(Dallas, TX) Rebecca Lynn Winer, associate professor at Villanova University, is the recipient of the 2023 Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship.
Established to honor well-known medievalist Bonnie Wheeler, The Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship Fund of The Dallas Foundation supports the research of women medievalists with tenure below the rank of full professor. In addition to a generous stipend, each recipient is paired with a distinguished mentor in the field who engages with the recipient and her project to its successful completion. The fellowship aims to help women who have been at the associate level for too long to get “unstuck” and move to full professor. In addition, the Fellowship cultivates women as academic leaders.
Rebecca Lynn Winer will receive the $25,000 fellowship and the support of a mentor in her field as she completes her research in breastfeeding, mothering, sexuality, and reproductive work among free and enslaved women in Medieval Catalonia and beyond. The fellowship will allow Professor Winer to work on her book project, Sweet Milk? Wet Nurses, Mothers, and the Medieval Jews and Christians of Catalonia and Beyond, which deals with breastfeeding as a central concern in the lives of most medieval women. The economy of women’s bodies and their work as caregivers entails biopolitics of medieval religious difference and slavery, Christian-Jewish relations, and global connections from Europe to Latin America.
Chair of the Selection Committee, Professor Anne Yardley, Drew Theological School (retired), noted that the committee expressed “great enthusiasm for Professor Winer’s ground-breaking book project which ranges across geographical boundaries in methodological approach, across linguistic worlds in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic, and across wide-ranging archival sources. We are eager to see this cross-cultural, interdisciplinary book come to fruition.”
Professor Winer received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Her first book, Women, Wealth, and Community in Perpignan c.1250-1300: Christians, Jews, and Enslaved Muslims in a Medieval Mediterranean Town (Ashgate Publishing Company, 2006) was shortlisted for the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship Book Prize, and another work which she co-edited with Federica Francesconi, Jewish Women’s History from Antiquity to the Present (Wayne State University Press, 2021) was “the finalist” for the Barbara Dobkin Award, the National Jewish Book Award in the category of Women’s Studies.