New Medieval Literatures - Vol. 2

New Medieval Literatures - Vol. 2

New Medieval Literatures - Vol. 2

New Medieval Literatures - Vol. 2

Synopsis

New Medieval Literatures is a new annual of work on medieval textural cultures. It will provide a regular venue for innovative essays that deploy diverse methodologies - theoretical, archival, philological, and historicist - with an awareness of postmodernism. As well as featuring challenging new articles, each issue will include an analytical survey by a leading international medievalist of recent work in an emerging or dominant critical discourse. The editors, active in three continents and supported by a distinguished multidisciplinary Advisory Board, aim to engage with intellectual and cultural pluralism in the Middle Ages and now. The first volume, New Medieval Literatures 1, presents essays that destabilize the medieval text as a critical category. Interrogating period and literary boundaries, the contributors invoke bordercountry narratives, performance texts, self-consuming writing, and post-medievalist readers as they explore some of the most crucial topics in contemporary literary studies. Subjects discussed include vernacularity and political agency, pedagogic discourses, the textualization of authority, and the literary construction of cultural and social space. The volume as a whole demonstrates the central contribution of medievalists to 'the production of the present'. Future issues will include essays by Susan Crane, Simon Gaunt, Kantik Ghosh, Steven Kruger, Anne Middleton, Larry Scanlon, Helen Solterer,Robert Stein Jane Taylor and survey articles by Louise Fradenburg and Sarah Kay. Submissions for Volume 3 and subsequent issues may be sent to any of the editors.

Excerpt

Rita Copeland

The essays in New Medieval Literatures 2 continue the critical conversations between medieval studies and the 'project of the present' begun in the first volume. Where this volume differs from the inaugural issue of New Medieval Literatures is in its shift to the Continent and in its further exemplification of work on earlier periods. nml has aimed from the outset to provide a venue for work in all literary cultures of medieval Europe and beyond. and so volume 2 features work on French literature and Continental and English Latin writing, and on literary and intellectual production of the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries. the essays move from the streets of Paris, London, and English market towns to English monasteries, idealized pastoral spaces, Christian-Jewish-Muslim Spain, Rome, and fourteenth- century Oxford.

In her Introduction to nml 1, Wendy Scase wrote that the essays there exemplify a dismantling, rather than a reinforcement, of 'disciplinary discourses' and the discourses of medieval--modern periodization. in volume 2 the implications of 'breaking' the boundaries extend to national conventions of literary historiography and critical method. Given that nml issues from Anglo-American institutional bases, its turn towards non-English cultures in this volume can highlight the question of what structures and values might be shared between work in English literary history and historiography in other literatures, especially, in the present case, French literary history. Do we gaze at one another across a semiotic or methodological gulf? Although there is no writing by Continental scholars represented in this volume, there are three essays by scholars working in Continental traditions whose professional bases are French departments in Britain and the usa. in this respect, the differences among the ways that medieval French studies are constituted at particular British and American universities may indeed be as significant as the seemingly more global differences . . .

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