Making Digital Marks on Medieval Manuscripts
Edited By Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel
Chapter 3. Teaching with Digital Annotation Tools
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TEACHING WITH DIGITAL ANNOTATION TOOLS
Over the past few years, I have taught a course entitled Guillaume de Machaut: Exploring Medieval Authorship in the Digital Age. Machaut sits at a critical juncture in late-medieval literary and musical culture. Drawing on the works and familiar tropes of the past, he also innovated with that material and influenced later generations, too, including Christine de Pizan, Eustache Deschamps, Geoffrey Chaucer, and the Humanist movement.1 As such, my students were not merely studying the works of Machaut in isolation but also gaining an appreciation of his network of authority and—to some extent—the ramifications of historical and political events upon his work. Of course, contextualizing an author’s output should always be an important part of teaching literature; however, Machaut offers a particularly interesting case of how an author shapes his own identity on the cusp of modernity. His authorial identity has been explored in great depth, in particular by Kevin Brownlee, Deborah McGrady, and R. Barton Palmer.2 Over the latter half of the twentieth century, interest in medieval literature has been reinvigorated and in general opinion has shifted away from the kinds of attitudes we saw in Huizinga’s The Autumn of the Middle Ages, whereby the cultural output of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was seen as stale, unimaginative, and repetitive. At one point, Huizinga notes, “[i]t is very difficult to pierce the clouds of poetry and to penetrate to the ← 55 | 56...
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