How has thinking with premodern cultures shaped criticism? This seminar will explore various forms and aspects of medieval European culture as perennial objects of thought, investigating the chief ways that the surviving writing and images and imagined oral creations have marked key theoretical models. Our inquiry will proceed by pairs of texts. In every session, we’ll debate a mode of thinking by examining critical essays together with premodern works. This way of proceeding will also help us to take stock of current research underway in areas such as language & poetics; gender & sexuality; literary history; visual culture. We’ll benefit as well from the range of interests and research directions of all the seminar members, especially those working on cultures in North Africa and North America.

Image: Ibn Hawqal, Paris, BNF, arabe 224, fol. 52, detail.