Michelle M. Sauer is Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of North Dakota, USA, where she teaches a wide range of medieval language and literature as well as linguistics. She specializes in Middle English language and literature, especially women’s early Christian devotional literature and monastic texts, and publishes regularly on anchoritism, mysticism, asceticism, hagiography, queer/gender theory, spatial theory, monasticism, and the history of Christianity, and so is well-versed in many of the areas the Encyclopedia will cover. Her publications include the books Gender in Medieval Culture (Bloomsbury, 2015), The Materiality of Anchoritic Devotion (ARC Humanities, 2021, with Jenny C. Bledsoe), Celebrating St Albert & His Rule: Rules, Devotion, Orthodoxy, & Dissent (Edizioni Carmelitane, 2018, with Kevin Alban), The Lesbian Premodern (Palgrave, 2011, with Diane Watt and Noreen Giffney), How to Write about Chaucer (Chelsea House, 2009), and The Companion to Pre-1600 British Poetry (Facts on File, 2008), as well as numerous articles. Current projects include a monograph on solitary/auto sexuality, The Companion to Sexuality in the Medieval West (ARC Humanities), and an extended piece on scribal traditions and the manuscripts of St. Birgitta, as well as several collections based on anchoritic conferences in collaboration with other scholars, including Liz Herbert McAvoy.
Diane Watt is Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Surrey, UK. She is the author of Secretaries of God: Women Prophets in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (D.S. Brewer, 1997), Amoral Gower: Languages, Sex and Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), Medieval Women’s Writing: Works By and For Women (Polity, 2007), and the editor of The Paston Women: Selected Letters (Boydell and Brewer, 2004). She has published widely in the areas of both early and late medieval English Literature, women’s writing, gender, and sexuality. She has edited and co-edited several volumes, including The Lesbian Premodern (Palgrave, 2011), with Noreen Giffney and Michelle M. Sauer, and The History of British Women’s Writing, 700-1500 (Palgrave, 2012), with Liz Herbert McAvoy. She is currently working on a book entitled God’s Own Gentlewoman: The Life of Margaret Paston which will be published with Icon Books, and co-editing with Corinne Saunders a volume entitled Women and Medieval Literary Culture from the Early Middle Ages to the Fifteenth Century, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
Liz Herbert McAvoy is Professor Emerita of Medieval Literature at Swansea University, UK and Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol. She is author of Authority and the Female Body in the Writing of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe (D. S. Brewer, 2003), Medieval Anchoritisms: Gender, Space and the Anchoritic Life (D. S. Brewer, 2011), and has edited The Book of Margery Kempe: An abridged translation (D.S. Brewer, 2004) and A Revelation of Purgatory (D. S. Brewer, 2017). As well as a number of journal Special Issues, she has edited and co-edited a wide range of volumes, including (with Mari Hughes-Edwards), Anchorites, Wombs and Tombs: Intersections of Gender and Enclosure in the Middle Ages (University of Wales Press, 2005), Rhetoric of the Anchorhold: Space, Place and Body in the Discourses of Enclosure (University of Wales Press, 2008); A Companion to Julian of Norwich (D. S. Brewer, 2008); Anchoritic Traditions of Medieval Europe (The Boydell Press, 2010), and The History of British Women’s Writing, 700-1500 (Palgrave, 2012). She has a long history of successful collaboration with the two other Editors-in-Chief of this present project and was a network partner in the Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and run by Diane Watt. She has also recently published her third monograph (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), entitled: The Enclosed Garden and the Medieval Religious Imaginary (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2021).