(co-Director & Faculty)
Sharon Kinoshita is Professor of World Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A specialist in medieval French and comparative literature, she is the author of Medieval Boundaries: Rethinking Difference in Old French Literature (Penn, 2006) and numerous other publications, including co-authored books on Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France. Her work in Mediterranean Studies includes the Blackwell Companion to Mediterranean History (2014), co-edited with Peregrine Horden, and many essays promoting and demonstrating the usefulness of “Mediterranean” as a category for the analysis of medieval literature. She is currently completing an annotated translation of the earliest extant manuscript of Marco Polo’s Devisement du monde (aka “The Travels”) and a companion monograph tentatively entitled The Worlding of Marco Polo.
Week 1. Thinking Mediterranean:
- “Thinking Mediterranean.” What are the uses (and abuses) of “Mediterranean” as a category of analysis? What might it mean to “think Mediterranean” in fields such as literature and art history?
- “Texts in/and the Medieval Mediterranean.” What are the characteristics of a “Mediterranean” text? In this unit we consider questions such as genre, the dynamics of textual transmission, and the significance of translation.
Week 2. Blurring the Lines:
- “What’s In a Name: Changing Identities in Medieval Mediterranean Literature.” In this unit we consider tales of Mediterranean adventure that turn on cases of shifting or altered identities (merchant/pirate, sudden changes of fortune, disguise) in relation to historians can tell us about medieval political, social, and economic practices.
Week 3. Marking Boundaries:
- “Materializing the Literary History of the Mediterranean.” We continue our consideration of the dynamics of textual transmission and translation, including histories of reception. What is at stake in the later conscription of medieval texts into modern national literary histories?
Week 4. Towards the New Mediterranean Studies:
- “A New Literary History of the Medieval Mediterranean.” What would a field like “medieval Mediterranean literature” look like?