Matthew Aiello is a second-year Ph.D. student in English at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a BA in English (Honors) from Stanford University in 2015 before going on to earn a Masters in English (650-1550) from the University of Oxford in 2016. In 2016-17, Matthew was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Post-Classical Latin at UCLA. His research interests are broadly concerned with Manuscript Studies, Trauma Theory, and Performance Theory in the high Middle Ages.
Specifically, he is interested in smaller, non-elaborate, feasibly portable English manuscripts containing Latin and Old English homilies that were produced in the two centuries after the series of eleventh-century conquests (c.1020-1280). Matthew aims to reconstruct the lost performance contexts for how traveling preachers and prelates translated, transmuted, and performed texts for the laity whose vernacular was linguistically different from the vernacular in these manuscripts, and whose knowledge of Latin was almost non-existent. From a codicological perspective, he is also interested in what these books might be able to tell us about hierarchies in production for less ornate texts, both in the choices made for a book’s seemingly modest mise-en-page, and in the supervision (or lack thereof) of the production of these books in a monastic context.