spotlight

Why study medieval literature?

Arthur Bahr joined MIT's Literature Faculty in 2007 with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently holds the Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes Career Development Chair, and in 2012 received the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for Excellence in Teaching.


His first book, Fragments and Assemblages: Forming Compilations of Medieval London, has recently been published by University of Chicago Press. Using compilations from fourteenth-century London as case studies, Fragments and Assemblages argues that we can productively bring comparable interpretive strategies to bear on the formal characteristics of both physical manuscripts and literary works.

With generous support from the Class of 1960 Endowment Fund for Innovation in Education, Bahr has joined forces with colleagues from across the Institute to strengthen and expand MIT's program in Ancient and Medieval Studies (AMS@MIT). This initiative has involved bringing Latin instruction to campus, launching a monthly colloquium series of distinguished speakers from art history, musicology, literature, history, and philosophy, and designing "Empire," a team-taught, interdisciplinary exploration of the representation and reality of pre-modern empires. A HASS Exploratory subject, "Empire" includes case studies on Rome under Augustus, Western Europe under Charlemagne, and English imperial ambitions in France during the Hundred Years' War. 

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The Literature Section

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