Research Stream


Jessica McCandless

Jessica McCandless is a Postgraduate student at The University of Adelaide, completing her research on ‘Seventeenth-Century English Nuns in Exile: Mysticism and Emotion’ under the supervision of Claire Walker and Katie Barclay.

She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at The University of Adelaide in 2015. Her honours thesis focused on the thirteenth-century mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg and her early influence on affective piety. She argued that Mechthild had begun to establish an emotional community surrounding the distinctive imagery of the Passion and Christ’s suffering which later influenced fourteenth-century affective piety.

Her PhD research extends this analysis to the early modern period and seeks to understand the emotional context of seventeenth-century mysticism in comparison to medieval. Her work will consider religious, literary and spatial influence on early modern nuns’ spiritual writing and experiences.



Seventeenth-Century English Nuns in Exile: Mysticism and Emotion


Conference Presentation: ‘I Was a Martyr in Fiery Love: Mechthild of Magdeburg’s Visions and Fourteenth-Century Affective Piety’, 1st International Conference on Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions, The University of Wollongong, Sydney, 5‒7 December 2016.

Conference Presentation: 'Anne of the Ascension and the Emotional Cost of Upholding her Saint’s Constitution’, ANZAMEMS 2017 Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 7‒10 February 2017.