Out Now: Performing Medieval Text

Finally! Half a decade after Pauline Souleau and I first began discussing the issue of performativity in medieval lyric, our collection of essays (co-edited with Ardis Butterfield) has now appeared with Legenda.

We’re truly grateful to the volume’s authors who have allowed us to explore the notion of performance from so many different angles: from 10th-century skaldic poetry (Annemari Ferreira) to the Augsburg Adventus of 1530 (Moritz Kelber); from the visual representation of Christine de Pizan’s ambiguous authorship (Charlotte E. Cooper) and Job’s non-representation as a musician (Franz Körndle) to the imagined performance of the psalms in Dante’s Purgatorio (Jennifer Rushworth); from the felicitous performance of the sacraments (Matthew Cheung Salisbury) to the creation of fuzzy identities in songs (Catherine Léglu); from the theoretical reconsideration of ‘performing manuscripts’ (Elizabeth Eva Leach) to the performance of genre in thirteenth-century motets (Matthew P. Thomson).

Thanks to these diverse contributions and the generous funding from New College (Oxford) and the Mariann Steegmann Stiftung (Bern), the volume is able to ‘[establish] the Middle Ages as a fecund, privileged site for the exploration of performance, without limiting medieval culture to performance and without wishing to restrict performance to this period; it suggests the possibility of transcending disciplinary boundaries and the opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange in relation to performance; and it calls for a continued, collaborative discussion on the processes involved in the performance of medieval texts’ (from the Introduction).


Ardis Butterfield, Henry Hope, and Pauline Souleau, Performing Medieval Text,
Oxford: Legenda 2017.

ISBN: 978-1-910887-13-4; £75.

Performing Medieval Text, cover

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