Meg Leja specializes in the political and cultural history of late antique and medieval Europe. Her research interests range widely across gender history, religious studies, reception and manuscript studies, and the history of science. Her first book, Embodying the Soul: Medicine and Religion in Carolingian Europe, published with the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2022, explores changing perceptions of the body and the value of medical knowledge in the early medieval period. Drawing out points of symmetry between the extant ninth-century medical corpus and other forms of Carolingian literature, it examines how intellectuals and anonymous scribes wrestled with the theological ambiguities of intervening on the body and tied practices of self-care to evolving ideas of individual responsibility. Her current research projects deal with visionary literature in the Carolingian realm, the scope of Latin medical material before the twelfth century, and legal conceptions of necessity and exemption in the early Middle Ages.
Leja has held fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wolf Humanities Center, Binghamton’s IASH, and Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion. She is affiliated with the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the TAE in Material and Visual Worlds.
Leja teaches survey courses on early medieval Europe and pre-modern medicine as well as a variety of thematic courses on healthcare and gender, death and disease, religion and culture in late antiquity, the Carolingian Empire, and Mediterranean environmental history.
- PhD, MA, Princeton University
- BA, University of British Columbia
- Late antiquity and medieval history
- History of medicine
- Gender and the body
- History of Christianity