This talk grows out of the University of Heidelberg Collaborative Research Centre 933 (CRC 933), in which faculty-led research groups from different disciplines examine script-bearing artefacts such as pillars, steles, portals, tombstones, potsherds, amulets, scrolls, papyri, and parchment codices in order to examine the specific materiality and the evoked presence of the inscribed artefacts and the written texts themselves.
I will talk about the research being undertaken in the research group to which I belong, “Inscriptionality: Reflections of Material Text Culture in the Literature of the Twelfth to Seventh-Centuries,” which is examining medieval representations of fictional inscription on script-bearing artefacts in literary fiction. I am focussing on writing featured or imagined in alternative places and materials such as trees, dog leashes, and so on. These extraordinary forms of writing reveal medieval knowledge of the practices and conditions of writing and they allow modern scholars to to reflect in historically appropriate theoretical terms on the potentials and limitations of the technology of writing.
About the Speaker
Dr. Michael Ott received his PhD in medieval German Literature from the University of Frankfurt and is currently a research fellow and instructor in the Department of Medieval German Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he is also a research associate in the project “Inscriptionality: Reflections of Material Text Culture in the Literature of the Twelfth to Seventh-Centuries.” He is a guest researcher in UW's Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies until May.