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Assistant Professor of Medieval French
University of California, Berkeley

Rethinking Medieval Manuscripts with Jean-Luc Nancy


Jean-Luc Nancy (1940–2021) was one of the most influential continental philosophers of the past fifty years, producing important and often radical interventions on cornerstone concepts in western metaphysics (community, subjectivity, space, freedom, sense, etc.). Despite the privileged place Nancy gives early Christian thought and practice in his philosophy, he remains surprisingly neglected by medievalists. His thinking on touch (Derrida, who wrote a book about this, saw the figure of touch as the leitmotif running through Nancy's corpus) promises to challenge many of the assumptions made by scholars of medieval literature. In addition to my work with Tactile Communities where both touch and community are key ideas, I put Jean-Luc Nancy in dialogue with manuscript studies in a forthcoming piece for The Horizons of Medieval French and Occitan: New Approaches to Manuscripts and Texts (Brill, edited by Emma Campbell and Luke Sunderland).


CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia.

Jean-Luc Nancy in 2010.

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