Professor Vincent Gillespie
Medieval literary theory and the psychology of literary response; poetic identity in the Middle Ages; Nietzschean slow reading; medieval religious writing ("vernacular theology"); Syon Abbey; history of the book
- Medieval studies
At the core of most of what I do is a curiosity about the psychology of literary response: the ways in which writers struggle to express experiences and acts of imagination, the strategies they use to articulate their understanding of these experiences and imaginative acts, and the codes and conventions that develop between texts and readers to allow communication and understanding to develop and to be manipulated. What the Arabs called 'the imaginative syllogism' drives my interest in medieval poetic (as sharply distinguished from rhetorical) theory as it can be recovered from commentaries and theoretical writings from the twelfth through to the sixteenth centuries.