• The Rhetoric of Advancement: Ars dictaminis, Cursus, and Clerical Careerism in Late Medieval England

    Author(s):
    Ian Cornelius (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Subject(s):
    Classical rhetoric, Cultural studies, History of education, Latin literature, Medieval studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    ars dictaminis, style, cursus, Pierre Bourdieu, England
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M60J45
    Abstract:
    This article examines the medieval ars dictaminis, or art of letter-writing, focusing on socio-cultural aspects, especially as taught at Oxford c. 1370–1432. Ars dictaminis participated in and contributed to a structural transformation in the production of written communications and administrative records in later medieval Europe. Two aspects of this transformation were the recruitment and educational formation of a class of domestic literate servants, and a diversification in the field of educational alternatives. Teachers of ars dictaminis recognized and responded to these aspects of their pragmatic situation: in addition to providing technical instruction, the ars dictaminis provided its students and practitioners with normative representations of their location within a stratified social world. In several textbooks of English provenance, instruction in cursus, or prose rhythm, became an occasion for working out this discipline’s contested status within the symbolic economies of education and patronage.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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