Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

5/1/2010 - 9/30/2010

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Polyglot Production: Multilingual Writing and London Trade, 1340-1540

FAIN: FT-57910-10

Jonathan Hsy
George Washington University (Washington, DC 20052-0001)

This project juxtaposes English, Latin, and French literary texts with diverse traces of medieval urban life, from account books and civic documents to bilingual phrasebooks and household manuals. By examining literature alongside an expanded archive of texts, this study offers a new narrative of how commercial and literary communities shaped one another in this environment. A close focus on medieval multilingual writing dramatically reshapes our understanding of English literary history, illustrating a flexible relationship between language and nationhood prior to the notion of a single, official language. Ultimately, this study not only provides fresh insight into multilingual identity in the past, but it also opens up new avenues for thinking about multilingualism in our own time. An NEH fellowship would specifically aid the completion of the book manuscript by allowing me to conduct archival research in British collections (British Library, National Archives, and others).