406 Bryan Hall
Ph.D. Columbia, 1996
M.A. Minnesota, 1992
B.A. and B.Mus.A. Michigan , 1989
Bruce Holsinger specializes in the literature and culture of the medieval world, with additional interests in historical fiction, modern and contemporary theory, the history of the book, and premodern religious cultures. He is currently finishing a book called Archive of the Animal: Science, Sacrifice, and the Parchment Inheritance, which explores the parchment record of the Western tradition from a number of different angles (environmental history, animal studies, zooarchaeology, theologies of sacrifice, etc.). A longer-term book project, The Work of God: Liturgical Culture and Vernacular Writing in Britain, 550-1550, examines the shaping role of liturgical culture in the history of literary writing, from the earliest known vernacular survivals in the sixth century to the coming of common prayer in the sixteenth.
His previous books, including The Premodern Condition: Medievalism and the Making of Theory (Chicago 2005) as well as Neomedievalism, Neoconservatism, and the War on Terror (Chicago/Prickly Paradigm, 2007), have explored the shaping role of the medieval in the making of modern critical thought and political discourse, part of his broader interest in the subject of medievalism. His first book, Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer (Stanford 2001), won the Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book, the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America, and the Philip Brett Award from the American Musicological Society.
He has also published two historical novels set in Ricardian London and featuring John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer. A Burnable Book (HarperCollins/William Morrow 2014) won the John Hurt Fisher Prize, was selected as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review, and was named one of the top crime novels of 2014 by the American Library Association. The Invention of Fire (HarperCollins/William Morrow 2015), his most recent book, explores the beginnings of gun violence in the Western world. Both novels have been widely reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Sunday Times of London, and his fiction writing has been featured several times on National Public Radio. His scholarly work on historical fiction includes a special issue of the journal postmedieval, "After Eco: Novel Medievalisms" (co-edited with Stephanie Trigg); as well as a forthcoming book, Historical Fiction: A Very Short Introduction, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018.