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Professor Katherine Zieman

The Trinity Long Room Hub is delighted to welcome Dr Katherine Zieman as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellow for 2018-19, in association with Trinity’s Manuscript, Book and Print Cultures research theme.

Katherine Zieman is a scholar of late medieval literature and culture. She has held teaching posts in the United States at Wesleyan University and the University of Notre Dame and in the UK at the University of Oxford and Birkbeck, University of London. She has been appointed to visiting research fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Humanities Center, Balliol College and All Souls College, Oxford, and most recently Harvard University.

Much of Katherine’s work focuses on the ways cultures define and distribute their intellectual resources, whether through educational institutions, religious rituals, or developing markets in books and other media. Her first book, Singing the New Song: Literacy and Liturgy in Late Medieval England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) focused on the medieval institution known as the ‘song school’, in which ritual Christian texts and their tunes were taught as entry-level literacy skills. Her second, forthcoming book, Song and Mediation: Richard Rolle and Cultures of Devotional Reading, discusses the varied dissemination of the works of the Yorkshire mystic, Richard Rolle, as a way of examining the explosion in devotional book production that marks fifteenth-century England.

During her Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND fellowship at the Trinity Long Room Hub. Katherine will explore the concept of attention in the later medieval period. Her project ‘A History of  Attention in the Premodern Era’ examines the contexts and taxonomies of attention in treatises on how to attend the mass, how to meditate on the life of Christ and how the unlearned should pay attention to Latin prayer and considers technologies of book production, such as layout and illustration, designed to help readers focus.

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