Nanouschka Wamelink is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Culture and History (Faculty of Humanities). Her research project “Fasting in the public eye: medieval ideas about saintly self-starvation and spectatorship” is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (PhDs in the Humanities, round 2015). Nanouschka’s research is supervised by prof. dr. Gerard Wiegers and dr. Jacqueline Borsje.
In the later Middle Ages, dozens of female saints were believed to have fasted very strictly and their radical food abstinence was often considered an important aspect of their holiness.
This project takes as a starting point that holiness is a status which has to be assigned to someone by others which requires for a public to recognize and interpreted certain behavior as ‘saintly conduct’. Yet, fasting is basically a ‘not doing’ (a person is not eating) and in the Middle Ages fasting was an obligation for all people. Therefore, food abstinence seems a peculiar indicator of sainthood and one may wonder how aspirant saints attracted attention through fasting. In her research, Nanouschka combines her educational backgrounds in Religious Studies and Theater Studies to analyze medieval accounts of saintly fasting from a performance-theory perspective.
2014 Research Master Religious Studies, University of Amsterdam
- winner Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Amsterdam thesis award
- special honours for thesis by Vereniging voor Nederlandse Kerkgeschiedenis
2012 Bachelor Religious Studies, University of Amsterdam
- cum laude
2012 Bachelor Theaterwetenschap, University of Amsterdam
- cum laude
2017-2018 Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis (werkgroepen, bachelor Geschiedenis)
2015-2016 Vergelijkende Religiewetenschap (werkgroepen, bachelor Religiewetenschap)
2014-2015 Inleiding Vergelijkende Religiewetenschap (werkgroepen, bachelor Religiewetenschap)
2018 Saintly food rejection and the role of bystanders (paper is accepted) | Narrating Power and Authority in Late Antique and Medieval Hagiographies from East to West (international conference at Academia Belgica)| February 15-17 | Rome, Italy
2017 'Fasting in the public eye' | PhD Conference (Onderzoeksschool Medievistiek) | November 8 | Catharijneconvent Utrecht, The Netherlands
2017 'Saintly self-starvation and its authorizing witnesses' | Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (international conference) | June 1-4 | Hofstra University, New York, USA | http://berksconference.org/big-berks/.
2017 ‘Secrets in the Middle Ages’ | 17th Symposium of the Medievalists’ Society (international conference) | March 19-22 | University of Bonn, Germany | https://www.geheimnis.uni-bonn.de/de.
2016 'Performing self-starvation in the Middle Ages' | International Medieval Congress (international conference) | July 4-8 | University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
2016 'Fasting in the public eye: medieval ideas about saintly self-starvation and spectatorship' | Noster Spring Conference (national conference) | April 18-19 | Conference Hotel Kontakt der Kontinenten, Soesterberg, The Netherlands
2015 'Interpreting the unseen spectacle of the past' | CIVITAS Medieval Studies Day (research school conference) | October 30 | Ghent University, Belgium.
2015 'Rejecting and donating food in the public eye. (Dis)trust of food gifts in the Middle Ages' | Trusting the hand that feeds you. Understanding the historical evolution of trust in food (international conference) | September 7-9 | Free University Brussels, Belgium.
2015 '"As long as there is life in my body I shall not..." A binding vow of abstinence in the Life of Saint Catharine of Siena' | Charms, Charmers and Charming (international conference) | May 15-17 | University of Pécs, Hungary.
2014 'Embodied Memory. The entanglement of past and present in Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds' | Things to Remember: Materializing Memories in Art and Popular Culture (international conference) | June 5-6 | Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.