I am terrible with “About” pages, but almost every blog has one, so here it is…
This is where I come to play with my thoughts, and where much of my research had its beginnings.
I have always enjoyed writing, but after I got my MA I realized I didn’t have time to write for my PhD, write for teaching, write for conferences, and blog, so I started blogging my ideas as they came to me, using this as a crossroad for everything (hence the lack of a distinct theme).
Over the years some of my blog posts turned into conference papers, lectures, publications, and various other projects. My Chaucer series is something I have been toying with on and off for the better part of the last decade. It will probably never be anything more than a series of blog posts, but I think I rather like it that way.
I became fascinated by medieval literature very early in life, and at first became an Anglo-Saxonist. I migrated towards Middle English studies (that still captivate much of my academic attention), but from there my research has led me towards French thirteenth century manuscripts.
I am currently in the midst of analyzing Paris, BnF MS fr. 342, one of the oldest dated Lancelot manuscripts of the post-vulgate cycle. It is only a small part of a much larger project, but commands attention due to having been produced during a time of much transition in France (politically, religiously, and of course in the arts). Historically, it reflects the secularization of manuscript creation that further echoed similar sentiments in other segments of society. But, its existence marks its participation in this same secularization. There is extensive documentation of patronage, specifically that of Marie de Brabant and her loyal entourage, of manuscripts closely resembling MS 342, in style and content. While this manuscript’s specific provenance is only partially known, it offers enough evidence to support the claim that is was produced at the onset of an emerging trend where similar manuscripts mirrored the queen’s preference, and by virtue of having been commissioned by, or for, the queen, participated in their perpetuation and further dissemination across the country, and eventually across the continent. Moreover, I am interested in the connection between manuscript art and the patronage practices of the artistic programs associated with mausoleums and monuments.
However, as I use this blog to work out a variety of ideas, you will also find such things as poems from the Renaissance, analyses of modern novels, and random musings about whatever I am reading at the moment.