The projects in this working group approach multilingual textual sources by using trans-disciplinary approaches and combining the methods of historiography, individual vernacular philologies, linguistics and literary studies. The study of this particular material has recently become one of the hot topics in inter- and transdisciplinary medieval studies; it allows to formulate questions on complex processes of identity formation and transformation in the case of individuals as well as social groups. The research on the multilingual textual sources from this point of view fills the major research gap of contemporary medieval studies.
Individual projects pursued by the working group focus on the basic scrutiny of the given material – text editions, codicological, paleographical descriptions and the reconstruction of the transmission history of individual texts. This first step is necessary because the majority of the texts of interest was for decades ignored by the respective research. In a second step, individual texts are contextualized within the frame of the respective social and literary contexts, textual and intellectual networks are reconstructed.
The research is conducted in a series of individual, collective and cooperative projects. The work of the WG is based on the achievements of the ERC Grant 'Origins of the Vernacular Mode' (OVERMODE, ERC grant agreement No. 263672) hosted by the Institute for Medieval Research from 2011 till 2017. During the work on this project an international research network was build up (COST Action IS 1301 'New Communities of Interpretation') focusing on the catechetic and theological literatures in late medieval Europe with the purpose to formulate a new, transdisciplinary methodological and theoretical basis of a European approach to the given material. The cornerstones of this new approach are the theory and practice of translation in the Middle Ages, cultures of reading, and the formation and transformation of the communities of interpretation.