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Michael Johnston, "The Middle English Book: Scribes and Readers, 1350-1500" (Oxford UP, 2023)

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Michael Johnston's The Middle English Book: Scribes and Readers, 1350-1500 (Oxford UP, 2023) addresses a series of questions about the copying and circulation of literature in late medieval England: How do we make sense of the variety of manuscripts surviving from this period? Who copied and disseminated these diverse manuscripts? Who read the literary texts that they transmit? And what was the relationship between those copying literature and those reading it? To answer these questions, this book examines 202 literary manuscripts from the period 1350 to 1500. First, this study suggests that most surviving manuscripts fall into four categories, depending on the proximity and relationship of that manuscript's scribes and readers. But beyond proposing these new categories, this book also looks at the history of writing practices, and demonstrates the ubiquity of bureaucracies within late medieval England.

As a result, The Middle English Book argues that literary production was a decentered affair, one that took place within these numerous, modest, yet complex, bureaucracies. But this book also argues that, because literary production arose in such scattered bureaucracies, manuscripts were local products, produced within the cultural and economic milieu of their users. Manuscripts thus form a fundamentally different sort of cultural artefact than the printed books with which we are familiar--a form of centralized, urbanized, and commercialized textual production that was just over the historical horizon in late medieval England.

Michael Johnston earned a BA in English and Religious Studies from John Carroll University in 2000, a M.Litt. in Mediaeval English from the University of St Andrews in 2002, and a PhD from Ohio State University in 2007. He is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University and he researches and teaches about literature and culture in late medieval England, with a specialization in the history of the book and Piers Plowman.

Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.

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Manage episode 402658107 series 2421456
Inhoud geleverd door New Books Network. Alle podcastinhoud, inclusief afleveringen, afbeeldingen en podcastbeschrijvingen, wordt rechtstreeks geüpload en geleverd door New Books Network of hun podcastplatformpartner. Als u denkt dat iemand uw auteursrechtelijk beschermde werk zonder uw toestemming gebruikt, kunt u het hier beschreven proces https://nl.player.fm/legal volgen.

Michael Johnston's The Middle English Book: Scribes and Readers, 1350-1500 (Oxford UP, 2023) addresses a series of questions about the copying and circulation of literature in late medieval England: How do we make sense of the variety of manuscripts surviving from this period? Who copied and disseminated these diverse manuscripts? Who read the literary texts that they transmit? And what was the relationship between those copying literature and those reading it? To answer these questions, this book examines 202 literary manuscripts from the period 1350 to 1500. First, this study suggests that most surviving manuscripts fall into four categories, depending on the proximity and relationship of that manuscript's scribes and readers. But beyond proposing these new categories, this book also looks at the history of writing practices, and demonstrates the ubiquity of bureaucracies within late medieval England.

As a result, The Middle English Book argues that literary production was a decentered affair, one that took place within these numerous, modest, yet complex, bureaucracies. But this book also argues that, because literary production arose in such scattered bureaucracies, manuscripts were local products, produced within the cultural and economic milieu of their users. Manuscripts thus form a fundamentally different sort of cultural artefact than the printed books with which we are familiar--a form of centralized, urbanized, and commercialized textual production that was just over the historical horizon in late medieval England.

Michael Johnston earned a BA in English and Religious Studies from John Carroll University in 2000, a M.Litt. in Mediaeval English from the University of St Andrews in 2002, and a PhD from Ohio State University in 2007. He is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University and he researches and teaches about literature and culture in late medieval England, with a specialization in the history of the book and Piers Plowman.

Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.

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Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

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