Veiled Manuscripts: European female mystics’ writing in medieval Castile's monastic libraries

Speaker: Pablo Acosta-García (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf) @PabloAcostaGarc

Following an essential trend in the last decades, in recent years wide attention have been devoted to communities of nuns, tertiaries and individual beatas in Medieval and Premodern Castile. Despite of important contributions on History and Literary History about specific European feminine influence on the religious life and literature of this context, little evidence has been discovered on the paths followed by those European writings, specifically in the form of books. The general objective of this chapter is to stablish a state-of-the-art on this topic, drafting a methodological approach to the different avenues that nowadays a researcher need to follow to find manuscripts contaningn texts by/about visionary women circulating in the Iberian Peninsula. In the first part, I will focus on specific historical aspects that have affected the conservation or the mere existence of these books in Castile. I will show the reasons for the difficulties not only to "reconstruct" monastic/conventual libraries, but also to find specific titles authored by women. In this context I will highlight the range possibilities (and limitations) of the searching tools, both old and new (online catalogues, data bases, searching tools…). In the second, I will examine some manuscripts by/on medieval religious women, discussing them in the wider theoretical framework drafted in the first part.

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