Jonathan Sapp

My research interests focus on the dialectic between lay commemorative practices and monastic institutional reform between 1000 and 1300 C. E. My dissertation examined the ways in which monastic communities and aristocratic elites fought over the placement of lay bodies as a way to discuss the creation of secular memory. Each chapter of the dissertation explores flash points at which this dialogue about corpse movement took place, demonstrating how and why particular social practices around the placement of bodies changed the stakes of conversations about aristocratic memory, lineage, and forgetting in a period of rapid institutional and cultural change.

I am interested in researching the ways in which the social and political activity of knights, lords, and secular elites informed intellectual debates over the course of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. My research is an atempt to cast aristocratic elites as correspondents in the course of the cultural and intellectual changes of local reform efforts during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, rather being relegated to mere sources of monastic converts or patronage.

In addition to my dissertation research, I am interested in the social and cultural life of the European nobility during the high middle ages, (1000-1300 C. E.), medieval memory studies and diplomatics, medieval humor, and all forms of conflict narratives contained in medieval sources.

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