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Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
Department of English
Areas of expertise: Northern medieval literatures, language, linguistics, and poetic structure
In the News
Sarah Higley on Virtual Worlds
September 30, 2010
Professor Higley's primary interests lie in northern medieval literatures with an early emphasis on language, linguistics, and poetic structure. Her later work in fantasy and science fiction led her to explore medieval and modern notions of magic, machinery, monstrosity, artifice, and gender. Her recent publications investigate the early origins of the werewolf, the medieval concept of the ""robot,"" and manifestations throughout time of ""simulacra,"" especially miniatures and artificial languages. Her book Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language: A Translation, Interpretation and Discussion (Palgrave-McMillan) translates the Lingua Ignota,an understudied text by the prolific 12th century writer, composer, and visionary Hildegard of Bingen,who established and headed two convents in the Rhineland region of Germany. The Lingua Ignota is a list of 1012 ""unknown"" words that Hildegard claimed to have received from God.