Meg Leja

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Princeton University
The Late Antique and Early Medieval World, High Middle Ages, History of Medicine and the Body
Office: LT 613
Phone: (607) 777-6113

My research engages the interconnections among religion, medicine, identity, and political theory in early medieval Europe. My current book project, Embodying the Soul: Medicine and Religion in Carolingian Europe, investigates the ways in which classical medicine was understood and adapted in the ninth century through the prism of the relationship between the body and soul. In exploring the surprisingly vibrant genre of medical texts surviving from the Carolingian period, my research draws out points of symmetry between this corpus and other contemporary literature, such as treatises on the soul, visionary texts, manuals for lay behavior, and biblical exegesis. It demonstrates 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.


My teaching focuses on Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, although it also treats broader themes concerning the history of medicine and the history of the body. Further research and teaching interests include gender studies, the development of Christianity, medieval environmental history, reception studies, and the history of the book.


Recent or Current Undergraduate Courses

  • Pre-Modern Medicine and Disease  
  • Medicine, Magic & Miracle in the Middle Ages 
  • Martyrs, Saints & Monks in Early Christianity 
  • Medieval Food, Disease, Environment 
  • Charlemagne: Law, Power, and Kingship 
  • Early Medieval Europe, 300–1000 

Recent or Current Graduate Courses 

  • Medicine & the Body in the Pre-Modern West 

Select Publications 

  • “The Sacred Art: Medicine in the Carolingian Renaissance.” Viator 47 (2016):1–34. 
  • “The Making of Men, not Masters: Right Order and Lay Masculinity according to Dhuoda and Nithard.” Comitatus 39 (2008): 1–40.

Select Grants and Fellowships

  • Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Binghamton University, 2017
  • Fellow, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University, 2014–2015 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral      Fellowship, 2009–2013 

Last Updated: 10/12/16