Rethinking the New Medievalism

Rethinking the New Medievalism

by R. Howard Bloch
     
 

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In the early 1990s, Stephen Nichols introduced the term "new medievalism" to describe an alternative to the traditional philological approach to the study of the romantic texts in the medieval period. While the old approach focused on formal aspects of language, this new approach was historicist and moved beyond a narrow focus on language to examine the broader

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Overview

In the early 1990s, Stephen Nichols introduced the term "new medievalism" to describe an alternative to the traditional philological approach to the study of the romantic texts in the medieval period. While the old approach focused on formal aspects of language, this new approach was historicist and moved beyond a narrow focus on language to examine the broader social and cultural contexts in which literary works were composed and disseminated. Within the field, this transformation of medieval studies was as important as the genetic revolution to the study of biology and has had an enormous influence on the study of medieval literature. Rethinking the New Medievalism offers both a historical account of the movement and its achievements while indicating—in Nichols’s innovative spirit—still newer directions for medieval studies.

The essays deal with questions of authorship, theology, and material philology and are written by members of a wide philological and critical circle that Nichols nourished for forty years. Daniel Heller-Roazen’s essay, for example, demonstrates the conjunction of the old philology and the new. In a close examination of the history of the words used for maritime raiders from Ancient Greece to the present (pirate, plunderer, bandit), Roazen draws a fine line between lawlessness and lawfulness, between judicial action and war, between war and public policy. Other contributors include Jack Abecassis, Marina Brownlee, Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet, Andreas Kablitz, and Ursula Peters.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

The present volume in many ways celebrates and continues Nichols's ideas and influence in the past 25 years, but it does much more than that. As Bloch (French and Romance philology, Columbia Univ.) puts it in his introduction, the essays "contain many elements belonging to the New Philology-an attention to the material conditions of the medieval work, especially to the givens of manuscript culture, a questioning of authorship and authority, an interrogation of the integrity of medieval texts, recognition of the relation between the verbal and the visual."... Nichols's discussion of the challenges and opportunities for new philology in the digital age will be required reading in graduate seminars on digital humanities.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421412405
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
03/27/2014
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Sarah Spence

Festschrifts are often marred by a lack of coherence or a retrospective, elegiac cast. By contrast, this volume coheres through its methodology and projects the need for future work. It is impressively wide-ranging in its language, culture, and topic.

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