American Philosophical Society
Member History

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4. Humanities[X]
1Name:  Dr. John V. Fleming
 Institution:  Princeton University
 Year Elected:  2015
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402a
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1936
John Fleming’s main contributions to scholarship have been in three areas—Romance (Old French) literature, the interaction of literary tropes and iconography in medieval painting and sculpture, especially associated with Franciscan spirituality, and Chaucer. His study of the thirteenth-century Roman de la Rose is regarded as a classic exegesis of this multi-layered text and also as a piece of exemplary scholarly prose. The same may be said of his study of Franciscan hermeneutics, From Bonaventure to Bellini, which was a pathbreaking interdisciplinary study. Fleming has also been an indefatigable editor, translator and commentator on medieval Franciscan texts (see his Introduction to the Franciscan Literature of the Middle Ages) and texts, like the Two Poems Attributed to Joachim of Fiore, which were regarded in the thirteenth and fourteenth century as bearing upon the Franciscan experience. Along the way he has made fundamental contributions to literary scholars’ and historians’ understanding and appreciation of matters as diverse as Chaucer’s classical sources and the mental universe of Christopher Columbus. Fleming has regularly, productively and with great wit challenged many of the stultifying orthodoxies regnant for so long in medieval scholarship, not least the concept of ‘courtly love’. Added to his scholarly impact through his published works one must include Fleming’s influence on the field through his teaching. Indeed his reputation as a teacher both of graduate students and undergraduates is legendary.
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