Margery Kempe: Earthly Wife and Pilgrim Bride of Christ

Presented by James Helfers

Professor of English, Grand Canyon University

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Changing Hands Bookstore

Co-sponsored by Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation and Project Humanities at Arizona State University

About the Program

Margery Kempe is a unique figure in both the history of female Christian spirituality and in the history of literature. Though illiterate, she is somehow the author of what some critics call “the first autobiography in English.” Her experiences as a mystic and pilgrim, as well as her assertive personality, have generated controversy since her own time. Using her own words, we will explore the life and travels of this fearless medieval woman.

About James Helfers

Coming to Arizona after receiving his Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1990, Dr. Helfers worked at Arizona State University and Phoenix College (Maricopa County Community College System) before being hired at Grand Canyon University in 1992. Since then, he has taught English, Philosophy, and Christian Studies courses at the university, serving as Humanities Department Chair, and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Presently, he is teaching primarily English courses, and is working on a biography of Richard Hakluyt, an Early Modern collector and editor of travel narratives.