The West Virginia University Medieval-Renaissance Union presents Elaine Treharne, professor at Florida State University, in a talk called “Medievalist, Modernist, Materialist Aesthetics and The Book” on March 9 at 4 p.m. in the Robinson Room at Wise Library.

Treharne’s lecture will explore both parallels and contrasts within and among various aesthetic paradigms in relation to books as physical material objects, and how they have evolved over thousands of years from medieval illuminated manuscripts to 20th century arts and crafts prints and books.

At Florida State University, Treharne is a medieval literature specialist in the History of Text Technologies program, where she specializes in late Old English and early Middle English manuscripts, their cultural context, content and language.

She is particularly interested in the script and physical makeup of these manuscripts. She also explores the way medieval compilers selected and adapted English texts for specific contemporary audiences.

Treharne is co-director of “The Production and Use of English Manuscripts 1060 to 1220,” a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and based at the University of Leicester, where she is also a visiting professor.

Currently, Treharne is working on theorization of the manuscript, principally from the perspective of architextuality, a concept that interprets multiple layers of text as it contributes to building the book.

Treharne earned a bachelor’s and doctoral degree from the University of Manchester and a Masters of Archive Administration degree from the University of Liverpool.

She is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, member of the Bibliographical Society, convenor of the English Association special interest group in the history of books and texts, medieval editor for “Review of English Studies,” editor for “Speculum” and early medieval editor for Blackwell’s “Literature Compass.”

Treharne is both former chair of the Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland and former president of the English Association.

The WVU Medieval-Renaissance Union is made up of faculty members with professional interests in early European studies who are dedicated to teaching and learning about the Renaissance and the Middle Ages.

The event is co-sponsored by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, WVU Libraries and the Department of English. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.

For more information, contact Tom Bredehoft of the WVU Department of English at 304-293-9739 or



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
304-293-7405 ext. 5251,