Orange Alert

Renowned Religious Studies and Medieval History Scholar to Appear at Syracuse University

Harvard’s Amy Hollywood to Deliver “The Unspeakability of Trauma, the Unspeakability of Joy” September 18

Sept. 11, 2014, by Sarah Scalese

Author Amy Hollywood, a renowned scholar of religious studies and medieval history, will present a lecture titled, “The Unspeakability of Trauma, the Unspeakability of Joy” at Syracuse University on Thursday, September 18, at 7 p.m. in 214 Slocum Hall. The Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies at Harvard Divinity School, Hollywood will focus on medieval Christianity, as it is revealed through sensorial descriptions in texts of the time period. Her talk will also consider what methodology is appropriate for studying medieval mysticism, and will be of particular interest to students and scholars of gender and sexuality studies, feminism, medieval European history, and affect theory.

“Dr. Hollywood is one of today’s leading scholars of mysticism, as it is viewed through the lens of philosophy, theology, and literature,” says Adam DJ Brett, a graduate student in the religion department. “She will pose a number of thought-provoking questions that will encourage attendees to evaluate their own philosophical and religious beliefs.”

Hollywood is the author of The Soul as Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995), which received the Otto Grundler Prize for “Best Book in Medieval Studies” from the International Congress of Medieval Studies. She is also author of Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference, and the Demands of History (The University of Chicago Press, 2002); and Acute Melancholia and Other Essays (Columbia University Press, forthcoming).

Hollywood is co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism (2012). She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where she also has taught, in addition to Rhodes and Dartmouth colleges.

Her lecture was organized by graduate students Courtney O'Dell-Chaib and Dail Newman and is sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Religion Graduate Organization, and the Graduate Student Organization

Hollywood will also host a private graduate seminar on Friday, September 19, at 10 a.m. in 504 Hall of Languages. For more information or to RSVP, contact Courtney O'Dell Chaib at

Media Contact

Sarah Scalese