In the Middle Ages, men and women of religious orders were often confined to separate institutions, with unattached roles in society and distinct sources of support.

Today, scholars believe this cloistered environment had a significant impact on the practices of monks and nuns, leading to gender concerns that shaped their interaction.

One such scholar, Erin Jordan of the University of Northern Colorado , will discuss this theory at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in 130 Colson Hall on West Virginia University s Downtown Campus.

Jordans talkTransforming the Landscape: Monks, Nuns and the Environment in the Middle Agesis open to the public.

WVU students interested in the Middle Ages, gender roles or the history of human interaction will benefit from learning about this cutting-edge research,said Thomas Bredehoft , a lecturer in the Department of English and organizer of the event.

Professor Jordan is a nationally known scholar, and her expertise will widen our horizons at WVU as she explores the interaction of religious figures with the environment and each other,Bredehoft added.

An associate professor of history, Jordan specializes in medieval studies with an emphasis on religious and social history in northern France and Belgium during the Middle Ages. Her research interests include noblewomen, political agency and the cultural implications of religious beliefs.

She is the author of investigative publications on monastic practice and religious patronage and has had articles appear in the Revue dHistoire Ecclesiastique, Citeaux and Revue Benedictine. She has also written the bookWomen, Power and Religious Patronage in the Middle Ages .

Currently, she is exploring the history and economy of Cistercian monasteries and nunneries in the Southern Low Countries.

Jordan obtained a bachelors degree in history and French from Grinnell College in 1993 and a doctorate in medieval history from the University of Iowa in 2000.

The speakers visit is sponsored by the Department of English, the Department of History and the WVU Medieval-Renaissance Union. The WVU Medieval-Renaissance Union is made up of faculty members dedicated to teaching and learning about the Renaissance and the Middle Ages.

For more information, contact Bredehoft at 304-293-9739 or ” Thomas.Bredehoft@mail.wvu.edu rel=nofollow> Thomas.Bredehoft@mail.wvu.edu .