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Jennifer Mary Kolpacoff Deane
University of Minnesota, Morris (Morris, MN 56267-2132)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2011 – 9/30/2011

Sisters Among: Lay Religious Women's Communities in Medieval Germany

My project investigates the intriguing but surprisingly unmapped terrain of "beguine" or lay religious women's communities in German-speaking lands between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Through an examination of extensive primary sources including house rules, clerical records, and civic documents as well as the mass of highly-localized and consequently little-known secondary studies in German, the study provides a long overdue interdisciplinary reconsideration of these complexly gendered communities. Although such households were prevalent in northern Europe by the fourteenth century, the significance of lay religious women (not only within local medieval landscapes but to medieval history more broadly) is still profoundly underestimated. During the summer of 2011, in response to invitations from German scholars, I propose conducting archival research in Trier, Germany, and drafting a case study of Rhineland communities central to the book.