Late medieval literary reception
Patronage and literature
Caxton: From Script to Print
Joyce Coleman's interest in medieval literary reception, performance, and patronage was fired by the unexpected convergence of a B.A. in Medieval Studies and an M.A. in Anthropology / Folklore. She pursued this interest at Ph.D. level, publishing her dissertation in 1996 as Public Reading and the Reading Public in Late Medieval England and France (Cambridge University Press, 1996; paperback edition, 2005). Articles exploring many aspects of medieval literary culture have appeared in anthologies and in journals such as Speculum, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Philological Quarterly, Cahiers de Litterature Orale, and the British Library Journal.
With art historian Kathryn Smith of New York University and French literary historian Mark Cruse of Arizona State University, Prof. Coleman is currently co-editing an anthology called The Social Life of Illumination: Manuscripts, Images, and Communities in the Late Middle Ages, to be published by Brepols (Turnhout, Belgium). With the help of grants from the Huntington Library and from the American Philosophical Society, she is also at work on a monograph, The Iconography of Late Medieval Vernacular Authorship. This will be the first book to analyze manuscript illustrations of authors writing, presenting, and reading books for the unique insights these pictures offer into the cultural landscape in which late-medieval literature took shape. After a visiting fellowship in 2011-12 at Clare Hall, Cambridge, she was recently elected a Life Member of the college.
Prof. Coleman enjoys teaching classes on Anglo-Saxon to late medieval literature as well as on modern uses of medieval material, such as "medieval films" and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.