Marco Nievergelt is a SNF Research Fellow in the English department at the University of Lausanne. He specializes in late medieval and early modern literature, English and French. He has held various teaching positions at the Universities of Geneva; Lausanne, and Oxford with prestigious fellowships. He was awarded the James Randall Leader Prize for ‘Outstanding Arthurian Article in 2010’ for an article on the Alliterative Morte Arthur.
Allegory, medieval and modern; medieval theories of signification, perception and interpretation; interactions between scholastic philosophy and literature in the later Middle Ages; the reception and translation of continental literature, particularly French, in England; chivalric literature and romances; late medieval crusading and ideas of holy war; the history of (textual) subjectivity and self-representation.
The Sege of Melayne and the Siege of Jerusalem: National Identity, Beleaguered Christendom and Holy War during the Great Papal Schism. Chaucer Review 2015.
The Place of Emotion: Space, Silence and Interiority in the Stanzaic Morte Arthure. Arthurian Literature 32, 2015.
Allegorical Quests from Deguileville to Spenser, Cambridge, 2012.
The project examines how late medieval dream-poetry could provide a powerful means for exploring a set of closely related epistemological questions through allegorical narrative. My analysis focuses primarily on three very popular and influential literary texts from the later Middle Ages, two in French and one in English: Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose (ca. 1269–78), the two versions of Guillaume de Deguileville’s Pèlerinage de Vie Humaine (1331 and 1355), and William Langland’s vision of Piers Plowman in its 4 extant versions (ca. 1360–90). All three poems provide extended first-person accounts of quest narratives framed as dream visions, and respond to major shifts in scholastic philosophy occurring during the thirteenth century, specifically in the areas of philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. The first aim of the project is to explore the neglected question of how the two French allegories shape Langland’s poetic project and its evolution over time, with specific attention to Langland’s interest in processes of human knowledge. A second, related aim of the project is to contribute to our understanding of the larger question of the ‘philosophical’ uses of allegorical poetry, specifically its ability to address cognitive matters.