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Medieval Studies Workshop: Johannes Junge Ruhland and Sarah Kay


Medieval Studies Workshop: Johannes Junge Ruhland and Sarah Kay

Nov 03, 2020

The Medieval Studies Workshop (MSW) convened for the first time this academic year on October 28, 2020 via Zoom to discuss work in progress by Sarah Kay, Professor of French Literature, Culture, and Thought at New York University, and Johannes Junge Ruhland, PhD candidate in French at Stanford.
Professor Kay offered a sophisticated response to Johannes’ paper, titled Perceptive modes for Richard de Fournival’s Bestiaire d’amour. Exploring the Investments of Knowledge along the Text/Manuscript Line that situated Johannes’ work in the broader context of 13th century attitudes towards bestiaries, notably drawing attention to the affective states which works such as Richard’s could elicit.
In the second part of the workshop, Johannes offered a response to Professor Kay’s paper, titled Breath of Beasts and the Ecologies of Song (or of Inspiration), by teasing out the methodological and theoretical contributions made by Professor Kay to ecocritical work in literature. Each part of the workshop featured lively discussion with the audience, and the diverse disciplinary makeup of those who attended – art historians, Germanists, scholars of medieval French, philosophers, musicologists, historians – made for a blend of approaches that invigorated the discussion and, it is hoped, the ongoing research of the presenters.
The MSW organizers wish to thank the Philosophy & Literature Initiative for co-sponsoring this event and look forward to hosting more workshops in Winter and Spring.

The Medieval Studies Workshop aims to bring together faculty members and Ph.D. students from several departments to consider interdisciplinary scholarly developments in the field of medieval studies, a period spanning the fifth through the fifteenth century CE.

This Focal Group fosters deep scholarly engagement and interdisciplinary discussion among medievalist graduate students at Stanford. Medieval Studies is a field defined by chronology and language, but also by the kinds of sources available and its interdisciplinary approaches. This Focal Group provides a much-needed intellectual forum for graduate students in Medieval Studies, who are typically isolated in their departments.

The Medieval Studies Workshop complements the existing Center for Medieval Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) weekly lunch workshops that feature speaker presentations and discussions, by focusing on graduate student needs, and by specifically supporting graduate student research and professional development.

For more information, please contact Johannes Junge Ruhland at