Mind-reading and Middle English Narrative
Mind-reading can sound like a magical or miraculous ability, but it can also refer to an everyday mental habit, part of how we explain to ourselves how other minds work. Oscillating between the fantastic and the mundane, mind-reading points to a horizon of interpersonal knowledge imagined to be just out of reach. In this SNF RDV talk, Yea Jung Park sketches out a tentative cultural history of mind-reading in the medieval period, and shares a more detailed discussion of the Christian practice of “spiritual discernment” (discretio spirituum) as a productive case-study for exploring the imaginative potential of mind-reading in the later Middle Ages. Her analysis centers on examples drawn from Middle English textual culture, but will also touch on on related religious, intellectual, and literary traditions from elsewhere in western medieval Europe.
Learn more about Yea Jung Park