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Jane Sinnett-Smith

 

About

I joined Warwick in 2015 as a Wolfson scholar to begin working on my PhD, supervised by Dr Emma Campbell. My thesis examines the representation of relics and reliquaries in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Old French saints’ lives. I am particularly interested in questions of vernacular translation, the body, the relationship between text and material culture, and materiality more widely. Before coming to Warwick I completed my BA in Modern and Medieval Languages at St Catharine's College, Cambridge and an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at University College London.

Research

My PhD explores the ways in which encounters with the relic in medieval French Saints' Lives reflect on and negotiate the relationships between the human body and nonhuman objects, the embodied individual and the material world, the material and the spiritual. The project engages with recent theoretical work on New Materialisms and Thing Theory by critics such as Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour and Bill Brown. I take a broad interdisciplinary approach, placing texts alongside other expressions of a saint's cult - reliquaries, shrines, tombs, and manuscript illustrations - in order to consider how writing about relics brings bodies, things, and books into conflict and collaboration. I examine how these different means of representing and interpreting the relic (and the different linguistic and social contexts in which they operate) can inflect the ways in which relics are used and understood in the Middle Ages, as well as our understanding of the texts which contain them.

Teaching

FR121:The Story of Modern France

FR2012: Translation (French-English)

Conferences and Papers

2017

Co-organiser of the one-day conference Bodies in Flux: Rewriting the Body in Medieval Literature, Art and Culture 1000-1450, funded by an HRC Doctoral Fellowship, at the University of Warwick, 20th May 2017

Wolfson Symposium, British Academy, London, 10th July 2017. Presentation of my research and participation in roundtable as part of symposium highlighting the research of Wolfson Scholarship holders.

International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 3rd-6th July 2017. Panel organiser of session entitled: 'All That Glitters: Experiencing Gold in Text and Manuscript'. Paper entitled: 'Kissing, touching, wearing away: reliquaries, gold, and tactile devotion in the manuscripts of Gautier de Coinci’s Miracles de Nostre Dame'

52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 11th-14th May 2017. Paper entitled: 'Bodying forth: relics and the (re)creation of the absent body in the Old French Miracles de Nostre Dame'

2016

Writing Women in History Reading Group, at the University of Cambridge, 29th November 2016. Paper entitled: '‘La vie avom translatee’: saint and community in translation in the Vie de seinte Audree by Marie'

Cambridge Medieval French Research Seminar, at the University of Cambridge, 17th November 2016. Paper entitled: ''Li sanc al seint se deit par tut le mund estendre': blood relics, bodies, and the transmission of sanctity in the cult of Thomas Becket'

'Medieval Material Matters', Postgraduate Conference, at the University of Warwick, 18th July 2016. Paper entitled: 'Second-hand sanctity: contact relics and sacred materiality in Gautier de Coinci’s Miracles de Nostre Dame'

'Stains', Cambridge French Graduate Conference, at the University of Cambridge, 27th-28th May 2016. Paper entitled: ‘Blood stains and sacred bodies in Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence’s Old French Vie de Saint Thomas Becket'

'Limits', Approaching the Medieval postgraduate conference, at the University of Cambridge, 4th May 2016. Poster entitled: 'Holy blood and holy vessels: Diffusing the limits of the body in Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence’s Life of Thomas Becket and Becket’s blood relic cult'

Other activities

Co-organiser of the University of Warwick's Medieval Seminar Series, and of the Series' social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-organiser of afternoon workshop on Medieval Women's Writing, at the University of Warwick, Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

Participant in Warwick/Monash video project Translating Cultures of the Past (2016-17).

Co-organiser of an interdisciplinary afternoon workshop on Cannibalism and the Eucharist, at the University of Warwick, 15th June 2016.

Publications

Review: Delbert W. Russell, Verse Saints’ Lives Written in the French of England (2012), Medium Aevum (forthcoming 2017)

Review: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims: A Medieval Woman between Demons and Saints (2015), French Studies, 70.4 (2016), 583-84, https://doi.org/10.1093/fs/knw232

Qualifications

BA Hons. (Cantab.), MA.

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Jane Sinnett-Smith

J dot Sinnett-Smith at warwick dot ac dot uk

Academia.edu profile