It was really while I was at UW that my research took off…I found my true ‘voice’.
Bynum was the first to give credence to austere expressions of piety through bodily practices, such as fasting and self-mutilation, particularly as practiced by women. Her collaborations with other UW faculty produced the edited volume Gender and Religion, a widely used collection of essays looking at how women practiced religion and how religious symbols were gendered.
Bynum’s work earned her numerous awards, including the Berkshire Prize for historical scholarship on women, the Governor’s Award of the State of Washington, and a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”
A committed teacher, Bynum created an introductory history course on the social history of medieval Europe at UW, and she went on to win a university Distinguished Teaching Award.