News & Events

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

2020 Biennial Congress Rescheduled

Given deepening global concerns over coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2020 Biennial Congress has been rescheduled at Durham University, Durham, UK, for July 19th through 22nd, 2021, with preconference workshops and meetings to be held on July 18th and (presumably), excursions on July 23rd, 2021. 
Event Durham will contact all who have registered regarding refunds of fees paid for registration, on-campus housing, dinners, and excursions. There is no need for delegates to contact the Event Durham office. As you will understand, processing refunds might take some time, given the various pressures on the university at the moment, but it will get done. In the meantime, we owe sincere thanks to the very fine people working to support the conference at Durham University, especially Daryl Dowding, Event Durham Coordinator, as well as George Martin, Senior Systems, Revenue & Information Manager.
Information about the 2021 planning will emerge gradually via the local organisers’ webpages, This domain-name is not going to change, despite the postponement! (So ncs2020, not ncs2021).
Thank you all for your patience and understanding across the last several weeks.  On behalf of all of us, sincere thanks to Neil Cartlidge, and to his colleagues at Durham University who have been working with him on local arrangements across many months, and will continue to do so, looking toward next summer. 
With best wishes for your safety and good health,
Thomas Goodmann
Executive Director, New Chaucer Society

NCS 2020: Conference Program

The NCS Program Committee is pleased to announce the program for the 2020 NCS Conference due to take place July 12 - 17, 2020 at Durham University.  

This exceptional program features a wide range of fascinating session topics and papers, and many thanks are extended to all those who submitted papers and panels for consideration for this conference.  The program is currently available as a .pdf file on the NCS 2020 conference page:  

Registration for the 2020 NCS Conference is not yet open, but interested members can learn more by visiting the conference website hosted by Durham University, made possible by Professor Neil Cartlidge and his exceptional team:

Further information will be soon forthcoming.

NCS 2020: Call for Papers

Twenty-second Biennial Congress
at Durham University, 12–16 July 2020 

The NCS Program Committee is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Society’s 2020 Congress at Durham University. Please read the Guidelines for Submission carefully before preparing your abstract. They are new this year. We hope you enjoy reading about the wide range of sessions in preparation and considering your contribution to a rich and exciting program.

Submissions in two parts (below) are due by 20 May 2019.

Sessions are listed below under an Open category and six themed threads: Orientation, Action, Gender, Code(X), Risk, and Theory Now. Session formats—Paper, Lightning, Position—are also described and are crucial to the character of individual sessions.

Please note that proposers will not be notified of the outcome of their submission until the program is complete, with all sessions settled. We expect this process to take a number of weeks.

Hearty thank yous for all their work in fashioning this call go to the Program Committee—Mary Flannery, Wan-Chuan Kao, Philip Knox and Myra Seaman, with Ruth Evans and Tom Goodmann ex officio; to Jessica Rezunyk for continuing to make things work; and to the thread and session organizers named below.

We look forward to seeing the conference take shape!

Best wishes,
Elliot Kendall and Robyn Malo
Program Committee co-chairs



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


Twenty-second Biennial Congress of the New Chaucer Society
Durham, 12–16 July 2020

The NCS Program Committee invites proposals for sessions for the Societyʼs 2020 Congress in Durham. Sessions may be proposed either for the open portion of the program or directed at one of the six thematic threads described here.

We are very excited about the upcoming congress, which will consist of threaded and unthreaded sessions. About half the program will be independent sessions, with the remaining half comprising threaded sessions.

Session proposals should be sent to by 21 December.

A session proposal should include a brief description of the session suitable for the Call for Papers (100 words), an indication of thread (non-)affiliation, and designation of preferred session format(s) (Paper/Lightning/Position--see here). A short bio of the proposer should also be included (2‒3 sentences). Proposers should submit a maximum of two proposals each.

The session formats successfully introduced at our last Congress have been retained for Durham, but the Program Committee has decided to rest the Seminar format. Instead, the committee hopes that participants in all sessions, of whatever type, will pursue the goals of that venerable format through collaboration before and after the conference, including precirculation of materials where session participants agree.

A Research Expo to showcase research with strong visual or digital elements will feature again. Its launch will constitute one session on the program.

Each thread will, we hope, contain all the standard session formats, and we encourage members to consider all of these formats when designing a session proposal, whether threaded or free-standing. We also encourage members to submit sessions on pedagogy, especially in relation to thread topics.

After the closing date, thread organizers and the Program Committee will select sessions for the open program and threads and finalize session descriptions in consultation with session organizers. The Call for Papers will follow in February 2019. Please note that members will be permitted to submit only one proposal (including Expo presentation proposals) to this call.

Before then, we are very much looking forward to seeing your ideas for sessions at Durham.

Elliot Kendall and Robyn Malo
Program Committee co-chairs


International Piers Plowman Society - Anne Middleton Book Prize

The IPPS is delighted to announce the Anne Middleton Book Prize, to be awarded to the best book, published over a two-year period, substantively concerned with the literary, historical, religious, intellectual, textual-codicological, and critical contexts of Piers Plowman and related poetry and prose in the traditions of didactic and allegorical alliterative writing. “Book” refers to a substantial and original piece of scholarly and/or creative work (e.g., editions, translations, monographs), published in any format.

Owing to the generous response to the Anne Middleton Memorial Fund, to which donations are always welcome, there will be two inaugural awards of the prize, one covering works with a publication date of 2015-2016 and one covering 2017-2018 (as already advertised, before the Middleton Fund was established. Winners will receive $150 and free membership of the Society for one year (if recipients are in the “standard” category) or two years (if in the student or independent scholar categories).

The Prize Committee, comprising Andrew Cole, Wendy Scase, and Nicholas Watson, invites nominations of books published in 2015-16 and 2017-18. One nomination per book, of no more than ca. 300 words, to be sent to, should include title, publication details, an abstract of the book, and a sentence or two saying how the book contributes to Langland studies or to that of the “world” of Piers Plowman. Anyone may nominate a work: publishers, authors self-nominating, colleagues. The Committee reserves the right to award the Prize to a work that has not been nominated.

Nominators should also arrange for copies to be sent to members of the Prize Committee, preferably in hard copy if applicable, to be posted to: Andrew Cole, Department of English, Princeton University, 22 McCosh Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 USA; Wendy Scase, Department of English Literature, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK; Nicholas Watson, Department of English, Harvard University, Barker Center, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA. For digital items then the URL or file is fine, and if hard-copy is not feasible a digital copy can be submitted instead, to

Deadline for receipt of nominations and submissions is 15 January 2019. The two inaugural prizes will be presented at the IPPS Conference to be held in Miami, Florida, in April 2019.