Voices of Authority and Divergence: Authorship in the Anglo-Saxon Period and in the Later Middle Ages

Stanley (Toby) Levers : Comp Literature/Italian Studies

Mentor: Professor Albert Ascoli, Italian Studies

Bringing together and expanding his research on Anglo-Saxon and later medieval literature, Toby will investigate the "author function" as it appears (and often disappears) in these two periods. The starting point for his study will be a broad dissimilarity: in one period (the later middle ages), the idea of authorship is constantly obsessed over and manipulated; in the other (the Anglo-Saxon), authors remain nameless, and the identification of the narrative subject is often avoided outright. The main focus of the study, however, will be examples that do not fit into this general pattern: texts in which these two periods correspond in their use of the author function, and in their presentation of the subjective "I." A double major in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies, Toby will travel to England and Italy to conduct original archival research. The resulting study, concerning both the words of the selected texts and their material presentation, will be presented as his Senior Honors Thesis in Comparative Literature.