Michelle Karnes is an associate professor in the English department at the University of Notre Dame. This year, she is the Walter Jackson Bate fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She works on late medieval literature and philosophy, with particular interest in imagination, the meaning of fiction, the use of figures of speech, and the operation of truth claims, especially with respect to startling or unusual events. Her first book, Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages (Chicago 2011) studies the role of imagination in medieval meditations on Christ and in the period’s theories of cognition. It argues that a newly robust theory of imagination gave new power to the meditant as well as to imaginative literature. Her current project, Medieval Marvels and Fictions, focuses on the role of marvels in medieval romance and natural philosophy. An article from the project, “Marvels in the Medieval Imagination,” was published in Speculum in 2015.
Supported by The Harvard Lectureship & The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund at Yale University