Fisher-Bennett Hall Faculty Lounge, room 135
This job talk will be pitched for a mixed crowd of English faculty and undergraduate English majors.
Before it became an imperial nation, medieval England held a peripheral position on the global stage. Romance literature offered medieval English authors and audiences a space in which to imagine the world beyond England, and grapple with how it fit into that world. This job talk will examine how the fourteenth-century travel romance The Book of John Mandeville (c. 1356) constructs a narrative geography inflected by racial epistemologies. In doing so, Mandeville propels England, from the margins, into a position of dominance over a diverse world constituted by religious, linguistic, physiognomic, and cultural differences.