Medieval Interiorities and Modern Readers: Recovering Medieval Reading Practices for Understanding the Self


ACLS Fellowship Program




Medieval Interiorities and Modern Readers recovers sophisticated early reading practices for understanding the self. The Middle Ages is one of the most candid of literary periods on this subject. Endlessly analyzing the self with forensic accuracy (and with remarkable parallels to modern mapping of the brain), medieval writers and glossators probed the mind via classical, Arabic, and biblical models. Using these, plus a range of other epistemologies, they probed cognition, meditation, contemplation, and visionary experience. This project examines material still largely untapped for the study of interiorities to uncover evidence of reading practices in medieval manuscript and archival sources: poetic, satirical, mystical, and autobiographical works written, redacted, and annotated by scribes and other readers.