Sunday, 10:30 – 12:00
Dynamic Parallelism in the Psalms and Gregorian Chant
On the Notion of Hexachordal Function in Medieval Music Theory and Practice
The Art of Psalm Paraphrase in Early Frankish Offices
“Of a Certain Magnitude”: Aristotle and the Size of Sublimity
— Valerie Allen, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Logico-Mathematical Descriptions of Infinity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The “Algorism” in Medieval German Literature
This session considers medieval technical communications, its conventions and traditions, and also seeks the connections between medieval and contemporary technical writing.
Medical Maths, or, How I Learned to Love a Graph
Restoring Continuity: How Readers and Writers Remedied Terminological Flaws in Constantine the African’s Translations
Begging Poems as Business Writing: From Chaucer to Hoccleve to the Poet Laureate
The last few decades have witnessed serious engagement with the role of non-European languages – especially Arabic – in medieval western literature. This shift was precipitated by Maria Rosa Menocal’s groundbreaking study The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History, and has been nurtured by more recent work by scholars such as Karla Mallette, Sahar Amer, Ryan Szpiech, among others. In spite of these developments, theories of cross-cultural exchange have predominantly focused on the relationship between Arabic and Mediterranean languages, especially Iberian and Italian vernaculars. When we discuss the influence of Arabic on English and French language and culture, we still tend to understand the latter as target languages, where scientific or medical knowledge is transmitted from Arabic, through some mediating Mediterranean vernacular, to a Northern European environment.
This analytical framework leaves little room for a more robust narrative of the cultural and literary development of English and French, and in particular an understanding of how neighboring languages - French and English, on the one hand, Arabic and Persian, on the other - inform one another. Moreover, Persian, though both a linguistic and cultural partner to Arabic, is still little discussed and largely absent from the map of Mediterranean cross-cultural exchange. The result of neglecting the northern European vernaculars and Persian is that we continue to have an incomplete narrative of the “East-West” relationship.
Language never travels divorced from its cultural contexts and history, regardless of how technical the transmitted content is. The influence of Persian on Arabic, and vice versa, and the transmission of Arabic knowledge into English and French by way of Latin suggests the presence of a wide range of channels for influence and exchange. This session seeks to investigate the relationship between these languages and the rich literary cultures they participated in and helped to create and shape. It seeks to understand the role of medieval English and French in a more encompassing and globally oriented conversation.
Theater of Letters
Arabic in English and French
This session will look at the medieval university, an institution developed in the twelfth century and greatly expanded in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, asking twenty-first century questions. We will think about the studium generale and its implications for the humanities and the liberal arts more generally today. We will also think about discipline, student bursaries, movement of students and teachers, acquiring credits and graduating, specialist universities and faculties and all the other elements of the modern university that come to us from the medieval university in the particular form that we have them.
Who’s the Boss: Philology, Philosophy, or Theory?
The Politics of the Liberal Arts, Then and Now
Ed-Tech Abelard: Classroom Innovation and Medievalism