© 2019

Vernacular Aesthetics in the Later Middle Ages

Politics, Performativity, and Reception from Literature to Music

  • Katharine W. Jager

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. The Peasants’ Rebellion as Sensory Event

  3. Aesthetic Reception: Music and the Multimodal Manuscript

  4. Vernacular Practice: Alchemy, Aesthetics, Affect

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 299-312

About this book


Vernacular Aesthetics in the Later Middle Ages explores the formal composition, public performance, and popular reception of vernacular poetry, music, and prose within late medieval French and English cultures.  This collection of essays considers the extra-literary and extra-textual methods by which vernacular forms and genres were obtained and examines the roles that performance and orality play in the reception and dissemination of those genres, arguing that late medieval vernacular forms can be used to delineate the interests and perspectives of the subaltern.  Via an interdisciplinary approach, contributors use theories of multimodality, translation, manuscript studies, sound studies, gender studies, and activist New Formalism to address how and for whom popular, vernacular medieval forms were made.  


Vernacular Aesthetics Literature Late Medieval Reception

Editors and affiliations

  • Katharine W. Jager
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Houston-DowntownHoustonUSA

About the editors

Katharine W. Jager is a poet and medieval scholar.  She is Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston–Downtown, USA, and has published essays on medieval aesthetics, the masculine performativity of chivalric speech acts, onomatopoeia and multimodality in alliterative verse, and aurality in late medieval English poetry, among other subjects.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Vernacular Aesthetics in the Later Middle Ages
  • Book Subtitle Politics, Performativity, and Reception from Literature to Music
  • Editors Katharine W. Jager
  • Series Title The New Middle Ages
  • Series Abbreviated Title The New Middle Ages
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-18333-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-18336-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-18334-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 312
  • Number of Illustrations 24 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Medieval Literature
    Comparative Literature
    European Literature
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This volume of essays offers a lively new perspective on vernacular texts and book production in late medieval England. Combining discussion of the aesthetics of English devotional song, alchemical language, antifraternal texts, mystical writings, and Passion lyrics, with explorations of multilingualism and multimodalism, and consideration of the impact of the English Rising of 1381 on the lyric, Gower, and Piers Plowman, this vibrant collection is as much about affect and the sensory as it is about the politics and aesthetics of medieval England’s vernaculars.” (Ruth Evans, Dorthy McBride Orthwein Professor of English, Saint Louis University, USA)