Charlie Samuelson is a specialist of medieval French literature. He is interested in courtly literature of both the High and the Late Middle Ages. His current book project considers in tandem two sorts of verse narratives: high medieval verse romance, best known for the twelfth-century work of Chrétien de Troyes; and late medieval dits amoureux, associated in particular with the fourteenth-century oeuvre of Guillaume de Machaut. His research focuses, on the one hand, on the indeterminacy of courtly texts: how they persistently play with form and self-consciously indulge the messiness of language. Resisting any impulse, though, to conceive of medieval literature in primarily formal or esthetic terms, his research also attends to how poetic play routinely, and almost invariably, spills into gender and sexual politics: to the political implications, often remarkably subtle, of the devious self-consciousness of medieval French literature.
Medieval French literature, Romance, Literary Theory