Genelle Gertz to Deliver Lecture in Honor of Endowed Professorship Gertz’s talk “Thinking with the Mystics” will be held on Oct. 18.
Genelle Gertz, professor of English and the associate dean of the college for strategic initiatives, will present a public lecture to mark her appointment to the Thomas H. Broadus, Jr. Professorship at Washington and Lee University.
Titled “Thinking with the Mystics,” Gertz’s lecture explores the lives of early modern British women who influenced political and religious movements through their mystical poetry and visions. The free talk will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6:15 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.
“People commonly think that there were no women writers in the medieval and Renaissance periods, but there were in fact several,” said Gertz. “Their work largely engaged with religious cultures of the day, which were seismic in their effect on everyday experience. This lecture describes some of the women visionaries (Elizabeth Barton, Elizabeth Melville and Anna Trapnel) who influenced important movements, and who did so through composition of poetry, some of which was performed in trance. They are not well-known figures, but they should be.”
Gertz has been a member of the W&L faculty since 2003. She has held a number of positions throughout her tenure, including director of the Writing Program, director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program and chair of the English Department. Currently, she serves as the associate dean of the college for strategic initiatives at W&L.
Gertz frequently gives lectures about her research on late medieval/early modern women and religion, women mystics, social network analysis of women’s communities and heresy trial narratives. She authored the book “Heresy Trials and English Women Writers, 1400-1670,” and she has published numerous articles and reviews related to her studies.
Gertz received a Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and philosophy from Wheaton College, Master of Arts degrees in English from both the University of Pittsburgh and Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton.
The Thomas H. Broadus Jr. Professorship was created in 1999 in Broadus’ honor and memory by his wife, Elizabeth. Broadus was a member of the Class of 1959 and a member of W&L’s Board of Trustees from 1990 to 1998.
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