Dr. Patrick Moran, Assistant Professor in the Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies has been awarded a two-year Hampton Fund Research Grant in the Social Sciences and Humanities Established Scholar Award in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
This grant will support his project entitled “Poetics of Genre in Medieval French Literature: a Cognitive and Philological Investigation”.
What is a literary genre? How might genres function in a period that gives little theoretical thought to their existence? Why do we categorize works of literature and how do we select our criteria in defining these categories?
This research project consists of a general study of literary genres in the Middle Ages, mainly through the example of the Old French production of the 11th-13th centuries, which is the period of emergence and first consolidation of a vernacular French-language literature. In line with Dr. Moran’s previous work, which focused on Arthurian cycles and on chanson de geste, the main emphasis of this project will be on narrative literature. This project combines three main fields, historical poetics, material philology and cognitive studies, in an attempt to renew the critical discourse on medieval genres by connecting it to wider theoretical preoccupations.