2020-2021 SIMS Graduate Student Fellowship

SIMS is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 Graduate Student Fellowship recipient:

Matthew Aiello

Matthew Aiello is a 4th-year PhD Candidate in English at UPenn. His dissertation – Writing Under Duress: Trauma and Repetition in Early England (1000-1270) – explores how forms of loss and trauma in post-Conquest England can be used to reshape contemporary theory by asking how the Middle Ages have always been central to articulations of trauma. You can find his published work on manuscripts, law, and riddles in Comitatus (2017), Essays and Studies (2017), Review of English Studies (2020), and New Medieval Literatures (2021).

As an extension of his dissertation research on loss, Matthew will spend the 2020-21 academic year as a SIMS Graduate Fellow building a digital interface that offers users a space to lay bare a manuscript’s full history of loss and repair. Using two Schoenberg manuscripts – UPenn, MSS Codex 196 and 1056 – as test cases for his software, this project will allow book historians to collate their medieval manuscripts (and early modern books) temporally, thereby visualizing how a manuscript’s contents change over time. While there are already a number of brilliant digital tools that aid scholars in assessing the details present in an extant codex, book historians and conservators often have access to information that extends beyond the manuscript’s current form – what folios and bits of text are likely missing, what’s been added and when – and this project aims to offer educated speculation a seat at the table for what counts as meaningful when rendering manuscripts in digital spaces.