions included here build collectively on the first volume to demonstrate the comparative experiences of medieval female religious who were reading, writing, teaching, composing, and illustrating at different times and in diverse geographical areas throughout medieval Europe.


Blanton, V., O’Mara, V., & Stoop, P. (Eds.). (2015). Nuns' Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Kansas City Dialogue. Turnhout: Brepols.

Book Type Edited Book
Publication Date Jul 15, 2015
Deposit Date May 20, 2019
Publisher Brepols
Pages 1-413
Series Title Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts
Series Number 27
ISBN 978-2-503-54922-4
Keywords Europe; Female religious; Literacy, Manuscripts; Medieval; Nuns
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This volume contains an extensive introduction (pp. xxvii–xlv) plus a chapter by O’Mara (pp. 123–147)