SIMS is pleased to announce the 2018-2019 Graduate Student Fellowship recipient:
Aylin Malcolm, University of Pennsylvania (January-June 2019)
Aylin Malcolm, a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania, will conduct research on UPenn Ms. Codex 1881, an astronomical anthology from fifteenth-century Germany recently acquired by the Kislak Center. This project supplements her planned dissertation research, which will consider exchanges between literary texts and works of natural science in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In particular, Ms. Codex 1881 contains annotated copies of the anonymous Theorica planetarum and Johannes de Sacrobosco’s Tractatus de sphaera, two of the most widely disseminated astronomical texts in late medieval Europe. These texts influenced many scholars within this period; for example, Georg von Peuerbach’s 1454 Theoricae novae planetarum was essentially an updated version of the Theorica planetarum. Yet Sacrobosco was also popular among amateurs, including some writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer. Modern scholars such as John North have noted that Part I of Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe draws on Sacrobosco’s text, suggesting that the astronomical references in his poetry (e.g The Man of Law’s Tale) may also have been inspired by De sphaera, and revealing the need for research that compares these literary and scientific traditions.