What terms or concepts from contemporary Surveillance Studies are useful for thinking about surveillance in the Middle Ages? In these and other texts, how is knowledge of the body newly grasped through for instance intimate observation, suffering, or intrusion? How are these processes implicated in the knowledge-work of texts and textual genres?
This session invites papers on the linguistic structure and language politics of aureate poetry, drama, macaronic preaching, and religious, historical, or utilitarian prose in fifteenth-century England and on comparable linguistic and stylistic phenomena in other languages, centuries and places. This recognition continues to encourage the reevaluation of scribal acts, as such features are often altered—or duplicated by design—with each recopying. This seminar explores how we might define the grammatical function of rubrication, script hierarchies, paraph marks, initials, etc.
Did they share these communicative systems through copying, or was each scribal utterance constitutive of a new idiolectical grammar? Astronomy mediates between the very large and the very small. This panel welcomes papers that use astronomy to think about scale. How can astronomy help us understand literature that mediates or moves between vastly different scales? Does astronomy supply medieval poets with a language for thinking about scale?
If it is possible to read on a cosmic scale, can we also see the stars on a literary scale? In this session we seek to historicize medieval affect. To what extent are objects and material contexts crucial for affective interaction in late medieval poetry? What are the mutually constitutive relationships between gender and affect in late medieval poetry? How does affect matter in the construction of religious identity; can we speak of a specifically Jewish or Muslim affect? The history of Middle English lyric is indivisible from the history of prayer.
This panel aims to explore the intersection of these two modes of language performance and to consider how their kinship might provide insight into broader questions of poetics and religion in later medieval literature. We welcome papers that consider any aspect of the relationship between prayer and lyric, but the following questions might serve as a starting point.
To what extent do prayer and lyric share a common style, voice, form, or affect? How can we make space for medieval literature in secondary school classrooms where literary content is constantly shrinking? There is strong evidence that students who study Chaucer in high school are more likely to take medieval studies classes in college. Seminar participants will examine data on secondary schools that teach Chaucer and investigate strategies to encourage more schools to follow suit.
Which curricula encourage the study of literature prior to and how do they incorporate Chaucer into the broad literary surveys typical of high school? What role does translation play in teaching Chaucer to high school students? And how do teacher education programs play a role in fostering or dismissing the belief that Chaucer is well-suited for high school curricula?
What happens to language in cities? How are languages networked in the pre-modern world—and in urban space in particular? How do languages signal the existence of other languages beyond themselves?
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