Rita Copeland, "An Emotional Anthology of Style: Glasgow Hunterian MS V.8.14" (Penn Material Texts, 2/20)
How did medieval teaching identify the “literary” or “literature” as a particular quality to be achieved and imitated? What was the role of style in defining the realm of the “literary”? I will address these questions through a material context: a modest anthology from the thirteenth century, MS Glasgow, Hunterian, MS V.8.15. This teaching collection, devoted to rhetorical manuals and poems that illustrate rhetorical technique, expresses its interests in terms quite different from what we associate with better known and prestigious poetic anthologies such as the Codex Buranus as well as other teaching collections. The Glasgow anthology reveals its motives in terms that are at once material and meta-literary. It represents itself as a material witness to a period of innovative teaching, and it signals a moment at which medieval rhetoric recognizes itself as the instrument for theorizing literary style as the engine of emotion.
Rita Copeland is Rosenberg Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Classics, English, and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her fields include the history of rhetoric, literary theory, and medieval learning. Her new project is on rhetoric and the emotions in the Middle Ages. Her publications include Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and Translation in the Middle Ages; Pedagogy, Intellectuals and Dissent in the Middle Ages; Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric: Language Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300-1475 (with I. Sluiter); The Cambridge Companion to Allegory (with P. Struck), and most recently, the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, 800-1558.