Centre for Medieval Studies Lecture Series

Massimiliano Bampi

The Dynamics of Texts and Genres in Manuscript Transmission

Thursday, October 31, 2019, at 16.30
Lögberg 101

Massimiliano Bampi

In medieval Europe, various types of texts were often collected in large manuscripts, customarily referred to as either compilations or collections. Such collections are of great interest for a number of reasons:

  • They give us insight into the kind of textual materials that were collected in certain contexts, thus allowing for comparison both within the same culture (i.e., in different manuscripts from different social contexts) and across cultures.
  • They provide evidence for the study of the interaction (a) between various literary genres and (b) between original literature and translated literature.
  • They provide evidence for assessing hypotheses about how texts belonging to different genres and originating from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds were possibly used, both for the purpose of entertainment and instruction as well as for the purpose of discussing relevant themes (e.g., social and political ones) of the time in which the manuscripts were produced.

In this talk I will discuss a few examples from medieval Sweden and Iceland to illustrate how an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to manuscript studies can help throw new light on the complex and multifaceted dynamics of texts and genres within various manuscript contexts, especially with regard to the relevance of such dynamics for the study of generic hybridity.

Massimiliano Bampi is Associate Professor of Germanic Philology at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His main research interests include the definition of genre in saga literature, the role of translation in the development of vernacular literatures in the medieval North, and intertextual reading in Icelandic and Swedish manuscripts.

The talk will be delivered in English. All are welcome to attend.