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Writing Under Duress: Trauma and Repetition in Early England (c.1070-1270)
  • Friday, July 14, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Please join us on Friday, July 14th, at 12 PM on Zoom, when Matthew Aiello will defend his dissertation, "Writing Under Duress: Trauma and Repetition in Early England (c.1070-1270)."

Writing Under Duress: Trauma and Repetition in Early England, 1065-1250 investigates the so-called “lost” period of English literary history: the two-hundred-year aftermath of the Norman Conquest of 1066, when literatures in English were thought to have all but disappeared. Rather than working to combat claims of loss, as others working in this period have done, this dissertation embraces the richness of loss – of sovereign(ty), of land, of life, of language, of desire – for all it can tell us about the textual and historical motivations of the post-Conquest English. Writing Under Duress treats trauma as a dynamic force that can be reconfigured as a tool of historical analysis for premodern texts. By revising theoretical frameworks to account for medieval conceptualizations of suffering (and allowing these forms of suffering to generate their own theories of trauma), this dissertation exposes trauma studies to a new range of subjectivities that helpfully challenge the assumed modern, Western, secular subject at the heart of contemporary theorizations of trauma.

Committee: Emily Steiner (co-chair) | David Eng (co-chair) | Rita Copeland

Matthew will meet privately with his committee from 11 am to 12 pm. The public presentation of the defense will begin at 12 pm, followed immediately by a virtual toast to the newly-minted Dr. Aiello!

Please join using the following Zoom link: