Jared Brunner (HUMS ‘22) was awarded the Theron Rockwell Field Prize for “a poetic, literary, or religious work,” including creative writing or scholarship for his senior essay: “Nature’s Ax: Courtesy and Wilderness in the School of Chartres and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”
Mr. Brunner’s thesis draws upon medieval philosophy to illuminate the concept of nature in the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In particular, the paper looks to thinkers associated with the School of Chartres, including Bernardus Silvestrius and Alain de Lille, to shed light on how nature was understood in the medieval world. Pushing back against modern readings that posit an ahistorical opposition between nature and humanity, he argues that the Green Knight—a figure of nature—is better understood as a teacher than an adversary of Arthurian society.
Next year, he will be reading for MPhil in English Studies at Cambridge University, continuing his study of medieval literature.