Saint Hysteria?: The Tumultuous Aura of Sanctity in 'Christina Mirabilis' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


This paper presents two different instances where an allegedly ‘mad woman’ is other than what she seems; is in fact an embodiment of or touches upon the sacred, and inquiring what that means. How can a woman who scares us, who appears unstable, be empowering and a source of inspiration? Christina and Buffy are chosen because both figures (re)present the centuries long debate between supernatural influence and mental illness, that nearly non-existent line between the two of sanctity vs sanity, as both women are provocations beyond the established ‘norm’, yet both are also in some way ‘exceptional’, outside of. Using a transhistorical approach, the life of 'Christina Mirabilis' is read alongside 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' to see what the two reveal when in conversation with one another. While reading Buffy in conjunction to Christina brings to the surface Buffy’s medieval inheritance, hopefully Buffy will be able to make Christina more accessible to the modern reader.
Period24 Mar 2023
Held atNorth West Medieval Studies Network, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionRegional


  • medieval studies
  • Buffy Studies
  • hagiography
  • Violence
  • gender