Date of Award

9-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Supervisor

Cathy Grise

Language

English

Abstract

This paper explores the effects that various forms of literary theory such as semiotics and deconstruction have affected the field of medieval studies. In particular these new theories, now embraced by most medieval scholars, have been integrated into medievalism concurrently with the rise of feminist medievalism. The 'New Medievalism' as it has been called by scholars such as Gabrielle Spiegel and Stephen Nichols, combines the traditional fields of hermeneutics, philology and historicism with the aforementioned literary theories into a 'renovated' methodology. Both the content and the structure of this 'new' scholarship is interpreted throughout this paper by utilizing the visionary work, Scivias, written by the twelfth-century female abbess Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard's work as a visionary, abbess, artist and playwright make her an ideal choice for a new interpretation because her work is so rich and varied. By attempting a New Medieval interpretation of one of Hildegard's visions the strengths and weaknesses of the current theories are made available.

McMaster University Library

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