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Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (essay collections) and Research in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (monographs) are sister series originally inspired by themes drawn from the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo. These series provide a home for high‐quality humanities research on topics from the late antique, medieval and early modern periods. Although both series have historically focused on medieval Europe, we have expanded geographically and chronologically to embrace a wider conception of the premodern. We welcome studies addressing a range of topics from the late antique, medieval and early modern periods, and we invite proposals from new and established scholars who employ innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to investigate literary, historical and material sources and explore what it has meant to be human through the ages.
Several scholarly fields investigate the reuse of source texts, most relevantly adaptation studies and fanfiction studies. The limitation of these two fields is that adaptation studies focuses narrowly on retelling, usually in the form of film adaptations, but is not as well equipped to treat other uses of source material like prequels, sequels, and spinoffs. On the other hand, fanfiction studies has the broad reach adaptation studies lacks but is generally interested in "underground" production rather than material that goes through the official publication process and thus enters the literary canon. This book sits in the gap between these fields, discussing published novels and their contribution to the scholarly engagement with their pre- and early modern source material as well as applying that creative framework to the teaching of literature in the college classroom.
This study examines the various means of becoming empathetic and using this knowledge to explain the epistemic import of the characters’ interaction in the works written by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and their contemporaries. By attuning oneself to another’s expressive phenomena, the empathizer acquires an inter- and intrapersonal knowledge that exposes the limitations of hyperbole, custom, or unbridled passion to explain the profundity of their bond. Understanding the substantive meaning of the characters’ discourse and narrative context discloses their motivations and how they view themselves. The aim is to explore the place of empathy in select late medieval and early modern portrayals of the body and mind and explicate the role they play in forging an intimate rapport.
This volume offers the author’s central articles on the medieval and early modern history of cartography for the first time in English translation. A first group of essays gives an overview of medieval cartography and illustrates the methods of cartographers. Another analyzes world maps and travel accounts in relation to mapped spaces. A third examines land surveying, cartographical practices of exploration, and the production of Portolan atlases.
This book offers an interdisciplinary approach to concepts of the self associated with the development of humanism in England, and to strategies for both inclusion and exclusion in structuring the early modern nation state. It addresses writings about rhetoric and behavior from 1495–1660, beginning with Erasmus’ work on sermo or the conversational rhetoric between friends, which considers the reader as an ‘absent audience’, and following the transference of this stance to a politics whose broadening democratic constituency needed a legitimate structure for governance-at-a-distance.
Unusually, the book brings together the impact on behavior of these new concepts about rhetoric, with the growth of the publishing industry, and the emergence of capitalism and of modern medicine. It explores the effects on the formation of the ‘subject’ and political legitimation of the early liberal nation state. It also lays new ground for scholarship concerned with what is left out of both selfhood and politics by that state, studying examples of a parallel development of the ‘self’ defined by friendship not only from educated male writers, but also from women writers and writers concerned with socially ‘middling’ and laboring people and the poor.
Travel narratives and historical works shaped the perception of Muslims and the East in the Victorian and post-Victorian periods. Analyzing the discourses on Muslims which originated in the European Middle Ages, the first part of the book discusses the troubled legacy of the encounters between the East and the West and locates the nineteenth-century texts concerning the Saracens and their lands in the liminal space between history and fiction.
Drawing on the nineteenth-century models, the second part of the book looks at fictional and non-fictional works of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century which re-established the "Oriental obsession," stimulating dread and resentment, and even more strongly setting the Civilized West against the Barbaric East. Here medieval metaphorical enemies of Mankind – the World, the Flesh and the Devil – reappear in different contexts: the world of immigration, of white women desiring Muslim men, and the present-day "freedom fighters."
Giovanni Villani’s New Chronicle traces the history of Europe, Italy, and Florence over a vast sweep of time – from the Tower of Babel to the great earthquake of 1348. In the eleventh and twelfth books, Villani depicts a particularly eventful period in the history of Florence, whose grandeur is illustrated in several famous chapters describing the city’s income, expenses, and magnificence. The dramatic account follows Florence’s internal affairs as well as its conflicts with powerful lords like Castruccio Castracani and Mastino della Scala. The chronicler’s perspective, however, ranges beyond his city, as he documents such events as the imperial coronation of Louis of Bavaria, the penitential pilgrimage of Venturino da Bergamo, and the first campaigns of the Hundred Year’s War.
Archetypal images, Carl Jung believed, when elaborated in tales and ceremonies, shape culture’s imagination and behavior. Unfortunately, such cultural images can become stale and lose their power over the mind. But an artist or mystic can refresh and revive a culture’s imagination by exploring his personal dream-images and connecting them to the past. Dante Alighieri presents his Divine Comedy as a dream-vision, carefully establishing the date at which it came to him (Good Friday, 1300), and maintaining the perspective of that time and place, throughout the work, upon unfolding history. Modern readers will therefore welcome a Jungian psychoanalytical approach, which can trace both instinctual and spiritual impulses in the human psyche. Some of Dante’s innovations (admission of virtuous pagans to Limbo) and individualized scenes (meeting personal friends in the afterlife) more likely spring from unconscious inspiration than conscious didactic intent. For modern readers, a focus on Dante’s personal dream-journey may offer the best way into his poem.
Geoffrey Chaucer has long been considered by the critics as the father of English poetry. However, this notion not only tends to forget a huge part of the history of Anglo-Saxon literature but also to ignore the specificities of Chaucer’s style. Indeed, Chaucer’s decision to write in Middle English, in a time when the hegemony of Latin and Old French was undisputed (especially at the court of Edward III and Richard II), was consistent with an intellectual movement that was trying to give back to European vernaculars the prestige necessary to a genuine cultural production, which eventually led to the emergence of romance and of the modern novel. As a result, if Chaucer cannot be thought of as the father of English poetry, he is, however, the father of English prose and one of the main artisans of what Mikhail Bakhtin called the polyphonic novel.
Sacred Journeys in the Counter-Reformation examines long-distance pilgrimages to ancient, international shrines in northwestern Europe in the two centuries after Luther. In this region in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, saints’ cults and pilgrimage were frequently contested, more so than in the Mediterranean world. France, the Low Countries and the British Isles were places of disputation and hostility between Protestant and Catholic; sacred landscapes and journeys came under attack and in some regions, were outlawed by the state. Taking as case studies hugely popular medieval shrines such as Compostela, the Mont Saint-Michel and Lough Derg, the impact of Protestant criticism and Catholic revival on shrines, pilgrims’ motives and experiences is examined through life writings, devotional works and institutional records. The central focus is that of agency in religious change: what drove spiritual reform and what were its consequences for the ‘ordinary’ Catholic? This is explored through concepts of the religious self, holy materiality, and sacred space.
This book presents an interpretation of Maurice Scève’s lyric sequence Délie, object de plus haulte vertu (Lyon, 1544) in literary relation to the Vita nuova, Commedia, and other works of Dante Alighieri. Dante’s subtle influence on Scève is elucidated in depth for the first time, augmenting the allusions in Délie to the Canzoniere of Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca). Scève’s sequence of dense, epigrammatic dizains is considered to be an early example, prior to the Pléiade poets, of French Renaissance imitation of Petrarch’s vernacular poetry, in a time when imitatio was an established literary practice, signifying the poet’s participation in a tradition. While the Canzoniere is an important source for Scève’s Délie, both works are part of a poetic lineage that includes Occitan troubadours, Guinizzelli, Cavalcanti, and Dante. The book situates Dante as a relevant predecessor and source for Scève, and examines anew the Petrarchan label for Délie. Compelling poetic affinities emerge between Dante and Scève that do not correlate with Petrarch.
Beginning with the spectacle of hysteria, moving through the perversions of fetishism, masochism, and sadism, and ending with paranoia and psychosis, this book explores the ways that conflicts with the Oedipal law erupt on the body and in language in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, for Chaucer’s tales are rife with issues of mastery and control that emerge as conflicts not only between authority and experience but also between power and knowledge, word and flesh, rule books and reason, man and woman, same and other – conflicts that erupt in a macabre sprawl of broken bones, dismembered bodies, cut throats, and decapitations. Like the macabre sprawl of conflict in the Canterbury Tales, this book brings together a number of conflicting modes of thinking and writing through the surprising and perhaps disconcerting use of “shadow” chapters that speak to or against the four “central” chapters, creating both dialogue and interruption.
Jennifer C. Vaught illustrates how architectural rhetoric in Shakespeare and Spenser provides a bridge between the human body and mind and the nonhuman world of stone and timber. The recurring figure of the body as a besieged castle in Shakespeare’s drama and Spenser’s allegory reveals that their works are mutually based on medieval architectural allegories exemplified by the morality play The Castle of Perseverance. Intertextual and analogous connections between the generically hybrid works of Shakespeare and Spenser demonstrate how they conceived of individuals not in isolation from the physical environment but in profound relation to it. This book approaches the interlacing of identity and place in terms of ecocriticism, posthumanism, cognitive theory, and Cicero’s art of memory. Architectural Rhetoric in Shakespeare and Spenser examines figures of the permeable body as a fortified, yet vulnerable structure in Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, tragedies, romances, and Sonnets and in Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Complaints.
When James VI of Scotland and I of England proclaimed himself King of Great Britain he proposed a merger of parliaments as he had joined two crowns in his own person ascending the throne of England in 1603. For James, the Cambro-Celtic past led to an Anglo-Scottish present, and Wales stood as the ideal. Although the parliamentary union of Great Britain was not initiated for another 100 years, Parliament’s denial failed to deter James from wanting a Great Britain, and R. A.’s play The Valiant Welshman became part of the public spectacle of unity required to nurture James’s dream. The Valiant Welshman, the Scottish James, and the Formation of Great Britain considers national, regional and linguistic identity and explores how R.A.’s play promotes Wales, serves King James and reveals what it means to be Welsh and Scots in a newly forming "Great Britain."
This volume considers the reception in the early modern period of four popular medieval myths of nationhood – the legends of Brutus, Albina, Scota and Arthur – tracing their intertwined literary and historiographical afterlives. The book thus speaks to several connected areas and is timely on a number of fronts: its dialogue with current investigations into early modern historiography and the period’s relationship to its past, its engagement with pressing issues in identity and gender studies, and its analysis of the formation of British national origin stories at a time when modern Britain is seriously considering its own future as a nation.