Cross-cultural encounters and revisionary literary history (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Adele Cipolla
Maria Adele Cipolla
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
NN - -
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

-- To discuss the cultural movements in and across the medieval North and the implications of a cross-cultural approach for literary history.

- to trace cultural transmissions and to ponder their implications for our perception (and conception) of literary history both within the Nordic context and for literary historical studies in general.

- discuss the complexities, validity and usefulness of the approach and the potentiality of cross-cultural studies.


This seminar will focus on the methodological approaches of crosscultural studies, considering their implications for a new mode of understanding and formulating literary history, thereby contesting the frequently rigid national or linguistic borders of the field. We will consider concepts such as translatio studii et imperii and their implications for medieval practices of translation and transmission. We will consider examples of such cultural engagements and transmission, utilising evidence from Scandinavia and beyond to showcase the impact of cultural fusion on national and international literary histories.

Byrne, Aisling, and Victoria Flood, eds, Crossing Borders in the Insular Middle Ages, Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe 38 (Turnhout, forthcoming)

Campbell, Emma, and Robert Mills, Rethinking Medieval Translation: Ethics, Politics, Theory (Cambridge, 2012)

Hollengreen, Laura H., ed., Translatio or the Transmission of Culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Modes and Messages, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 13 (Turnhout, 2008)

Quinn, Judy, and Adele Cipolla, eds, Studies in the Transmission and Reception of Old Norse Literature: The Hyperborean Muse in European Culture, Acta Scandinavica 6 (Turnhout, 2016) Rikhardsdottir, Sif, Medieval Translations and Cultural Discourse: The Movement of Texts in England, France and Scandinavia (Cambridge, 2012)

---, ‘The Phantom of a Romance: Traces of Romance Transmission and the Question of Originality’, in Medieval Romances Across European Borders, ed. Miriam Edlich-Muth, Medieval Narratives in Transmission (Turnhout: 2018), 133-151

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
A. Cipolla & J. Quinn (eds.) Studies in the Reception of Old Norse Literature: The Hyperborean Muse in the European Culture Brepols 2016

Assessment methods and criteria

Students attending the course are expected to prepare a brief report, which will be assessed by the instructor of the main course