Assistant Professor (former)
Medieval History, women's history
(monasticism & spirituality, esp. German convents; late Middle Ages)
Dr. Mecham received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Kansas in 2004 under the direction of Lisa M. Bitel and Luis Corteguera. Her research interests included women’s history and gender history, especially female spirituality and monasticism, as well as the interaction between material culture and devotional practices, space and performance in late medieval Germany.
She was known for both the excellence of her scholarship and of her teaching. Selected for the 2008/09 Arts and Sciences Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award, she was also the recipient of an A.W. Mellon Posdoctorate Fellowship in Medieval studies spent at the Medieval Institute of Notre dame in 2006/07, and received the Neil Ker Memorial Fund Grant in 2007.
Her monograph Performance Piety and female Monastic Devotion in Late Medieval Germany has been contracted by Brepols for publication soon.
She also served as an assistant editor for the websit MonasticMatrix, a scholarly resource for the study of women’s religious communities from 400-600. Her articles include “Breaking Old Habits: Recent Research on Women, Spirituality, and the Arts” History Compass and “A Northern Jerusalem: the transformation of space at the convent of Wienhausen,” in Defining the Holy: Sacred Space in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, 2006). Her article, “Reading Between the Lines: compilation, variation, and the recovery of an authentic female voice in the Dornenkron prayer books from Wienhausen,” Journal of Medieval History 29 (2003): 109-128, was selected by the editors of History Compass as a notable recent article. She also has several recent articles on the subject of female monasticism and spirituality in the later Middle Ages.
We lost Dr. Mecham to breast cancer on March 1, 2009. She is sorely missed by her colleagues.
Frequently Taught Courses
* Medieval History Survey
* Women in Medieval and Renaissance Society
* Female Spirituality in the Middle Ages
* Witches and Witchcraft in European History