Tag Archives: Medieval Studies

Gonzalo de Berceo and the Latin Miracles of the Virgin, Feminae’s Translation of the Month

Posted by Alyssa Berthiaume, Marketing Coordinator

Ashgate is proud to announce that Gonzalo de Berceo and the Latin Miracles of the Virgin, edited by Patricia Timmons and Robert Boeing, was selected by Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index as their translation of the month.

Timmons & Boenig NEWFeminae includes journal articles, book reviews and contributing essays on women, sexuality and gender during the Middle Ages. Each month indexers of Feminae select a translation significant to these themes. By choosing a translation each month, viewers have more opportunity to see a vast collection of newly translated medieval texts with its focus on women and gender studies. Currently, Feminae has over 1800 records of translations, now with Gonzalo de Berceo and the Latin Miracles of the Virgin within their collection.

In Gonzalo de Berceo and the Latin Miracles of the Virgin, Patricia Timmons and Robert Boenig present the first English translation of a twelfth-century Latin collection of miracles that Berceo, the first named poet in the Spanish language, used as a source for his thirteenth-century Spanish collection Milagros de Nuestra Señora. They include the original Latin text, translations of the Latin Miracles, including analyses of “Saint Peter and the Lustful Monk” and “The Jews of Toledo.”

To view the full contents and read the preface, click here.

Patricia Timmons is an Instructional Assistant Professor of Spanish at Texas A&M University. Robert Boenig is a Professor of English at Texas A&M University

Announcing a New Series from Ashgate Publishing: Outlaws in Literature, History, and Culture

Posted by Whitney Feininger, Assistant Editor, Literary Studies

Lesley A. Coote and Alexander L. Kaufman are very excited about the future of outlaw studies and its home with Ashgate. We have assembled an international advisory board of scholars, and we welcome proposals for monographs, essay collections, and scholarly editions of primary texts.

Outlaws in Literature, History, and Culture examines the nature, function, and context of the outlaw and the outlawed – people, spaces, practices – in the pre-modern world, and in its modern representations. By its nature, outlawry reflects not only the outlawed, but the forces of law which seek to define and to contain it. Throughout the centuries, a wide and ever-changing, and yet ever familiar, variety of outlaw characters and narratives have captured the imagination of audiences both particular and general, local and global.

This series seeks to reflect the transcultural, transgendered and interdisciplinary manifestations, and the different literary, political, socio-historical, and media contexts in which the outlaw/ed may be encountered from the medieval period to the modern. We accept proposals for scholarly monographs and edited collections of essays whose focus includes literary, historical, folkloric, and cultural studies; critical editions; and translations of outlaw texts. And while the outlaw is perhaps best known as a figure from the Middle Ages, the lives of outlaws continue to live well beyond the medieval period; as such, Outlaws in Literature, History, and Culture’s chronology begins in the Middle Ages and continues to the present day.

To submit a proposal, please send either a preliminary letter of inquiry or a formal prospectus to the series editors and to Ashgate Publishing at the following email addresses:

Lesley Coote l.a.coote@hull.ac.uk

Alex Kaufman akaufman@aum.edu

Whitney Feininger wfeininger@ashgate.com

Please visit the series website or stop by the Ashgate booth at Kalamazoo for more information!

Congratulations to author Janet E. Snyder on winning the SECAC Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research

Posted by Luana Life, Marketing Coordinator

Congratulations to author Janet E. Snyder on winning the SECAC Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research, 2012 for her book, Early Gothic Column-Figure Sculpture in France: Appearance, Materials, and Significance.

Richly illustrated, this book investigates human figural sculpture installed in church portals of mid-twelfth century France. Janet Snyder takes a close look at sculpture at more than twenty churches, describes represented ensembles, defines the language of textiles and dress, and investigates rationale and significance in context. She analyzes how patrons employed sculpture to express and shape perceived reality, using images of textiles and clothing that had political, economic and social significances.

Learn more about Early Gothic Column-Figure Sculpture in France

More information on SECAC Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research

The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous – now available!

‘This volume awakens the monster as an academic topic.  Combining John Block Friedman’s historical-literary approach with Jeffrey J. Cohen’s theoretical concerns, Asa Simon Mittman and Peter Dendle have marshaled chapters that comprise a seminal work for everyone interested in the monstrous.  Wide-ranging chapters work through various historical and geographic views of monstrosity, from the African Mami Wata to Pokemon.  Theoretical chapters consider contemporary views of what a monster is and why we care about them as we do.  Taken together, the essays in The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous reveal that monsters appear in every culture and haunt each of us in different ways, or as Mittman says, the monstrous calls into question our (their, anyone’s) epistemological worldview, highlights its fragmentary and inadequate nature, and thereby asks us … to acknowledge the failures of our systems of categorization.’ David Sprunger, Concordia College, Minnesota, USA

‘An impressively broad and thoughtful collection of the ways in which many cultures, ancient and modern, have used monsters to think about what it means to be human. Lavishly illustrated and ambitious in scope, this book enlarges the reader’s imagination.’ Professor Lorraine Daston, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Germany

This companion provides a comprehensive guide to the study of monsters and the monstrous from historical, regional and thematic perspectives.  The collection reflects the truly multi-disciplinary nature of monster studies, bringing in scholars from literature, art history, religious studies, history, classics, and cultural and media studies. The volume includes a Foreword by John Block Friedman and a Postscript by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.

About the Editors: Asa Simon Mittman is Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History, California State University, Chico, USA and Peter Dendle is Associate Professor, Department of English, Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto, USA

More information about The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous

Read Jeffery J Cohen’s blog post about the book on In the Middle

“An exceptional book that casts new light on the design processes of medieval architects”

The Geometry of Creation

This month sees the publication of Robert Bork’s The Geometry of Creation: Architectural Drawing and the Dynamics of Gothic Design, which has already received some glowing endorsements.

It shows, in a series of geometrical case studies, how Gothic design evolved over time. In each case, a series of computer graphics show how a medieval designer could have developed his architectural concept step by step, using only basic geometrical operations.

This is an exceptional book that casts new light on the design processes of medieval architects. Bork has taken the radical and novel step of looking at surviving medieval drawings in the hope of finding the geometrical logic behind their structures and decorations. The results have been spectacular. He can plot the lines the original designers actually used in developing their geometric schemes, and he does so with a sharpness of vision unmatched by any of his predecessors in the field. Bork is able to show a remarkable continuity of design practice in medieval architecture, from Villard de Honnecourt to Lorenz Lechler. Paul Frankl had already said as much, but no one before Bork has demonstrated it in such detail and with such authority.   Paul Crossley, The Courtauld Institute of Art

With his meticulous and creative study of dozens of drawings prepared by the master builders of Gothic cathedrals, Robert Bork makes a convincing case for a dynamic relationship between that Gothic “look” and the processes of creation. Animated by compasses and straightedge, geometric forms – especially squares, octagons and hexagons – seem to take on a life of their own, ordering the principal outlines of the yet-to-be-built church. This book will provide an invaluable resource for all students and lovers of Gothic architecture.   Stephen Murray, Columbia University

Robert Bork’s impressive and rigorous analysis of the most spectacular medieval parchment drawings demonstrates that the shape and proportions of great Gothic churches arose from the assembly of accurately regulated geometrical figures, and that these figures were applied to façade and ground plan designs by routines that circulated widely in the Gothic world. Thus, Bork’s investigation lets us literally see behind the curtain of the medieval builder’s studio. It reveals geometry as the key to a deeper understanding of the way medieval monuments were generated by architects eager to establish their profession as a learned and scholarly discipline. Bork’s discovery of a Gothic “design language” based on the grammar of geometric procedures is fundamental for our interpretation of Gothic forms and their development.    Norbert Nussbaum, University of Cologne

About the Author: Robert Bork is Associate Professor of Art History, University of Iowa, USA.

More about The Geometry of Creation: Architectural Drawing and the Dynamics of Gothic Design

We’ll be at Kalamazoo – will you?

John Smedley, Whitney Feininger and Nora Weber will be attending the 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo later this month.

If you will be there, do drop by the Ashgate booth to say hello, and perhaps buy a book or two!

The congress takes place May 13-16 at Western Michigan University, and you can follow it on twitter (the official congress hashtag is #kzoo2010)


Language & Silence – 16th Annual Postgraduate Medieval Conference, 26-27 February, Bristol

Kerrie-Anne Hughes will be attending Language & Silence in Bristol this weekend for Ashgate. If you’re there do drop by the book display and say hello. And you can pick up a catalogue and browse through the books too! Ashgate is pleased to be one of the sponsors for this conference.

The conference includes a Master Class with Professor Bernard McGinn (University of Chicago), ‘Communicating the Incommunicable: Mystical Ineffability from Origen to Catherine of Siena’.

From the conference website:

The University of Bristol hosts the longest-running international medieval postgraduate conference in the UK. Each year we offer medievalists the opportunity to present their research, discuss ideas, and foster links bridging disciplinary and geographical boundaries.

Issues of language and silence permeate both religious and political life in the Middle Ages: from attempts to engage with and communicate spiritual experience, to the complex negotiations involved in balancing the demands of the solitary religious life with the needs of the community, to the political pressures on everyday language in times when charges of heresy are a real concern. In private life, too, the ability or authority to speak was governed by a complex array of theological, philosophical and social codes. This conference aims to address issues such as these in the context of medieval life, and also some of the broader issues of language, and its absence, raised by such debate.