Schedule: 12 July

9:00-10:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 3

Session 3A: Border-Crossings: Chaucer's Italy (Lightning)

This session will focus on geographical, conceptual, political, and aesthetic “border-crossings” which Chaucer carried out on diplomatic trips to Italy (1372–78) and upon his return. Papers might address his acts of diplomacy on behalf of Edward III and Richard II; late medieval English constructions of and/or commerce with “Ytaille;” the trecento reception of English diplomats and visitors; learning/speaking Italian in late medieval London; or Italian merchant reading communities and copyists, among other topics. They could also address, as intellectual and aesthetic border-crossings, Chaucer’s “translations” of Boccaccio’s writings, poetics, and theories of the vernacular as a means of negotiating with/contesting Dante.

Thread: Chaucer Abroad
Organizer: Kathryn McKinley (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Moderator: Kathryn McKinley

  1. Zachary E. Stone (University of Virginia), "Oother art—Chaucer’s Lynyan and Alternative Italies"
  2. Teresa Russo (University of Toronto), "Literary Structure and "serial loci" in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale and Boccaccio’s Teseida"
  3. John Ganim (University of California, Riverside), "Nice Work if You Can Get it: Poetics and Effort in Boccaccio and Chaucer"
  4. Roberta Marangi (University of Geneva), "Incipit et Explicit Vox Nova: Chaucer’s Narratorial Voice as Poet"
  5. William Caferro (Vanderbilt University), "Chaucer, Hawkwood, Sabraham and the English Embassy to Milan, 1378"

Session 3B: Fictionality I (Paper)

This panel invites reflection on the instructive role of feigned, imaginative, or counterfactual narratives in the later Middle Ages. While we often attribute an ethical, action-oriented function to medieval storytelling, this panel seeks to understand the philosophical dimensions of fiction, its role in truth-telling and intellectual inquiry. How, presenters might ask, do fictional stories construct or organize knowledge? What types of knowledge (empathic, mystical, natural, etc.) does fiction especially generate? If Middle English literature should both entertain and instruct, how might humor, fantasy, or suspense generate particular ways of knowing? Likewise, how could the truth-telling or knowledge-construction within fiction be a source of delight?

Thread: Forming Knowledge
Organizer: Mary Raschko (Whitman College)
Moderator: Mary Raschko

  1. Julie Orlemanski (University of Chicago), "Did the Middle Ages Believe in the Their Exempla?"
  2. Taylor Cowdery (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), "False Universals in Chaucer's General Prologue"
  3. Katharine Breen (Northwestern University), "Minimal Fictions"

Session 3C: Eco-Chaucer: Transhistorical Readings of the Sacred, Sovereign, and Secular (Lightning)

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales stages the competing claims of the sacred and secular in a manner prescient of our contemporary debates over land sovereignty, environmental devastation, and the value of place. What has Chaucerian writing to offer our environmental debates today, and—in the spirit of temporal reciprocity—what might an environmentally aware readership bring to an understanding of the late medieval contexts of Chaucer’s own work? This session will bring together environmental activism with the Book of Nature, indigenous epistemologies with Gene(sis)idal pre-modern European understandings of the relationship between homo and natura, and Chaucerian close reading with ecocritical theoretical framing.

Thread: History Now
Organizer: Robert Rouse (University of British Columbia)
Moderator: Robert Rouse

  1. Brantley Bryant (Sonoma State University), "The Sea That Greedy Is: Chaucerian Water Politics"
  2. Noelle Phillips (Douglas College), "Outside the Walled Garden: Nature, Environment, and Chaucerian Feminism"
  3. Clare Davidson (University of Western Australia), "In Defence of the Cuckoo: Natural Selection in the Parliament of Fowls"
  4. Gillian Rudd (University of Liverpool), "Time for Trees: How the 2017 Charter for Trees May Help Read Chaucer, and Vice-Versa"
  5. Mo Pareles (University of British Columbia), "Eldum swa unnyt: Mining Old English in Anthropocene Canada"
  6. Daniel Remein (University of Massachusetts), "Fish Stories"

Session 3D: Language Contact and Language Change (Paper)
Thread: Language Contacts
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: TBD

  1. T. W. Machan (University of Notre Dame), "Writing Linguistic History: The Marches"
  2. Nicholas Myklebust (Regis University), "Anglo-Scottish Borderlands: A Fifteenth-Century Metrical Invention"
  3. Andrew Galloway (Cornell University), “Lyric Noise”

Session 3E: Transcription Then (Paper)
Thread: Making the Text
Organizer: Daniel Wakelin, University of Oxford
Moderator: Daniel Wakelin

  1. Thomas J. Farrell (Stetson University), "Scribal Accuracy in the Copying of the Reeve's Tale"
  2. Mayumi Taguchi & Satoko Tokunaga (Osaka Sangyo University, Keio University), "Transcription of Printed books: Compositors, Correctors and Editors"
  3. Akiyuki Jimura (Okayama University of Science), "A New Approach to the Manuscripts and Editions of the Canterbury Tales"

Session 3F: Imagined Pasts and Possible Futures (Paper)

This session invites papers exploring the long temporal scale of the medieval literary imagination, and especially the ways in which medieval cultures imagined their own pasts. Papers might consider a work featuring time travel or a long internal temporal scale, such as legends of the Seven Sleepers, or texts that revisit England’s pre-Conquest past (such as St. Erkenwald or perhaps Athelston). In examining how medieval texts memorialize the past and imagine the future, we might uncover how medieval peoples conceived of time, memory, the archive, and periods.

Thread: Middle English Literature at Scale
Organizer: Jordan Zweck (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Moderator: Jordan Zweck

  1. Cynthia Turner Camp (University of Georgia), "The 'Just Decimacioun' of Historical Progress in Lydgate’s 'Austin at Compton'"
  2. David K. Coley (Simon Fraser University), "Back to the Future: Negotiating Traumatic Pasts in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"
  3. Darragh Greene (University College Dublin), "'Though I by ordre telle nat thise thynges': Time, Tragedy, and The Monk’s Tale"
  4. Mary Kate Hurley (Ohio University), "Chaucer’s Narrative Archives: Reconsidering the Monk’s Prologue and Tale"

Session 3G: 40 Years of Studies in the Age of Chaucer 
Organizer: Sarah Salih (King’s College London); Studies in the Age of Chaucer
Moderator: Sarah Salih

  1. David Matthews (University of Manchester)           
  2. Paul Strohm (Columbia University)
  3. Bridget Whearty (Binghamton University, SUNY)

Session 3H: Chaucer and Transgender Studies (Lightning)

Gender transformation is a recurrent motif in medieval literature and culture, from retellings of Ovid’s Metamorphoses to transgender saints to John/Eleanor Rykener’s late fourteenth-century sexual performance “as a woman.” What is distinctive about medieval trans narratives? How do they challenge contemporary models of gender and sexual identity? How does trans intersect with other categories, such as disability? What models—for example, “transgender time”—do we use to think about trans in the past? Participants are all asked to address, however briefly, an overarching question: what difference does it make to our reading of texts by Chaucer and those of his age to deploy transgender as a category of analysis?

Organizer: Ruth Evans (Saint Louis University)
Moderator: Ruth Evans

  1. Leanne MacDonald (University of Notre Dame), "Challenging Normative Notions of Transidentity in Medieval Studies"
  2. Wan-Chuan Kao (Washington and Lee University), "Trans*domesticity"
  3. Michelle M. Sauer (University of North Dakota), "Reading the 'Glitch': Trans-, Technology, and Gender in Medieval Texts"
  4. M. W. Bychowski (Case Western Reserve University), "Transgender Ethics: The Wife of Bath's Trans Feminism"
  5. Miranda Hajduk, (Seton Hall University), "'My Sturdy Hardynesse': The Wife of Bath’s Antifeminist Satire as Trans Narrative"
  6. Cai Henderson (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto), "Christine de Pizan's 'droite condicion': Authorial Construction and Resonant Reading in Transgender Text"

Session 3I: Literature and Late Medieval Science (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: TBD

  1. Matthew Boyd Goldie (Rider University), "Ground-Level Affordances: Astrolabes, Quadrants, and Practica Geometriae"
  2. David Hadbawnik (American University of Kuwait), "'Ignotum per ignocius': The Science of Unknowing in Late Medieval English Alchemical Poetry"
  3. Charlotte Rudman (King's College London), "The Science of Sound in Chaucer's Dream Vision Poetry"

Session 3J: The Meaning of Religious Violence (Paper)

Scholarship has become accustomed to addressing “symbolic violence”—according to Bourdieu, “that form of domination which... is only exerted through the communication in which it is disguised”—but of course medieval literature is replete with depictions of physical violence as well. This violence is also the subject of contested history; Steven Pinker, for instance, has recently argued, in a kind of evolutionary-psychology updating of Norbert Elias, that humankind is on a perpetual progression upward from greater to lesser violence. This session seeks papers on violence in Middle English literature: its representation, its significance, its relationship to symbolic power and domination, its relation to meaning-making and communication, or the competing ways in which it is interpreted, justified, or suppressed.

Organizer: Robert Epstein (Fairfield University)
Moderator: Robert Epstein

  1. Shoshana Adler (University of Pennsylvania), "Categorical Violence: the Trope of Gog Magog and Racialized Formations in Middle English Alexander Literature"
  2. Daniel Kline (University of Alaska, Anchorage), "Pedagogical Violence, Levinasian Ethics, and the Subversive Physical Logic of the Alma Redemptoris in Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale"
  3. Joshua Easterling (Murray State University), "Sacred Interiorities: Violence, Enclosure, and the Making of Objects in the Middle English Cleanness"

10:30-11:00     Break

11:00-12:30 Faces Plenary: Race and Inclusion: Facing Chaucer Studies, Past and Future

Moderator: Ruth Evans (St. Louis University)

  1. Anthony Bale (Birkbeck, University of London)
  2. Candace Barrington (Central Connecticut State University)
  3. Carolyn Dinshaw (New York University)
  4. Wan-Chuan Kao (Washington and Lee University)
  5. Richard Sévère (Valparaiso University)

12:30-2:00    Lunch 

2:00-3:30      SESSIONS: GROUP 4

Session 4A: Medieval Latour (Paper)

Bruno Latour’s work has become prominent within scholarship on the Middle Ages, figuring in analyses of the present’s relation to the past, posthumanism, the history of science, ecocriticism, materiality, and semiotics. We ask prospective panelists to highlight a topic within Latour's corpus that has particular value for medieval studies and to propose a brief selection (about 15 pages) that the audience and fellow panelists might read in advance of the panel to aid discussion. Once selected, panelists will work together to decide on a final list of topics and readings. At the beginning of the seminar, panelists will introduce the readings in order to foment and focus conversation. As with all seminars, an hour will be left for discussion with the audience. We hope that the session will be engaging for those with little knowledge of Latour's work as well as those familiar with it. (*SWITCHED TO PAPER PANEL)

Thread: Forming Knowledge
Organizer: Michelle Karnes (University of Notre Dame); Julie Orlemanski (University of Chicago)
Moderator: Michelle Karnes

  1. Laura Saetveit Miles (University of Bergen, Norway), "Latour's 'How Not to Misunderstand the Science and Religion Debate': A Useful Philosophy against False Binaries"
  2. Jessica Rezunyk (Upper Canada College), "Latour's Facing Gaia: Translations of Nature and Religion"
  3. Katherine Zieman (University of Oxford), "Latour, Technology, and Mediation"

Session 4B: Gendered History, Historicized Gender I (Paper)

When the New Historicism was near its apogee, there was some controversy regarding its relation to feminism. As Wai-Chee Dimock wrote in American Literature in 1991, “If the feminist chronicling of women's oppression and celebration of women's difference have appeared misguided to many New Historicists, the New Historicist universalization of power and blurring of genders have struck many feminists as nothing short of reactionary.” As we reconsider the directions of historical analysis, it is appropriate to revisit questions of gender and history. This session seeks papers that offer innovative historicized analyses of gender, or that consider whether historically oriented critical approaches subsequent to New Historicism have addressed the quandary that Dimock identified.

Thread: History Now
Organizer: Elizabeth Robertson (University of Glasgow)
Moderator: Elizabeth Robertson

  1. Holly Crocker (University of South Carolina), "Feminism Without Gender: Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women and Late Medieval Literary Studies"
  2. Andrew Prescott (University of Glasgow), "Who Was Cecily Chaumpaigne?"
  3. Robert Epstein (Fairfield University), "'Wommen for to selle': Criseyde as Fictitious Commodity"

Session 4C: “The Marches”: The Cultural and Linguistic Positioning of Border Literature (Lightning)

Recent work on the multilingual border societies of medieval Britain has shown that frontier regions or “Marches” were often productive sites of encounter, language contact, and cultural exchange, particularly in the Marches of Wales and Scotland during England’s efforts to conquer those countries in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This session weighs the utility of using “the March” as a governing principle for analyzing literature. It considers the tension between viewing a march as a site of cultural transmission and contact (i.e. a line to be crossed) versus a discrete zone in its own right. Participants might address language contact, cultural contact, or the effects of multilingualism in a border context, as well as the extent to which border regions can/should be viewed in relation to the cultural mainstream.

Thread: Language Contacts
Organizer: Helen Cushman (Harvard University)
Moderator: Helen Cushman

  1. Helen Fulton (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol), "Literary Production on the March of Wales"
  2. David Callander (University of Cambridge), "Teilo Englished: the Middle English Life of St Teilo and the March"
  3. Simon Meecham-Jones, "Geoffrey Chaucer Regrets ... Gamelyn and the Welsh March"
  4. Georgia Henley (Stanford University), "British Identity in the Welsh March"
  5. Joseph Taylor (University of Alabama, Huntsville), "A Coming Community: The Anglo-Scottish March in the Late Middle Ages"
  6. Andrew M. Richmond (SUNY Oneonta), "A Land Out of Time: The Role of Anglo-Scottish Border Landscapes in the Late-Medieval Romance Imaginary"

Session 4D: Is There a Text for This Class? Editing Chaucer Now I (Position)

This session seeks position papers on current editorial efforts to produce texts of Chaucer for the classroom and for critical reference, and it invites participants to think about why the texts of Chaucer’s writings do not attract anything like the vibrant variety of editorial and publishing support given to those of Shakespeare.

Thread: Making the Text
Organizer: Elizabeth Scala (University of Texas at Austin)
Moderator: Elizabeth Scala

  1. David Lawton (Washington University in St. Louis), "The Norton Chaucer"
  2. Kathryn Lynch (Wellesley College), "Reader Friendly Chaucer Editions for an Age of Distraction"
  3. Peter Robinson & Barbara Bordalejo (University of Saskatchewan & University of Leuvan), "Many People Making Many Texts for Many Purposes"
  4. Andrew Taylor (University of Ottawa), "Should it be Rawer?: The Future of the Single Manuscript Edition"

Session 4E: Chivalric Ideology (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: TBD

  1. Marcel Elias (St Catharine's College, Cambridge), "Chaucer, the Crusades, and Chivalric Reform"
  2. Brian Gastle (Western Carolina University), "Chaucer the Veteran: Translating Violence in the Temple of Mars"
  3. Amy N. Vines (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), "Affect and the Chivalric Subject"

Session 4F: Monastic Prayer, Monastic Poetics (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: TBD

  1. Virginia Blanton (University of Missouri,Kansas City), "Margaret de Holand, Stephen Doddesham, and Syon Abbey: Integrating John of Tynemouth’s Sanctilogium of Native Saints into the Universal Calendar"
  2. Ann Killian (Yale University), "Lydgate’s Liturgical Poetry and the Soundscape of Bury"
  3. Amanda Joan Wetmore (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto), "Measure for Measure: The Poetics of Violence in Lydgate's The Fifteen O's of Christ"

Session 4G: Politic Translations: English Languages, English Books (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: TBD

  1. Jason Escandell (University of Texas at Austin), "Englishing Chaucer: Francis Kynaston's Latin Troilus Manuscript"
  2. Vickie Larsen (University of Michigan, Flint), "John Dryden’s Wife of Bath’s Tale"
  3. Rosemarie McGerr (Indiana University, Bloomington), "Latin in The Pilgrimage of the Soul: The Politics of Translation in Fifteenth-Century England"
  4. Sarah J. Sprouse (Texas Tech University), "Brut Lost? Brut Found: The Curious Case of The Historie of Cambria"

Session 4H: Wheels and Fire: Ideas of Language in Medieval Literature (Process and Technology) (Lightning)

From wicker houses to twittering birds to writing on the wall, Chaucer’s poetry is awash in images, metaphors, and representations of language both ciphered and overt. Indeed, The Canterbury Tales might be called a thought experiment in creating, transmitting and receiving stories, a work fundamentally about the potential and the limitations of speech and writing. This session is not a linguistics session (though grammar and linguistics may be discussed). Instead, it steps back from linguistics itself to consider how medieval writers understood language to work, how they described and represented it, and how such understandings were processed in their work. Topics could include metaphors used for language; images of reading, writing, and speaking in medieval works; explicit versus implicit concepts of language; noise, sound, and music as language.

Organizer: David K. Coley, Simon Fraser University
Moderator: David K. Coley

  1. Spencer Strub (University of California, Berkeley), "Process"
  2. Jeffery G. Stoyanoff (Spring Hill College), "Gower’s 'Trojan Horse': Metaphor, Reading, and Networks"
  3. Jordan Zweck (University of Wisconsin, Madison), "Giving Voice to Medieval Sign Lexica"
  4. Kara L. McShane (Ursinus College), "Writing as Time-Traveling Technology"
  5. Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University), "Relay Languages and Visual Vernaculars: Reading Speech, Writing Gesture"

3:30-4:00    Coffee Break

4:00-5:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 5

Session 5A: Chaucer’s “Cavillaciouns” (Paper)

The Middle English Dictionary defines cavillacioun as “the practice of making trivial or insincere objections or presenting captious, evasive or spurious arguments; cavilling, quibbling, sophistry, fraud, or an instance of it.” This session invites consideration of specific instances of cavilling, quibbling, sophistry, or intellectual fraud in in Chaucer’s works, and/or of the ways in which such moments reflect fourteenth-century attitudes to the establishment of knowledge and the defining of truth in general. To what purpose(s), for example, does Chaucer depict literalistic or legalistic attitudes to contracts or codes? And to what extent does Chaucer’s depiction of cavillacioun(s) reflect real unease about over-cleverness and demonstrative intellectualism in general?

Thread: Forming Knowledge
Organizer: Neil Cartlidge (University of Durham)
Moderator: Neil Cartlidge

  1. Theodore Chelis (Pennsylvania State University), "Fraudulent Auctoritates and Inept Sophistry in Chaucer's Legend of Cleopatra"
  2. Kathleen Burt (Middle Georgia State University), "Rhetorical Failure and Scientific Fraud in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Prologue and Tale"
  3. Helen Cooper (Magdalene College, Cambridge), "Logic and False Logic in Chaucer's Balade of 'Fortune'"

Session 5B: Is There a Text for This Class? Editing Chaucer Now II (Position)

This session seeks position papers on current editorial efforts to produce texts of Chaucer for the classroom and for critical reference, and it invites participants to think about why the texts of Chaucer’s writings do not attract anything like the vibrant variety of editorial and publishing support given to those of Shakespeare.

Thread: Making the Text
Organizer: Elizabeth Scala (University of Texas at Austin)
Moderator: Elizabeth Scala

  1. Julia Boffey & Tony Edwards (Queen Mary University of London & University of Kent), TBA           
  2. Christopher Cannon (Johns Hopkins University), "The Oxford Chaucer"
  3. Daniel Ransom (University of Oklahoma), "The Variorum Chaucer: Old Philology and Future Study of Chaucer"
  4. Elizabeth Scala, "Response: The Future of the Chaucer Book”

Session 5C: Doing Things with Latin (Paper)

As recent interventions by Joseph Farrell, Andrew Galloway, and Nicholas Watson (among others) have helped to make clear, the status of Latin in the later Middle Ages was far more vexed than earlier historiographies allow. Yet, if we can no longer simply consider the relationship between Latin and the vernacular in terms of familiar binaries (of gender, power, culture, etc.), how should we formulate a more rigorously historicized (or otherwise theorized) account of Latin in late-medieval England? This panel seeks papers that, in addressing this question, focus on specific Anglo-Latin authors (e.g., Grosseteste, Rolle, Gower), on Latinate literary trends and discourses (e.g., neoclassicism, scholastic exegesis, liturgical compositions), on works that mix Latin and the vernaculars, or on the place of Latin texts in specific plurilingual manuscripts. Relatedly, papers are also encouraged on the Latinity of Middle English studies in the last century (or more).

Organizer: Andrew Kraebel (Trinity University)
Moderator: TBD

  1. Joe Stadolnik (University College London), "Henry Daniel’s Latinish"
  2. Matthew Day (University of Oxford), "Metrical Study and Classicising Style in the Works of John Seward"
  3. Alex Mueller (University of Massachusetts, Boston), "Waking the Wordsmith: Ars dictaminis and Alliterative Verse"

Session 5D: Loneliness and Solitude in Chaucer (Paper)

Although Chaucer’s works are often marked by a spirit of conviviality and community, there are many moments in his texts where Chaucer the narrator, the pilgrims, or the figures in his dream visions find themselves alone. For this session, we would like to see papers that parse what it means to be alone or lonely in Chaucer’s works. Considering many of us as medievalists work alone, thinking about solitude and loneliness in the works of a poet who is not frequently considered outside the frame of “Social Chaucer” can help to tie our modern identities as medievalists to moments where community in Chaucer breaks down or is simply nonexistent. Finally, this session offers space to think through how moments of loneliness or of solitude reflect Chaucer’s exploration of the nature of emotions, the foundations of sexualities and/or gender, and the dimensions of poetic making, as collaboration or solo activity.

Organizer: Will Rogers (University of Louisiana, Monroe)
Moderator: Will Rogers

  1. Betsy McCormick (Mount San Antonio College), "Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things: Solitude, Loneliness and Memory in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women"
  2. Molly Martin (University of Indianapolis), "Grisilde's Lonely Spaces"
  3. Travis Neel, "The Lonely Cities of Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Hoccleve"

Session 5E: Misogynies: Medieval and Modern (Lightning)

As the recent American election campaign attests, misogyny—with its capacity to characterize powerful women as shrews and bitches and thereby undermine their political legitimacy—remains a significant political force. In media and popular culture, characterizations of women as jealous, lying, sex-hungry sluts abound. Scholars of the Middle Ages know that these notions have a long history in the West. This session invites short papers that explore the connections between modern and medieval misogynies and that consider how medieval feminist scholarship can contribute to an understanding of misogyny and its power in the twenty-first century.​

Organizer: Nicole Nolan Sidhu (East Carolina University)
Moderator: Nicole Nolan Sidhu

  1. Carissa M. Harris (Temple University), "'A Drunken Cunt Hath No Porter': Women, Alcohol, and Misogyny from the Medieval Alehouse to the Modern College Campus"
  2. Angela Jane Weisl (Seton Hall University), "'Trusteth as in love no man but me': Mansplaining and Feminist Resistance"
  3. Karen A. Winstead (The Ohio State University), "Misogyny, 'faux feminism,' and the (Ab)Uses of the Past"
  4. Sheila Fisher (Trinity College), "Griselda’s Two Faces, or When Hillary Met Melania"
  5. Sara Fredman (Washington University), "'Ye archewyves, stondeth at defense': The Clerk’s Tale, Breaking Bad, and Women Who Persist"
  6. Christine Di Gangi (Dawson Community College, Montana University System), "Symbolized Femininity and the State at War: Fifteenth-Century Misogyny and Contemporary Analogues"

Session 5F: Negative Thinking in Middle English Romance (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: TBD

  1. Paul A. Broyles (North Carolina State University), "Fictions of Possession: Exchanging the Immaterial in Amadace, Cleges, and Gawain"
  2. Maia Farrar (University of Michigan), "Testing Treweth: Systems of Dissent in the Erle of Tolous"
  3. Paul Gaffney (Hiram College), "Bodily Violations as Broken Signifiers in Medieval English Romance"
  4. Grace Timperley (University of Manchester), "Unknowing in the Middle English Lybeaus Desconus"

Session 5G: Parliament, Institutions, Theory: New Cases for Literature and the Law (Lightning)

Late medieval literature intertwines with institutions. Pursuing the commitments of literary texts often leads to parliament, chancery, or exchequer and to their attendant political and legal processes. Historicist approaches have richly sustained study of these intersections. This panel, however, seeks contributions that engage with legal and institutional history, but offer emergent perspectives through theoretical approaches often unpaired with historicist work. For example, what does psychoanalysis as speech theory teach us about political debate? How might ecocriticism attend to the spaces in which the law was practiced? Where’s affect in constitutional history? Participants will deliver brief talks that showcase the contributions that theoretical approaches to the law can make to the study of legal and political institutions or to documentary culture in late medieval England.

Organizer: Brantley Bryant (Sonoma State University); Jonathan Forbes (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Moderator: Brantley Bryant; Jonathan Forbes

  1. Julie Chamberlin (Indiana University, Bloomington), "Posthuman Theory, Prehumanist Tradition: Legal Networks in the Middle Ages"
  2. Anya Adair (University of Hong Kong), "Law in the Hands of the Scribes: Book-making, Legal Temporality and the Forest Charter in the Fourteenth Century"
  3. Craig E. Bertolet (Auburn University), "Habitus and the City: Reading London’s Civic Documents through the Lens of Bourdieu"

Session 5H: Scientia, Sapientia, et Pedagogia (Paper)

From Aristotle through Augustine and Aquinas, scientia (head knowledge) and sapientia (heart knowledge) have been understood as important, and often mutually exclusive, modalities of knowledge. This session invites lightning talks that explore the intersection of the two, particularly as they emerge in pedagogical theory and practice extending from the Middle Ages to the present day. How do writers of lyrics on the Passion provide their audiences with concrete information even as they prioritize affect and a wisdom of the heart? How do prose confessional manuals appeal both to individual devotion and communal ways of knowing (literally, con-science) as part of their teaching strategies? And what might be the best strategies for engaging with emotional and intellectual responses to medieval literature, on the part of both our students and ourselves? By addressing such questions, this session highlights the multiple literacies and ways of knowing drawn upon by medieval and modern writers, readers, and educators.

Organizer: Nicole D. Smith (University of North Texas); Moira Fitzgibbons (Marist College)
Moderator: Nicole D. Smith; Moira Fitzgibbons

  1. Jennifer Sisk (University of Vermont), "Clergie, Kynde Knowyng, and the Teaching of Piers Plowman"
  2. Jessica Hines (Duke University), "Knowing Suffering: Pity and the Gentle Heart in Late Medieval Literature"
  3. Kathryn Vulić (Western Washington University), "Scientia and Sapientia in 'The Thrush and The Nightingale'"

5:30-6:30    Transition time

6:30-8:00    Reception at Art Gallery of Ontario, co-hosted by Medievalists of Color