Student Spotlight: Ph.D. Student Drew Narayanan’s Middle French Translation

Ph.D. Student Tirumular (Drew) Narayanan has recently translated a section from Guillaume de Nangis’ Life of St. Louis. Pre-dating Louis’ more famous biography by Jean de Joinville, the chronicle celebrates the life, accomplishments and sometimes miraculous abilities of the famous king who became canonized in 1297. Narayanan’s excerpt from an alternate version of Nangis’ work recounts an episode during the French king’s 1270 crusade into Tunisia. This contribution serves as a stepping stone for Drew’s ongoing project titled “Treacherous and Shoeless Saracens: French Depictions of Hafsids in Royal MS 16 G VI” which began as a Master’s thesis chapter, developed into a conference paper and will hopefully transform into a full article in the coming year. In his introduction, Drew outlines some of the problematic readings surrounding this text and its corresponding image in a fifteenth-century manuscript. Furthermore, he briefly offers a different interpretation which reconsiders the text as well alongside the racialized figures. The translation has been published as part of Stanford’s Global Medieval Sourcebook which seeks to create an open-access database for less translated texts.