top of page

Rebellious Women: Hildegard, Joan of Arc, Dorothy Day and Sigrid Undset

with Laura Michele Diener

History is full of women misbehaving. In time periods when speaking out could get you burned at the stake, some women had the audacity to speak their minds anyway. Laura Michele Diener, a Women Studies and Medieval scholar, was initially surprised to find the boldest women were in the convents. Today we’ll talk about the intersection of mysticism with female empowerment, medieval history, and modern day literature. We’ll also talk about two more recent women whose writings and activism got them into plenty of trouble: Sigrid Undset, the author of the classic trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, and Dorothy Day, the social activist and founder of the Catholic Worker movement.

We’ll explore the restlessness that all these women shared - for it was this, their unnamable longing, that led to their divine search for connection with all creatures.

Laura Michele Diener is a professor of medieval and ancient history at Marshall University, where she directed the Women’s Studies program from 2014-2021. She loves telling stories throughout time, including Norse mythology, medieval spirituality, and the history of fashion.

Currently she is writing a biography of the Nobel-prize-winning writer, Sigrid Undset. She also is an upcoming guest speaker in our Women Mystics School.

To learn more about the Women Mystics School, visit

bottom of page