Scholar to discuss medieval wall paintings at Bates

A scholar of medieval studies will explore the topic of wall paintings in English churches as a means to understanding late medieval English poetry in a lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 7, in Room 105 of the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

David Benson, professor of English at the University of Connecticut, will deliver the talk, “Writing on the Walls: Medieval English Mural Images and Literature,” sponsored by the Classical and Medieval Studies program at Bates.

Benson said his presentation will focus on “how an awareness of wall paintings in England, especially in parish churches…would have been available to virtually all –rich and poor, men and women– and can help us better understand medieval literature: not only a ‘popular’ poet like Langland, but even ‘elite’ poets like Chaucer…”

The author and editor of an extensive number of books and essays on Chaucer and medieval literature, Benson received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a master’s degree and doctoral degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He has received Guggenheim and National Humanities Center fellowships in support of his scholarship and is an editorial board member of the Chaucer Review.

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