Over the nearly seven hundred years since Catherine Benincasa’s death there has been a flow of almost continuous scholarly and spiritual work that has been written about her. Catherine is one of the few well documented women, of her historical period, in history. However, there is a large gap in the historiography of Catherine, and that is looking at the effect of her letters on her audience and possible implications of her letters on the political and spiritual landscape of her time and beyond. An important piece of looking at Catherine’s spiritual and political career is using a feminist or subaltern methodology to understand how Catherine’s gender influenced the outcome of her career. This thesis approaches the political and spiritual career of Catherine Benincasa through her many letters. In particular, this thesis will trace how she uses two particular rhetorical devises to call her audience to action. Further this thesis will examine how her audiences’ gender impacted the meaning of the rhetorical devises she used.


Hettinger, Madonna




hagiography, Saint Catherine, feminist, historiography, Catherine of Siena

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2017 Jacob Hailperin-Lausch