News & Events

Video Links for NCS Expo 2021

Here are links (in reverse chronological order) with required passcodes to all of the recordings of NCS Expo 2021 events. Thanks again to Anthony Bale, to the NCS Trustees, to all of the organizers and participants in each session, and to Ruth Evans for her wonderful Presidential Address, which will be published in Studies in the Age of Chaucer.

We hope that such events in these forms or others will become a new forum in the long history of NCS exchanges, going forward. 

—Thomas Goodmann, Executive Director 











2021 Membership Renewals and Dues

We are currently in the process of designing our new website. Our existing website no longer supports membership renewals for current members or new member registration.  

If you are a current member, we ask that you please wait to renew your membership at this time. Once we have migrated to the new website we will make a call for renewals. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding your membership, please do not hesitate to contact us

If you are not a member and would like to join the society, please contact us at

We also invite you to subscribe to our Listserv where we share general announcements and will communicate updates regarding the website in the coming months.  

We would finally like to take this time to remind you that we are offering membership at no cost to continuing and new members in 2021, in light of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. When our new website is completed, everyone may renew or add a membership at no charge.   

Thank you for your patience and continued support. 

NCS Expo 2021 Homepage

Announcing the homepage with event registration for NCS Expo 2021, 18 to 22 July, featuring research-driven papers and presentations on Chaucer, literature, and culture in the age of Chaucer, and medieval studies.  The Expo page is here:

Please note that all Expo2021 events are free and open to all, but you must register first in order to join each event. And consider proposing your creative participation in “Back Talk: Chaucer’s Silent Characters Speak Out” on Wednesday, 21 July; you’ll find a CFP for that in the link on the Expo webpage.

Please contact Tom Goodmann ( or President Anthony Bale ( with any questions or concerns you may have.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you in these Zoom sessions, come summer!

NCS Objects Proposed Cuts to Medieval Literature

The New Chaucer Society has written to senior managers at University of Leicester to object to proposed cuts to medieval literature. 

"We are disturbed by your proposals to end the teaching of early English literature, culture, and language. The proposals state that you will provide modules that are 'theoretically innovative and thematically driven'; 'a chronological literary history'; 'a selection of modules on race, ethnicity, sexuality, and diversity; a decolonised curriculum.' There is so reason why these ambitions should not go hand in hand with medieval studies. You go on to say that you will 're-focus and strengthen' English, but in our view you cannot do this by ceasing core parts of your provision. In the University's proposals, the study of early English is presented as being inimical to diversity. This is completely untrue. In fact, these issues are central to the evolving present and future of our field, as they should be to all areas of study."


Anthony Bale, President, The New Chaucer Society

NCS Expo, Future Forward Call for Nominees

NCS Expo, Future Forward Call for Nominees, #NCSExpo2021


Organisers: Seeta Chaganti; Bobby Meyer-Lee; Emily Steiner.


Whether in the context of long-term social justice commitments or in response to shifts in global politics over the last few years, medievalists have found themselves facing questions about the relation – or lack thereof – between their organizing work and their scholarly engagements. To some extent, this question pertains to academics in all fields: those who are also organizers note the sometimes stark contrasts between the activist and academic communities to which they belong. But the role of organizing in the medievalist’s life holds special complexity. For while scholars in more contemporary fields can often create mutually reinforcing continuities between their scholarship and relevant activist practices, this dynamic can be challenging for medievalists to reproduce. The 2021 Future Forward session aims to create conversation about this longstanding reality in light of current political situations. The session is slated to take place online on Monday 19th July 2021, 14:30BST/08:30EST


Questions we hope to consider include:

  •       How do our expertise and methodologies as medievalists contribute to our social justice goals?
  •       What experiences do we have in which our premodern objects of study shape our interventions into present injustices?
  •       How does the field acknowledge these? Conversely, what happens when our scholarship and social justice aims are unrelated or even limit and undermine each other? And how do we negotiate between reform from within institutions and the abolitionist discourses that interrogate institutions and hierarchies themselves? Some of these institutions not only play defining roles in many of our lives but also find their origins in medieval cultures.
  •       Are some of the antagonisms or simple lack of connections between our activist and scholarly commitments, and between the institutions that enable each, fundamentally irreconcilable? And, inasmuch as they might be reconciled, how might emerging critical emphases in medieval studies serve not simply to improve medievalist scholarship but also to re-make medieval studies as a discipline, one that would more saliently orient its work toward contemporary racial, economic, environmental, gender, disability, and other forms of justice? What challenges have we faced, historically and recently, in making this vision a reality?


The format for this event will consist of a one-hour panel, in which speakers will interview each other, followed by 45-minute breakout group discussions for all audience members.


Nominations and self-nominations should be sent to NCS President Anthony Bale ( by Monday 25th January 2021, and can include a supporting statement of up to 200 words.  

NCS Expo2021 and Biennial Congress 2022

The next New Chaucer Society (NCS) biennial congress will be in Durham, England, in July 2022. NCS remains committed to the Biennial Congress and the value of our in-person meetings.

In the summer of 2021 NCS will offer an Expo of research-driven papers and presentations on Chaucer, literature, and culture in the age of Chaucer, and medieval studies.  Expo2021 is not an online congress, but rather a digital showcase. Expo2021 is an opportunity for us to explore new ways of coming together in the wake of the difficulties of the last year, and to reaffirm NCS’s values of building a diverse, inclusive, and progressive scholarly society. 

Even before the coronavirus crisis, NCS was thinking of ways of meeting that would embrace digital technology, widen participation, and have less of a financial and environmental footprint. So Expo2021 is a way of exploring some of the potential benefits of online gatherings. Expo2021 has been put together by current officers and members of NCS, with planning meetings involving the team at Durham, the 2020 Program Committee, and the Trustees of NCS.    

Expo2021 will also be a chance to celebrate Ruth Evans, former Executive Director and outgoing President of the Society. Ruth will be presenting her Presidential Lecture, 'On Not Being Chaucer', as the culmination of Expo2021 and this really gives us something to look forward to.

We will launch the Expo2021 website very shortly, and the social media handle will be #NCSExpo2021.


Anthony Bale, President, New Chaucer Society

Dr. Ruth Kennedy Obituary

For twenty years Ruth was an inspirational lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. Ruth's passionate love of the natural world was reflected in her teaching and research. One of her favourite, and most popular, classes was centred on the Parlement of Fowles. Ruth was an exceptionally perceptive and conscientious editor, and her work included a volume of three alliterative Saints lives for EETS and a special issue of Parergon on metre and stress in English rhymed alliterative verse. Ruth was also very active running Lomers (the London Old and Middle English Research Seminar group) which brought together academics from the University of London for research seminars and conferences. A number of these conferences inspired volumes of research, and I was fortunate enough to work with Ruth on editing Writers of the Reign of Henry II and Authority and Subjugation in Writing of Medieval Wales for Palgrave Macmillan. Ruth had an irrepressible zest for life and will be sorely missed by her colleagues, former students and friends, as well as her family.

Dr. S. T. Meecham-Jones

New Chaucer Society Statement on the Death of George Floyd

The New Chaucer Society expresses our solidarity in mourning with the family and communities of George Floyd, who died, restrained and unarmed, in Minneapolis on 25 May.  His killing follows those of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Vonderrit Myers, Jr., Michael Brown, and so many others. We mourn their deaths.  We know that the response to George Floyd’s killing from communities across the US, the UK, the rest of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Japan is also a reaction to longstanding systemic racism and social inequalities, now painfully amplified by the current global pandemic, in which people of color are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.  The New Chaucer Society is a public, international, and outward-facing organization, that stands in opposition to the many kinds of violence done to people of color and to all oppressed groups around the world.  We know that words are not enough.  The ethics of our scholarship and our teaching, and our commitment to diversity and inclusion, call us to speak out in support of African American communities, but let us also actively listen and learn from one another and reflect upon the ways in which we perpetuate cycles of racial injustice.  Let us stand together for a better future.  

Tom Goodmann, Executive Director, New Chaucer Society
Ruth Evans, President, New Chaucer Society

Addendum, Monday, June 8, 2020:

Our thanks to those members who have written to express concerns over the inclusion of China in the list of countries and regions responding to the death of George Floyd. We intended to signal the global scope of responses to the deaths of African Americans, and want to acknowledge that the list of countries, regions, and peoples was not sufficiently nuanced. We meant to include the people of Hong Kong, Uighur Muslim communities, Taiwan (Republic of China), and those in the PRC whose resistance has a very long history.
Our apologies for using words that were insufficient and imprecise, and our thanks to members who have written to us for clarification.
Thomas Goodmann, Executive Director, The New Chaucer Society
Ruth Evans, President, The New Chaucer Society


Friday 28th- Saturday 29th June 2019

Hosted by the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, with generous support from the New Chaucer Society

Keynote addresses by Professor Laura Kendrick (University of Versailles) and Professor David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania).


The Biennial London Chaucer Conference 2019 seeks proposals for 20-minute papers, or for panels (consisting of three 20-minute papers), on any topic related to this year’s conference theme: ‘Chaucer and Europe’. Papers should primarily address issues relating to Europe and its influences, ideas, and traditions in the age of Chaucer and his contemporaries, or in later works which engage with Chaucer’s literary afterlife. The conference aims to explore not only how the works of such great European writers as Dante, Boccaccio, Machaut, and Froissart influenced Chaucer and his contemporaries, but also how European literary traditions, forms, and styles informed the literature produced in England during the later Middle Ages. The conference also welcomes papers which explore, or engage creatively, with ideas of place, travel, and commerce in Europe, as well as issues of identity (regional, national, and international), otherness, and borders and boundaries. Interdisciplinary topics and approaches are most welcome as the conference hopes to bring together scholars and postgraduate students working in a range of disciplines and departments. 

Possible topics might include:
• The influence of European works and writers on Chaucer and/or his contemporaries
• European literary traditions (including genres, forms, styles, and themes)
• European settings, geographies, and landscapes
• Europe and the global
• Place and identity
• National and international identities
• Transport, mobility, and migration
• Pilgrimage, war, and crusading
• Translation, languages, and multilingualism
• Borders and boundaries
• Modern ideas of Medieval Europe

Proposals for single 20-minute papers should include a 250-word abstract (as well as name and affiliation). Proposals for three-paper panels should take the form of three separate abstracts as well as a brief discussion of the rationale behind the session (the name of the three speakers and, if possible, an appointed chair, should also be included). Proposals should be sent to Alastair Bennett, Hetta Howes and Natalie Jones, at by January 31st 2019

Call for submissions: In honor of Gloria Cigman

Bien chers tous,

Notre amie Gloria Cigman nous a quittés. Avec elle, s’en sont allés l’humour, la vivacité d’esprit, une forme d’élégance et de charisme. Au-delà de la peine et de la tristesse provoquées par sa perte, nous vous proposons de lui rendre hommage en lui dédiant un recueil d’articles. Les contributeurs à ce volume pourront consacrer leur article aux thèmes qui étaient chers à Gloria – la religion, les sermons lollards, les Juifs dans l’Angleterre de la fin du Moyen Age, les femmes au Moyen-Age, la littérature médiévale en général et celle qui avait trait aux formes du mal en particulier ; ou bien, s’ils préfèrent, leur choix pourra se porter sur un thème susceptible de plaire à Gloria. Dans un cas comme dans l’autre, nous nous emploierons à célébrer sa mémoire et son amour de toutes « choses médiévales ».

Les propositions d’articles (identité / affiliation + titre et quelques lignes à propos du futur article) sont à envoyer à avant le 28 février 2019.

Les normes de présentation peuvent être consultées à partir du lien suivant :


Dear everyone,

Our friend Gloria Cigman has left us. Gone with her is a great deal of humour, wit, elegance and charisma. Over and above the sadness generated by her loss, we propose to dedicate a collection of articles to her memory. Those among you wishing to contribute might devote their article either to subjects that were dear to Gloria – religion, Lollard sermons, the Jews in later medieval England, women in the Middle Ages, medieval literature in general or that relating to forms of evil in particular – or to themes likely to have aroused her interest. In both cases, we shall endeavour to celebrate her memory and her love of « all things medieval ».

Authors are invited to submit a title with a few lines about the future article together with their identification/affiliation to before 28 February 2019.

The norms for the presentation of the articles can be consulteld at