Major Article by Fordham PhD Heidi Febert Published Posthumously in Traditio


Medievalist Heidi Febert, who died in December 2012 shortly after finishing her PhD

A major article based on the doctoral research of Heidi Febert has been published  posthumously by her advisor Wolfgang Mueller in the most recent issue of the Fordham Medieval Studies journal Traditio. Heidi, who was a PhD student at Fordham, died in December 2012. She had recently completed her thesis and was in the first year of work as a faculty member at Saginaw Valley State University.




Professor Mueller sent the following tribute:

In memoriam Heidi Febert

Heidi Febert is well remembered in the department where she worked as a graduate student from 2002 to 2012.  When she left Fordham with a doctorate in medieval history, the future looked bright.  Nobody would have foreseen Heidi’s untimely death in the midst of happy excitement about her new academic home and teaching environment.

In recent weeks, a long article entitled “The Poof Sisters of Söflingen. Religious Corporations in Property Litigation, 1310-1317” appeared under Heidi’s name in Traditio, the prestigious journal on ancient and medieval history, thought, and religion.  The opening footnote explains the genesis of Heidi’s contribution:

“This article is based on the author’s PhD thesis, “Between the Law and the World: Defining Women’s Religious Identity in the Later Middle Ages,” submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University in May 2012. While still working on the revisions, Dr. Febert died unexpectedly on 7 December 2012, at the end of her first semester as full-time instructor at the History Department of Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. In recognition of Heidi’s scholarly accomplishments, the text was prepared for publication by her former doctoral adviser at Fordham, Wolfgang P. Müller.”

Many of us still think with fondness of the cookies that Heidi brought to campus around Christmas time, always baked to perfection.  She subjected herself to the same highest standards as a scholar, confronting with equal mastery the most arid legal texts in Latin, the technicalities of medieval scholastic citations and handwriting, and the appearances of a medieval religious rhetoric that often masked massive wealth with claims of absolute poverty.  Heidi’s article in Traditio 68 (2013) 327-433, offers a lasting tribute to her as a medieval historian.




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