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The Dead Priest in Ireland (October 2022)

About a story by James Joyce called The Sisters, from Dubliners. I argue that Father Flynn grows mad because he is a fraudulent priest; unable to die to his own desires, he is denied that share of divinity which would enable him to perform his duties.

Written for History 207B: The Irish and the World, taught by Robert Crews and JP Daughton.



Reception of Divine Light in Christ’s Transfiguration (June 2022)

About the mosaic of the Transfiguration at Daphni, an eleventh-century monastery near Athens. Moving from this specific example, I interpret why the three men arrayed below Christ's exalted form react so differently to God's light and voice, and what this says about the relationship between fear, faith and mediating love.

Written for Art History 208A: Abject Subjects and Divine Anamorphosis in Byzantine Art, taught by Bissera Pentcheva.

Visible and Invisible Wounds in Christian Mystical Experience (March 2022)

Treats the questions: "What is the significance of this explicit presentation of the wound, and of the wound itself as a concept in Christianity? How do visible and invisible wounds feature in Christian mystical experience, and how are they defined and distinguished? And how does the wound-cult relate to Christian concepts of humanity and divinity?"

Written for History 318: Saints and Spiritual Power in Medieval Europe, taught by Fiona Griffiths.


On the Showings of Julian of Norwich (February 2022)

I argue that Julian, in the short text of her sequence of sixteen visions, communicates the following:

"We are shown that there is sin that divides us from the good and the bliss of God. And yet man should sin, for it is his honor to be redeemed, and this comes by an awareness that brings him white, hot, redeeming pain, white and hot like the light on Julian’s cross. Of this she wishes more, that she might see Christ’s Passion more clearly, for she loves him as he loves her. And that love keeps the soul penitent, until its pain and longing grow so large that sin is made nothing. Any sin can be made nothing if even the greatest sin, the original sin, could be shone out of existence by the pain and thirst of Christ, whose thirst is his love for us. And we thirst in reciprocity, in compassion, that we may know him completely, and suffer out the sins of our lives, that we may be fit to be joined with him."

Written for History 318: Saints and Spiritual Power in Medieval Europe, taught by Fiona Griffiths.


Female Sexual Agency in the Poetry of Walther von der Vogelweide (April 2020)

This work won the 2020 German Club of Stanford Essay Award. In it, I conclude that "the only refuge of sexual love is minnesang itself: the singer, free from censure or constraint, can refer to a choice that belongs to no one by name. Thus he reveals what on its own would silently corrode."

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