In this impassioned and challenging lecture, Gillian Evans addresses the interdisciplinary nature of the study of medieval texts and its inherent problems, drawing important lessons for teaching and research within the modern university. Through discussion of the practices, philosophy and constitution of the medieval community of authorship, Evans throws into relief the assumptions which surround our current practice of dividing the subject matter of study into discrete educational 'portions' by discipline and subject. While acknowledging that the task of pursuing the truth through academic study has perhaps been made more manageable by classification, Evans argues that ancient and medieval scholars would not have flourished in a world of single-subject disciplines. Instead, she calls for disciplinary bounds to be broken and for the modern university to lead in the preservation of learning for its own sake and the fostering of a culture of open-ended enquiry.

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