Session Title

Manuscript Aesthetics

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley

Organizer Name

Bernardo S. Hinojosa

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Presider Name

Bernardo S. Hinojosa

Paper Title 1

Framing the Word: A Set of Niello Book Covers in Fifteenth-Century Florence

Presenter 1 Name

Brenna Larson

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Paper Title 2

The Aesthetics of Practicality: Reassessing the Manuscripts of Late Medieval Remedy Collections

Presenter 2 Name

Hannah Bower

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Oxford

Paper Title 3

Pilgrimage Badges in a Fifteenth-Century Book of Hours

Presenter 3 Name

Avantika Kumar

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Harvard Univ.

Paper Title 4

Trophies, Coffee Table Books, and Texts: Theorizing Reading in Luxury Manuscripts

Presenter 4 Name

J. R. Mattison

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Toronto

Start Date

10-5-2018 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1350

Description

In a 2013 special issue of the Chaucer Review, Arthur Bahr and Alexandra Gillespie encourage literary scholars to consider the aesthetic qualities of the medieval manuscript, in tandem with the text itself. For Bahr and Gillespie, the “forms of manuscripts can be read alongside, or as an intrinsic aspect of, the forms of literary texts.” These claims are, of course, part of a long-standing tradition in Anglo-American scholarship that considers how the mise-en-page of the medieval manuscript generates different modes of reading, from the lifelong work of Malcolm Parkes to the so-called “New Philology.” These methodological approaches invite medievalists – both literary scholars and others – to engage with the materiality and aesthetics of the codex and, in particular, with paratextual devices that are routinely left out of modern editions. These include potentially systematic elements of manuscript design such as punctuation, rubrication, and rhyme braces, as well as the unique elements of a specific codex, such as marginalia, doodles, and vellum defects. The sustained analysisof manuscript design can reveal a multilayered understanding of medieval reading practices, as well as an understanding of aesthetics in the Middle Ages. This panel explores the aesthetics of particular manuscripts or manuscript tradition from literary, art historical, and historical perspectives, focusing on the Late Middle Ages across Europe. It also investigates the possibilities and limitations of “manuscript aesthetics” as a concept to think with.

Bernardo S. Hinojosa

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May 10th, 10:00 AM

Manuscript Aesthetics

Schneider 1350

In a 2013 special issue of the Chaucer Review, Arthur Bahr and Alexandra Gillespie encourage literary scholars to consider the aesthetic qualities of the medieval manuscript, in tandem with the text itself. For Bahr and Gillespie, the “forms of manuscripts can be read alongside, or as an intrinsic aspect of, the forms of literary texts.” These claims are, of course, part of a long-standing tradition in Anglo-American scholarship that considers how the mise-en-page of the medieval manuscript generates different modes of reading, from the lifelong work of Malcolm Parkes to the so-called “New Philology.” These methodological approaches invite medievalists – both literary scholars and others – to engage with the materiality and aesthetics of the codex and, in particular, with paratextual devices that are routinely left out of modern editions. These include potentially systematic elements of manuscript design such as punctuation, rubrication, and rhyme braces, as well as the unique elements of a specific codex, such as marginalia, doodles, and vellum defects. The sustained analysisof manuscript design can reveal a multilayered understanding of medieval reading practices, as well as an understanding of aesthetics in the Middle Ages. This panel explores the aesthetics of particular manuscripts or manuscript tradition from literary, art historical, and historical perspectives, focusing on the Late Middle Ages across Europe. It also investigates the possibilities and limitations of “manuscript aesthetics” as a concept to think with.

Bernardo S. Hinojosa