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Title: Negotiating the medieval imagetext: a phenomenological approach to the study of late medieval English mixed media
Author: Lawrence , Thomas Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis combines a practical phenomenological approach (based upon the phenomenological writings of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty) with the theoretical criticism of W.J.T. Mitchell, in order to negotiate the function and effect of image and text interactions in three distinct forms of late medieval English 'mixed media': the Middle English ekphrastic poem, Pearl; the Middle English illustrated poem, A Disputation between the Body and Worms; and the elaborate mural painting of St Catherine of Alexandria preserved at St. Peter and Paul's Church in Pickering, North Yorkshire. It aims to give an account of these composite works of art not as historical cultural objects, but as lived - immediate, temporal and affective - phenomena, arguing that the lived experiences of medieval works of art are not entirely lost to us, but can be assessed through our modem contact with them. This study demonstrates how, in the absence of historical evidence, modem experience can provide valuable insight into how medieval works of art may have operated upon, and been experienced by, their medieval audiences. By combining a practical phenomenological approach with Mitchell's concept of the imagetext, the thesis shows that it is possible to move beyond the comparison of image and text in medieval media, and consider how visual and verbal modes interact within a medium when it is performed by a user. The thesis reveals the importance of the user in the study of medieval art, arguing that it is the user's perception, imagination and memory that form connections between image and text in medieval media. It advises that we must examine the role of the user of the medieval works of art if we are to advance our understanding of the function and effect of image and text interactions, and offers three case studies of how this research could be undertaken.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available