Laura Kalas Williams

Postdoctoral Researcher in Medieval Literature and Medicine, Associate Tutor, University of Exeter

My PhD was about the medieval mystic, Margery Kempe, where I employed a medical humanities approach to better understand Kempe's spiritual experiences.

My research, more broadly, investigates the deep intersections between the religious and medical ideologies of the Middle Ages. I am especially interested in medieval female visionaries and the way in which their physiology is 'written', 'read', and adapted.

I now combine some undergraduate teaching at the University of Exeter with part time English teaching at a secondary school. I am working on a postdoctoral project about the 'holy medicine' of medieval female mystics in Europe. This research will develop my doctoral work, exploring the ways in which medieval religious women were able to modify their very physiology in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment and transformation.



  • 2016–present
    Assistant lecturer and postdoctoral researcher, University of Exeter


  • 2016 
    University of Exeter, PhD English
  • 2000 
    University of Kent at Canterbury, MA Medieval and Tudor Studies


  • 2016
    Medieval Feminist Forum, Vol. 52, No. 1, 'Slayn for Goddys lofe': Margery Kempe's Melancholia and the Bleeding of Tears