Schedule: 13 July


9:00-10:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 6

Session 6A: Chaucer and Muslim Readers (Seminar)

This seminar brings together faculty and teachers interested in sharing and learning enhanced resources for students with backgrounds in Islam and Middle Eastern languages. Possible topics include three overlapping concerns. First, language: what are the consequences of students reading in Middle English, present-day English, and/or non-Anglophone translations? Second, resources: what is the quality of secondary resources and availability of textbooks? Third, transcultural awareness: what medieval English values, institutions, and practices are alien to Muslim and Middle Eastern students? Pedagogical practices explored in this seminar will be applicable to any twenty-first century classroom.

Thread: Chaucer Abroad                 
Organizer: Candace Barrington (Central Connecticut State University)
Moderator: Candace Barrington
Room: Victoria College 115

  1. Sherif Abdelkarim (University of Virginia), "On Understanding Chaucer, His Poetry, His World, and Ours"
  2. Burçin Erol (Hacettepe University), "Teaching Courtly Love to Turkish Students"

Session 6B: Fictionality II (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
Room: Victoria College 215

  1. Rebecca Krug (University of Minnesota), "Lions Can't Eat Virgins? Questions, Propositions, and Late Medieval Storytelling"
  2. Jessica Lockhart (University of Toronto), "Wonders in the Weir: Chaucer’s Fiction and Late Medieval Riddling"
  3. Robyn Malo (Purdue University), "Chaucer and the Consolation of Narrative"

Session 6C: Periodization, "Medieval" to "Renaissance" (Paper)

Medieval studies has not been entirely well-served by traditional periodization, since the med/Ren divide produces a kind of opposition: religious, communal, boring vs. secular, individual, new. And so in the last 20–30 years medievalists have attempted to break down (or through) this divide. In response to such volumes as Brian Cummings and James Simpson’s (eds.) Cultural Reformations, it is now worth asking whether what is gained by this revision is greater than what is lost. This session seeks position papers on the topic of periodization that address questions such as: Does one need an idea of the Middle Ages in order to teach and study it? What would replace traditional periodization were we to dispense with it? Does periodization prioritize certain kinds of historical change, and, if so, what are they and why? Is the term used in recent English histories of drama—Tudor—more or less helpful?

Thread: History Now
Organizer: Katie Little (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Moderator: Theresa Coletti (University of Maryland, College Park)
Room: Victoria College 323

  1. Jeff Espie (University of British Columbia), "Chaucer, Spenser, and the Cut of History"
  2. William Revere (University of North Carolina, Asheville), "Imagining Community in Medieval Fictions: Chaucer to More"
  3. Matthew Evan Davis (McMaster University), "The 'Tudor' Misnomer: Periodization as Incidental Side-Effect of Religious Reform"

Session 6D: Implications of French-English Bilingualism (Paper)

Recent work in cultural history and sociolinguistics suggests that the extent of Francophonie in England before 1400 may have been substantially underestimated. This session is designed to encourage consideration of the cultural and social implications of French-English bilingualism in the age of Chaucer, and reconsideration of textual evidence that may have been interpreted in the past to fit the seductive narrative of French’s decline as an English vernacular. Contributors may also wish to discuss the intellectual implications of bridging the disciplinary gaps between English Studies and French Studies, or indeed those between literary and linguistic scholarship

Thread: Language Contacts           
Organizer: Ardis Butterfield (Yale University)
Moderator: Ardis Butterfield
Room: Victoria College 212

  1. Jonathan Fruoco (Université Grenoble Alpes), "Bilingualism and Social Snobbery in Medieval England"
  2. Thomas Hinton (University of Exeter), "French Pedagogy in Thirteenth-Century England: Walter de Bibbesworth's Tretiz"
  3. Philip Knox (Trinity College, Cambridge), "Multiliteracies: Dialects and Scriptae of French in Late Medieval England"
  4. Elizaveta Strakhov (Marquette University), "'Cest tout': French Rubrics for English Poetry in Thomas Hoccleve’s Huntington Holograph Manuscripts"

Session 6E: Mapping London Textual Production (Paper)

The institutions of medieval London and its surrounds—the Guildhall, the Privy Seal, the Livery Companies, the Priory of St. Mary Overie, etc.—have played increasingly important roles in recent accounts of the careers of Chaucer, Gower, Langland, Hoccleve, and other authors, and of the transmission of their works. This panel invites papers reconsidering the role of London's institutions in our assessment of Middle English literature. Suggested topics might include: archival discoveries, reassessments of current work on such topics, the relationship between "literary" and governmental/legal modes of textual production, and what difference all this makes to Middle English studies.

Thread: Making the Text           
Organizer: Lawrence Warner (King’s College London)
Moderator: Lawrence Warner
Room: Emmanuel College 119

  1. Sonja Drimmer (University of Massachusetts Amherst), "'A Connoisseurship of Words': Paleography, Art History, and Manuscripts of Middle English Verse"
  2. Matthew Fisher (University of California, Los Angeles), "'Librum meum de Canterbury Tales': The Chancery and Chaucer’s Other Scribe"
  3. Sebastian Sobecki (University of Groningen), "George Ashby's Autograph Hand"

Session 6F: Chaucer and Rape: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale (Lightning)
Organizer: Carissa Harris (Temple University)
Moderator: Samantha Katz Seal (University of New Hampshire)
Room: Victoria College Chapel

  1. Derrick Pitard (Slippery Rock University), "Elves, Friars, Folktales, and Lust"
  2. Elizabeth Harper (Mercer University), "'Don't Be That Knight': Rape, Rehabilitation, and Teaching the Wife of Bath's Tale"
  3. William M. Storm (Eastern University), "Speaking on Behalf of the Maiden: The Trauma of Speech in the Wife of Bath's Tale"

Session 6G: New Ideas in Manuscript Studies I (Paper)

Definition of the "new field" of manuscript studies inaugurated by Doyle and Parkes in 1978 (Kerby-Fulton et al.) remains a process: the study of manuscripts has generated evidence about scribes, communities of scribes and readers, book producers, interactions between authors and scribes, and audience reception of texts; those concerns now overlap in discussions of evidence for scribal attribution, the readership of medieval texts, loci of textual transmission, editorial practice, and other issues. This session invites discussion of newly articulated evidence and newly recognized overlaps in manuscript study: descriptions of the as-yet unexplored ways in which their evidence can generate knowledge about medieval textual production.

Organizer: Thomas J. Farrell (Stetson University)
Moderator: Thomas J. Farrell
Room: Victoria College 101

  1. Stephen Partridge (University of British Columbia), “New Ideas (and Facts) about the Part-Divisions in the Man of Law's Tale
  2. Rebecca Huffman (University of Michigan), “The Tale of a Manual: Longleat MS 29 and the Anonymous Parson's Tale
  3. Daniel Wakelin (University of Oxford), “Scribes against Novelty”

Session 6H: Surveillance: Guarding Virtue (Paper)

Although surveillance is increasingly intrusive in our own lives, it's hardly a new phenomenon or concern. Medieval surveillance occurred pre-digitally, but various technologies, strategies, and social/political/religious relations made it possible, even sometimes imperative.  Considerations of surveillance in a wide range of times, places, languages, and texts are particularly encouraged. Presentations might consider: What are some of the ways surveillant processes occurred in the Middle Ages? What are some of the ways the (post-modern) present surveils the medieval past? What terms or concepts from contemporary Surveillance Studies are useful for thinking about surveillance in the Middle Ages?

Organizer: Sylvia Tomasch (Hunter College, CUNY)
Moderator: Sylvia Tomasch
Room: Northrop Frye 113

  1. Gina A. Dominick (New York University), "Aesthetics and "Surveiaunce" in the Physician’s Tale"
  2. Jennifer N. Brown (Marymount Manhattan College), "Surveillance among Sisters: The Case of the Syon Additions"
  3. Annette Kern-Staehler (University of Bern), "The Bishop’s Spies: Surveillance in Late Medieval Monastic Houses"

Session 6I: The Expressive Agency of Trees in Medieval Literature (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: Mo Pareles (University of British Columbia)
Northrop Frye 119

  1. Valerie B. Johnson (University of Montevallo), "Gnarled Rhizome: Chaucerian Forests as Networked Objects"
  2. Timothy S. Miller (Sarah Lawrence College), "The Speaking Plant: Translating Vegetal Languages in Middle English"
  3. Sarah Breckenridge Wright (Duquesne University), "Chaucer’s Apocalyptic Parliament: Eschatological Trees in the Parliament of Fowls"

10:30-11:00     Break

11:00-12:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 7

Session 7A: The Medieval Elsewhere: Australia, Israel, the Americas (Paper)
Thread: Chaucer Abroad
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia)
Room: Victoria College 215

  1. Louise D'Arcens (Macquarie University), "Medievalism and the Coeval: Indigenous Cinema and the Narration of Pre-Contact Time"
  2. Jonathan Stavsky (Tel Aviv University), "The Parson Goes to Jerusalem: Anti-Orthodox Parody and the Limits of Secularism in Shimon Sandbank's Hebrew Translation of the Canterbury Tales"
  3. Nancy Bradley Warren (Texas A&M University), Hemispheric Medievalisms:  The "Old Religion" and the Making of Early Modern America

Session 7B: Carnal Knowledge (Lightning)

If, as Carolyn Dinshaw has argued, the body is “a field on which issues of representation and interpretation are literally and metaphorically played out,” how might we account for acts of carnal exploration and violation as forays into such a hermeneutic field? This session invites lightning talks on diverse modes of carnal apprehension in the later Middle Ages—from Thomas’s doubt to surgeons’ probing, from physiognomic treatises to lyrics about sexual violence, in which female speakers present their bodily trauma as a privileged form of knowledge about class and gender inequalities. In these and other texts, how is knowledge of the body newly grasped through (for instance) intimate observation, suffering, or intrusion? How are these processes implicated in the knowledge-work of texts and textual genres? How are medieval thinkers’ bodies implicated in the knowledge they produce?

Thread: Forming Knowledge 
Organizers: Joe Stadolnik (University College London); Carissa M. Harris (Temple University)
Moderator: Joe Stadolnik
Room: Victoria College Chapel

  1. Helen Cushman (Harvard University), "Tangible Knowledge"
  2. Suzanne M. Edwards (Lehigh University), "Apprehending God"
  3. Marian Homans-Turnbull (UC Berkeley), "Foreknowledge of Bodies in Chaucer's Physician's Tale"
  4. Rachel Levinson-Emley (University of California Santa Barbara), "Women's Secrets: Medieval Female Medical Writers and Narrative Medicine"
  5. Roberta Magnani (Swansea University), "The Wife of Bath’s Epistemology of Experience: Spiritual and Carnal Intersections"
  6. Mariah Junglan Min (University of Pennsylvania), "Whither Thou, Ghost: Sir Orfeo and the Knowledge of Death"
  7. Carolyn Dinshaw (New York University), Response

Session 7C: Aureation (Paper)

Fifteenth-century English writers admired a heavily Latinate style of poetry and prose that one of them (John Metham) called “half-chongyd Latyn.” Where did this style come from, where did it go, why was it valued, and what does it tell us about literary form and practice in the last medieval century? This session invites papers on the linguistic structure and language politics of aureate poetry, drama, macaronic preaching, and religious, historical, or utilitarian prose in fifteenth-century England and on comparable linguistic and stylistic phenomena in other languages, centuries and places.

Thread: Language Contacts
Organizer: Nicholas Watson (Harvard University)
Moderator: Catherine Sanok (University of Michigan)
Room: Victoria College 115

  1. Amanda Walling (University of Hartford), "Towards an Ethics of the Aureate"
  2. Sarah Star (Kenyon College), "The 'almost-Latin' Medical Language of Late Medieval England"
  3. Christopher Cannon (Johns Hopkins University), "Latin English"

Session 7D: Scribal Grammar, Scribal Poetics (Lightning)

Nearly forty years ago, Doyle and Parkes observed that a work’s “layout and decoration function like punctuation” since they guide the reader’s interaction with the text. This recognition continues to encourage the reevaluation of scribal acts, as such features are often altered—or duplicated by design—with each recopying. This seminar explores how we might define the grammatical function of rubrication, script hierarchies, paraph marks, initials, etc., either within a single manuscript or across a range of manuscripts. Did communities develop their own scribal “grammars” of layout and/or decoration? Did they share these communicative systems through copying, or was each scribal utterance constitutive of a new idiolectical grammar? How might the fields of semiotics and linguistics, or others, help explain how scribes “made” the texts they copied out, and/or to theorize the scribal act more broadly?

Thread: Making the Text
Organizers: Heather Blatt (Florida International University); Sarah Noonan (Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame); Aditi Nafde (Newcastle University); Jenni Nuttall (University of Oxford)
Moderator: Jenni Nuttall
Room: Victoria College 101

  1. Colette Moore (University of Washington), "Mise-en-page, Information Structure, Information Design"
  2. Emily Mahan (University of Notre Dame), "Visual Pragmatics of a Multilingual Manuscript: The Scribe's Stance"
  3. Ruen-chuan Ma (Utah Valley University), "The Visual Grammar of the Thebaid Summary in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde"
  4. Elon Lang (University of Texas at Austin), "Dotting ‘I’s and Taking Names: Punctuators and Annotators in BL MS Harley 4286"
  5. Mary C. Flannery, "'Thy wyf I saugh hym…[?]': Obscenity and Scribal Play in the Hengwrt MS"
  6. David Watt (University of Manitoba), "Edifying Verse: Structure and Integrity in Thomas Hoccleve’s Stanzas"

Session 7E: Cosmic Scale: Astronomical Thinking (Paper)

Astronomy mediates between the very large and the very small. Troilus laughs at “this litel spot of erthe,” as seen from the heavens. But an astrolabe places the celestial sphere in the palm of one’s hand. Astronomical tools such as the Alphonsine Tables could calculate up to 80,000 years’ worth of celestial movements, but the Clerk of Orleans uses them to find the exact moment that Brittany’s black rocks are likely to be hidden. This panel welcomes papers that use astronomy to think about scale. How can astronomy help us understand literature that mediates or moves between vastly different scales? Does astronomy supply medieval poets with a language for thinking about scale? If it is possible to read on a cosmic scale, can we also see the stars on a literary scale? 

Thread: Middle English Literature at Scale
Organizer: Kara Gaston, University of Toronto
Moderator: Kara Gaston
Room: Victoria College 212

  1. Amanda Gerber (UCLA), "Learning the Tropes: Chaucer’s Lesson in Classical Cosmography"
  2. William Green (University of British Columbia), "'Al is thurgh constellacion': (Re-)Writing the Heavens in the Late Middle Ages"
  3. David Wilton (Texas A&M University), "The Colors of Illusion: Astronomy, Magic, and Poetics in the Franklin’s Tale"
  4. Sheri Smith (Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf), "A Grain of Sand and a Flight through the Spheres: Poetry as Cosmic Disorientation in Chaucer's House of Fame"

Session 7F: Advice from Book Series Editors and Publishers 
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: Robert J. Meyer-Lee (Agnes Scott College)
Room: Emmanuel College 119

  1. Anke Bernau, Manchester University Press, Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture Series
  2. Helen Fulton, University of Wales Press, New Century Chaucer Series
  3. Caroline Palmer, Boydell and Brewer, Chaucer Studies Series
  4. Fred Unwalla, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
  5. Daniel Wakelin, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature Series
  6. Bonnie Wheeler, Palgrave Macmillan, The New Middle Ages Series

Session 7G: Affect Matters: Historicizing Feeling in the Age of Chaucer II  (Paper)

In this session we seek to historicize medieval affect. Papers might consider the following questions:  Is there a specifically Chaucerian affect that develops through Chaucer’s particular engagements with the genres of dream vision and fin amor, or through the “impersonated artistry” of The Canterbury Tales, or in the later construction of “Father Chaucer” by English and Scottish poets following him? What are the relationships between form and affect in Chaucer’s poetry and in that of his contemporaries? To what extent are objects and material contexts crucial for affective interaction in late medieval poetry? What are the mutually constitutive relationships between gender and affect in late medieval poetry? How does affect matter in the construction of religious identity; can we speak of a specifically Jewish or Muslim affect?

Organizer: Glenn Burger (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY); Holly Crocker (University of South Carolina)
Moderator: Glenn Burger
Room: Victoria College 323

  1. Sarah McNamer (Georgetown University), "'Critical Feeling' as Chaucerian Affect"
  2. Ryan Smith (University at Buffalo), "Chivalrous Fulfillment: Knightly Subjectivity and Clerical Form"

Session 7H: Anger and the Summoner's Tale (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: John F. Plummer (Vanderbilt University)
Room: Emmanuel College 302

  1. Thomas Goodmann (University of Miami), "The Fraternal Paradox: Limning the Friars"
  2. Aled Roberts (Columbia University), "Be war from ire: Air, Ire and Irrationality in Chaucer’s Summoner’s Tale"
  3. Randy Schiff (University at Buffalo, SUNY), "Cultivating Empathy through Quiting: The Telling Fury of the Friar and Summoner"

Session 7I: Forms of Middle English Prayer I (Paper)

The history of Middle English lyric is indivisible from the history of prayer. Prayers for spiritual clarity resemble lyrics seeking affective catharsis, while Middle English poets are as likely to call for saintly intercession as to beg a patron’s assistance. This panel aims to explore the intersection of these two modes of language performance and to consider how their kinship might provide insight into broader questions of poetics and religion in later medieval literature. We welcome papers that consider any aspect of the relationship between prayer and lyric, but the following questions might serve as a starting point. To what extent do prayer and lyric share a common style, voice, form, or affect? Is Middle English “prayere” or “orisoun” a form distinct from Latin “oratio” or French “preiere”? Finally, is it more useful to distinguish between “secular” and “sacred” poetics in Middle English lyric or to dissolve this distinction?

Organizers: Taylor Cowdery (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Megan Murton (Catholic University of America)
Moderator: Megan Murton
Room: Northrop Frye 113

  1. DeVan Ard (University of Virginia), "Speaker, Voice, and Pray-er in Harley MS 2253"
  2. Amy Appleford (Boston University), "'Behold, my life is but a distraction'"
  3. Shannon Gayk (Indiana University), "Clad in Christ’s Skin: The Haptic Poetics of Middle English Prayer Rolls"

Session 7J: Making Room for Chaucer in Secondary Schools (Seminar)

How can we make space for medieval literature in secondary school classrooms where literary content is constantly shrinking? There is strong evidence that students who study Chaucer in high school are more likely to take medieval studies classes in college. Seminar participants will examine data on secondary schools that teach Chaucer and investigate strategies to encourage more schools to follow suit. Which curricula encourage the study of literature prior to 1600 and how do they incorporate Chaucer into the broad literary surveys typical of high school? How do academically rigorous testing programs (AP and IB) as well as high stakes testing (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) impact curricular content? What role does translation play in teaching Chaucer to high school students? And how do teacher education programs play a role in fostering or dismissing the belief that Chaucer is well-suited for high school curricula?

Organizers: Jessica Rezunyk (Upper Canada College); Lee Read (Wilde Lake High School)
Moderator: Lee Read
Room: Northrop Frye 119

  1. Vincent Lankewish (Professional Performing Arts High School), "Chaucer in a New York City Public High School"
  2. Mary Kay Waterman (The Lovett School), "'Diverse practyk in sondry werkes': A Shift in Practice"
  3. David Raybin (Eastern Illinois University), "From High School to College"

12:30-2:00    Lunch

2:00-3:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 8

Session 8A: Metrolingualism (Lightning)

What happens to language in cities? Mindful of, but looking beyond, Chaucer’s multilingual London, this session encourages submissions that consider cities within and outside Chaucer’s ambit as sites of linguistic plurality and layering. How are languages networked in the pre-modern world—and in urban space in particular? How do languages signal the existence of other languages beyond themselves? Are individual languages clearly distinguished and differentiated from each other, or are the boundaries between them porous and labile? Are languages self-aware? Papers might explore specialized professional languages, linguistic mash-ups and calques, multi-lingual actors and the perils (or pleasures) of monolingualism, or the ways that language is deployed to travel in particular urban environments in late-medieval cultures.

Thread: Chaucer Abroad
Organizer: Karla Mallette (University of Michigan)
Moderator: David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania)
Room: Victoria College Chapel

  1. Emily Dolmans (Exeter College, University of Oxford), "England's Border Literatures: Language Between Cultures"
  2. Elaine Treharne (Stanford University), "The Linguistic Cityscape of 'Mydeel Engelond' in Medieval Leicester"
  3. Karla Taylor (University of Michigan), "Chaucer's Alibi"
  4. Susan Phillips (Northwestern University), "The Shipman’s Tale: A Metrolingual Textbook on Late Medieval Debt"
  5. David Lawton (Washington University in St. Louis), "Metronumeracies"
  6. Susan Nakley (St. Joseph's College, New York), "Cruel City: the Prioress Expands Latin Territory"

Session 8B: Medieval Technocultures I (Paper)

Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe finds itself in the midst of a “techno turn” in which functional interfaces, instruments, and techno-scientific ways of knowing are gaining new prominence. Medieval technocultures will explore animating features of early devices, technics, or analytics. We invite presenters to take up such topics as physical media, visual diagrams, haptic feedback, literacy/numeracy, and their effects in and for literary history. We welcome those who stretch or bend the format to incorporate demos, models, ficto-criticism, interviews, the biography of an object, or intellectual geography. Speakers will, broadly speaking, address medieval techno-sciences that tend to propagate object-dependent knowledges. How is information located in an instrument, system, or praxis? Where is science situated?

Thread: Forming Knowledge
Organizers: Jenna Mead (University of Western Australia); Allan Mitchell (University of Victoria)
Moderator: Allan Mitchell
Room: Victoria College 323

  1. Anke Bernau (University of Manchester), "Measuring Entanglements"
  2. Heidi Støa (Indiana University), "The Squire's Tale of Attraction"
  3. Kathleen Tonry (University of Connecticut), "Agency and Instrumentality: The Debate of the Carpenter's Tools"

Session 8C: Chaucer and Church History (Paper)

This panel explores Chaucer’s relationship to church history. How, we ask, did the ecclesiological upheavals of Chaucer’s era mark his conception of the church as a historical entity? Or, from a different point of view, how might the history of the English Church in the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries have determined the formation of English literary history grounded in Chaucer’s poetry? In what ways might church history be the driver of both periodization and literary history?

Thread: History Now
Organizers: James Simpson (Harvard University); Zachary E. Stone (University of Virginia)
Moderator: Zachary E. Stone
Room: Victoria College 101

  1. Andrew Lynch (University of Western Australia), "Chaucer as Catholic 'Child' in Nineteenth-Century England"
  2. Chase Padusniak (Princeton University), "Chaucer's Pardoner: Life, Death, Ecclesia
  3. Lora Walsh (University of Arkansas), "Defying Periodization: Literary Representations of 'Church History' in Trans-Reformation England"

Session 8D: Anglo-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).

Thread: Language Contacts
Organizer: Andrew Kraebel (Trinity University)
Moderator: Andrew Galloway (Cornell University)
Room: Victoria College 212

  1. Venetia Bridges (Durham University), "Proverbial Problems: Latin Sapientia or English Wisdom?"
  2. Michael Van Dussen (McGill University), "Anglo-Latin Abroad: Richard Rolle in Central Europe"
  3. Stephanie Batkie (University of the South), "Let’s Talk Leonines: Listening to Forms in Gower’s Vox Clamantis"

Session 8E: Transcription Now (Paper)

Medieval literary study relies on transcription, yet we seldom reflect on or esteem it. It has been done by unacknowledged Victorian women, by untenured postdocs on professors’ grants, or by workers in the developing world building corpora of big data. Is it menial drudgery or an intellectual achievement? Is the process itself enlightening, or just a means to an end? Do digital methods offer more accuracy? Or does transcribing depend on interpretation for solving textual cruces, recognizing form, choosing the limits of the text? Why reproduce some letterforms but not others? Are abbreviations meaningful or expendable—expandable? And transcription seems like a quest for sameness, but it implies transferral, transition, difference. Need it always entail “accuracy”—and accuracy in what? Might “mistranscription,” like “mistranslation,” be rewarding too?

Thread: Making the Text
Organizer: Daniel Wakelin (University of Oxford)
Moderator: Daniel Wakelin
Room: Emmanuel College 302

  1. Daniel Sawyer (University of Oxford), "Whittling the Wycliffite Bible: Transcription's Sharp Ends"
  2. Justyna Rogos-Hebda (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan), "Toeing the Line: On Transcribing Horizontal Strokes in English and Latin MSS of Richard Rolle’s Emendatio Vitae"
  3. Joel Fredell (Southeastern University), "Transcribing Middle English for Digital Display"

Session 8F: Powers of Speech: Women, Language and Public Culture in Late Medieval England (Paper)
Organizer: NCS Program Committee
Moderator: Geoffrey Gust (Stockton University)
Room: Northrop Frye 113

  1. Alastair Bennett (Royal Holloway, University of London), "The Man of Law and the Art of Prayer"
  2. Roger Nicholson (University of Auckland), "In/constant Queens and Consorts:  Creating and Containing Public Strife in Late Medieval England"
  3. Lainie Pomerleau (University of Georgia), "Commonplaces for the Uncommonly Placed: Medieval English Queens and their Books of Hours"

Session 8G: Practicing Patience in the Middle Ages (Lightning)

Patience is a complex and even paradoxical virtue. It intersects with agency and, to borrow Sara Ahmed’s term, willfulness, but it is also defined by restraint. It can describe an immediate response and/or a sustained practice. It involves affect as well as intellect. It exists on a continuum (someone can have no, little, or much patience), yet it exhibits a tipping point (when it runs out or is lost). This session invites short papers exploring the nature of medieval patience and its performance in secular and devotional contexts.

Organizer: Tara Williams (Oregon State University)
Moderator: Tara Williams
Room: Victoria College 215

  1. Jessica Barr (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), "How Long, O Lord? Mystical Impatience and the Will of God"
  2. Sara Torres (University of Virginia), "Peace, Patience, and Poetic Vocality in Gower’s Verse"
  3. Jasmin Miller (University of California, Berkeley), "The Moral Ambiguity of Griselda's 'Pacience'"
  4. Colin Fewer (Purdue University Northwest), "Patience and Masculinity in Hoccleve"
  5. Elliot Kendall (University of Exeter), "Chaucerian Patience and Stephen Hawes at Court"

Session 8H: Reimagining Invention (Lightning)

This session welcomes papers that work to reimagine our understanding of concepts of invention in late medieval writing. While papers might of course consider invention in the sense of rhetorical inventio, this session particularly invites papers that can help us deepen, expand, or otherwise reconceptualize the way in which late medieval writers and texts variously address, represent, or enact the processes by which poetry or prose comes into being. In short, how might late medieval texts encourage us to consider “invention” more broadly? Papers might examine questions of (re)definition (what is, or was, invention?); terminology (what exactly is involved in a term like fyndyng, for example?); theory (what aspects of contemporary theory might help us productively reconceptualize invention?); meta-representation (how do writers depict processes of invention in texts?); pedagogy (how might a reimagined understanding of medieval invention help us reconsider our own approaches to teaching writing?); and other related questions.

Organizer: Steele Nowlin (Pennsylvania State University)
Moderator: Steele Nowlin
Room: Northrop Frye 119

  1. Orietta Da Rold (University of Cambridge), "'Right as our first letter is now an A': Invention in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde"
  2. Chad Schrock (Lee University), "Chaucer's Biblical Invention"
  3. Jacqueline M. Burek (George Mason University), "Historiographical Invention"
  4. Samuel F. McMillan (Pennsylvania State University), "The Unreasonable Invention of the Roman de la rose"
  5. Juliette Vuille (University of Lausanne), "Chaucer's Metapoetic Messengers and Poetic Inventio"

Session 8I: Surveillance: Narratives (Paper)

Although surveillance is increasingly intrusive in our own lives, it's hardly a new phenomenon or concern. Medieval surveillance occurred pre-digitally, but various technologies, strategies, and social/political/religious relations made it possible, even sometimes imperative.  Considerations of surveillance in a wide range of times, places, languages, and texts are particularly encouraged. Presentations might consider: What are some of the ways surveillant processes occurred in the Middle Ages? What are some of the ways the (post-modern) present surveils the medieval past? What terms or concepts from contemporary Surveillance Studies are useful for thinking about surveillance in the Middle Ages?

Organizer: Sylvia Tomasch (Hunter College (CUNY))
Moderator: Sylvia Tomasch 
Room: Emmanuel College 119

  1. Andrew Taylor (University of Ottawa), "Concealing, Revealing, Spying, and Foreseeing in Froissart’s Journey to the Court of Gaston Fébus"
  2. Matthew Scribner (Carleton University and Algonquin College), "Gender, Hegemony, and Surveillance in the Tristan Romances"
  3. Sheila Coursey (University of Michigan), "'And for his sake to help his neighbor': Nice Wanton and Neighborhood Surveillance"
  4. Karma Lochrie (Indiana University Bloomington), "'Privé or apert':  Domestic Surveillance in Late Medieval England"

Session 8J: The Squire and His Tale: “Ernest” or “Game”? (Position)

The Squire’s Tale is the poster child for the historical variability of Chaucer reception. Treasured by Milton and Spenser, the tale was near universally considered to be either a staged or actual failure through several decades in the middle of the twentieth century. More recent work exploring the tale’s psychological, cultural, social, environmental, and geopolitical implications has upended that consensus, yet doubt about its “high seriousness” remains, even in some of this very work. This session seeks papers that take new approaches in formulating an answer to the question posed by the session’s title.

Organizer: Robert J. Meyer-Lee (Agnes Scott College)
Moderator: Robert J. Meyer-Lee
Room: Victoria College 115

  1. Kenneth Bleeth (Connecticut College), "The Rhetoric of Narration in the Squire's Tale"
  2. Megan Murton (The Catholic University of America), "The Squire's Tale: 'Ernest' Failure as Narrative Experiment" 
  3. B.S.W. Barootes (University of Toronto), "'In fair and fresche atyre": The Squire’s Tale as a Source for the Kingis Quair"
  4. Ruth Nisse (Wesleyan University), "The Last Ides of March'
  5. Justin Barker (Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts), "The Squire's Tale as a Chaucerian Philosophy of Poetic Interpretation?"

3:30-5:30    Special Event at Art Gallery of Ontario - Medieval Ethiopian Manuscripts

5:30-7:00    Transition time

7:00-9:00    Performance of Wahala Dey O!