Schedule: 14 July


9:00-10:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 9

Session 9A: The Woman Question: Chaucer in his European Context (Seminar)

This “working research seminar” will consider Chaucer’s relationship to late medieval European intellectual and literary traditions of women, including story collections of classical women; the Querelles des Femmes; conduct literature; and the Griselda story, among others. We invite papers that reexamine Chaucer’s engagement with these various European traditions. Authors often gain praise for how they distinguish themselves from tradition; thus Chaucer was once imagined as moving through and beyond French and Italian phases to emerge as a great English poet. How might we now benefit from examining similarities rather than differences between Chaucer and continental traditions, particularly those that theorize and represent women? For more on the “working research seminar” model, see:

Thread: Chaucer Abroad
Organizers: Betsy McCormick (Mount San Antonio College); Lynn Shutters (Colorado State University)
Moderators: Lynn Shutters
Room: Victoria College Chapel

  1. Glenn Burger (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), "Who Could Tell the Joy That Is between a Husband and His Wife: Chaucer and French Conduct Literature for Women"
  2. Lucy R. Hinnie (University of Edinburgh), “Negotiating the querelle des femmes in the Bannatyne MS c.1568”
  3. Matthew W. Irvin (University of the South), “‘The Temple of Clemency and 'Verray Wommanhede'”
  4. Wendy A. Matlock (Kansas State University), “Ventriloquizing Mothers: Chaucer’s Feminized Latin Sources”
  5. Will Rogers (University of Louisiana, Monroe), “Chaucer’s Woes and Women: Poetic Traumas, European and English”
  6. Leah Schwebel (Texas State University), “#Notallwomen: The (In)imitable Griselda”

Session 9B: Household Sciences and the Arts of Conduct (Lightning)    

This session invites novel approaches to the arts of conduct in late medieval England. Our aim is to reconsider the tradition of texts on table manners, household ethics, and other forms of etiquette, while at the same time addressing materials not typically grouped under the “conduct” rubric but which likewise arbitrate everyday praxis. Such texts include agricultural and gardening treatises, medical and scientific manuals, and catalogs and calendars. Lightning talks might take up questions like the following: How do codes of conduct embody and transmit knowledge? How does form affect reception? Can resistant readings to conduct literature be envisaged? How do conduct texts interface with other types of texts, in what manuscript contexts? How might medieval codifications of everyday praxis speak to present-day conversations about the policing of bodies, behaviors, and ideas? What processes of sexual, racial, gender, and class identity-construction do we inherit from the Middle Ages?

Thread: Forming Knowledge       
Organizers: Rory Critten (University of Lausanne), Arthur Russell (Case Western Reserve University)
Moderators: Arthur Russell
Room: Victoria College 115

  1. Katelyn Jaynes (University of Connecticut), “Real or Ideal? Agricultural Manuals and the Late Medieval Household”
  2. Hannah Bower (University of Oxford), “Inadequate Guides and Troublesome ‘Bokes’: Intertextual Voices in Vernacular Verse Herbals”
  3. Chelsea Silva (University of California, Riverside), “(Im)practical Magic: Middle English Recipe Collections and Everyday Recreation”
  4. Mary Beth Long (University of Arkansas), “To Pray or Knot: Stitching Feminine Authority into An ABC
  5. Lynn Arner (Brock University), “Eating like a Dog: Dining Etiquette and Socioeconomic Stratification in Medieval England”

Session 9C: The Object in/of History (Paper)             

History traditionally privileges the narrative of anthropocentric society, and thus in any discussion of literature and history we usually find ourselves engaging the elements of literature that also privilege that narrative. Contemporary literary theory, however, has made radical changes to the assumption of anthropocentrism as the default perspective in medieval literature. In particular, Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Object Oriented Ontology (OOO) have led medievalists to fundamentally revise our understanding of the medieval world. These theories ask us to look at associations between objects and, perhaps most importantly, to realize that humans need not be part of the action, the relationship, or the world at all. This panel, then, seeks submissions that explore these moments in literature where we see the objects in/of history.

Thread: History Now             
Organizers: Kara McShane (Ursinus College); Jeffery G. Stoyanoff (Spring Hill College)
Moderator: Jeffery G. Stoyanoff
Room: Victoria College 101

  1. Heather Blatt (Florida International University), “Textuality and Object-Object Material Meaning”
  2. Richard H. Godden (Louisiana State University), “Material Selves: Impairment and the Ecology of Objects in Saints' Lives”
  3. Alan S. Montroso (George Washington University), “‘Hir eyen caste she ful lowe adoun’: Peering into the Subterranean Archive with Diana’s Statue in the Knight’s Tale

Session 9D: Engaging with Old English in Late Medieval England (Lightning)  

This session will consider how the textual material of the past was used by late medieval authors and audiences. What cultural work was implicit in the choice of language, and what linguistic features were considered salient or significant? How did authors understand and respond to the process of language change? To what extent was linguistic diachrony a concern in pedagogical contexts? How accurate or useful is the model which contrasts Latin immutability with vernacular instability? To what extent could the vernacular past aspire to the authority of venerable Latin textual traditions?

Thread: Language Contacts     
Organizer: Thomas Hinton (University of Exeter)
Moderator: Thomas Hinton   
Room: Emmanuel College 119    

  1. Carla Maria Thomas (Independent Scholar), “Poetic Mutation: Old English Content in Latin Form”
  2. Alexandra Reider (Yale University), “Older English Wisdom: Alfred, Bede, and Proverbial Antiquing in the Thirteenth Century”
  3. Susanna Fein (Kent State University), “Hagiographical Continuities”
  4. Stephen M. Yeager (Concordia University, Montréal), “Charters and the Chaucerians”

Session 9E: Uncritical Editions (Paper)

This panel will explore an alternative history of Middle English in print by foregrounding texts that fail to conform to critical norms. Participants might consider editions of Chaucer and other Middle English writers produced before the advent of modern textual theory; work that employs alternative or outdated editorial practices and methods; or adaptations, abridgments, and teaching editions that alter the received text without explicit textual rationale. What role does this oft-elided editorial work play in making the Middle English texts that we read, edit, and interpret today? What (if any) is the critical significance of uncritical editions?

Thread: Making the Text
Organizer: Megan Cook (Colby College)
Moderator: Megan Cook
Room: Victoria College 212

  1. Simone Celine Marshall (University of Otago), “Mixing Modern and Middle English: John Urry’s 1721 Edition and the 1807 Chaucer”
  2. Jennifer Jahner (California Institute of Technology), “Thomas Wright’s Republic of Letters: Editing the Multilingual Middle Ages in Nineteenth-Century London”
  3. Simon Horobin (Magdalene College, Oxford), “Henry Bradshaw and the Clarendon Chaucer Edition”
  4. Elizabeth Melick (Kent State University), “Late Nineteenth-Century Uncritical Editions and the Digital Age: Sidney Herrtage's Editions of the Otuel-Cycle Charlemagne Romances”

Session 9F: Queer Ruptures to Normative Time (Lightning)

Peter Travis concluded a 1997 essay with the suggestively ironic remark, “one of these days we may indeed arrive at an adequate understanding of time.” While in 2017 we still may not be faced with “an adequate understanding of time” given time’s ultimately elusive nature, we have done much over the past twenty years to theorize temporality. We acknowledge that visions of time are relative and dependent upon the lens of the viewer, who may be outside the reigning heteronormative temporality. Queer studies and queer temporality have ultimately introduced consideration of an array of Other voices whose position in and out of standard time is complicated by their racial, religious, able-bodied, gendered/sexed, and socio-economic différance. This session invites papers that take a position on how temporal Others evoke non-normative ways of seeing that may reshape our understanding of temporal scale(s).

Thread: Middle English Literature at Scale       
Organizer: Miriamne Ara Krummel (University of Dayton)
Moderator: Miriamne Ara Krummel
Room: Victoria College 323

  1. Theresa Tinkle (University of Michigan), “Temporal Polemics in the York Corpus Christi Play”
  2. Kristi J. Castleberry (Lyndon State College), “‘Yeres and dayes fleet this creature’: Floating Outside of Time in Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale
  3. Emma Lipton (University of Missouri), “The Asynchronous Temporal Scales of Medieval Drama”
  4. Robert Barrett (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), “Fruit in Due Season: Vegetal Temporality in the Legend of the Wood of the Cross”
  5. Catherine S. Cox (University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown), “Transtemporal Otherness and the Queering of Faith”

Session 9G: Carnal Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde (Paper)
Organizers: Joe Stadolnik (University College London), Carissa M. Harris (Temple University)
Moderator: Suzanne Akbari (University of Toronto)
Room: Victoria College 215

  1. Richard Sévère (Valparaiso University), “Understanding Chaucer’s Carnal Friendships:  Exploring, Exploiting and Extolling Bodies in Troilus and Criseyde
  2. Timothy Arner (Grinnell College), “Trojan Nobodies: Uncarnal Knowledge in Troilus and Criseyde
  3. Dana M. Roders (Purdue University), “Love Hurts: Lovesickness as Disability in Chaucer and Henryson”

Session 9H: On and Off the Page: Reading Chaucerian Women (Paper)
Organizers: The NCS Program Committee
Moderator: Sarah Baechle (University of Mississippi)
Room: Emmanuel College 302

  1. Kara Doyle (Union College), “The Game of Love: Women Readers and the French Backdrop of Fairfax 16”
  2. Amy Goodwin (Randolph-Macon College), “Fashioned in France: Griselda’s Readers”
  3. Molly Martin (University of Indianapolis), “Grisilde’s Lonely Spaces”

Session 9I: Dramatic Bodies (Paper)  
Organizer: The NCS Program Committee   
Moderator: Suzanne M. Edwards (Lehigh University)  
Room: Northrop Frye 113    

  1. Jennifer Garrison (St. Mary's University, Calgary), “Mankind and the Gender Transformations of Medieval Confession”
  2. Jesse Njus (Virginia Commonwealth University), “The Authority of Experience: Moms Mabley, the Wife of Bath, and the Narrative Female Voice”
  3. Sylvia Tomasch (Hunter College, CUNY), “Jewface and Medieval Drama”

10:30-11:00     Break

11:00-12:30     SESSIONS: GROUP 10

Session 10A: Reassessing Boundaries: Chaucer and Medieval European Literatures (Paper)

From Mongol Sarai and Muslim Syria to Castilian kings, Persian polymaths, and crusading arenas that stretch from the Baltic to North Africa, Chaucer’s literary imagination spans geographies and cultures that are often considered to lie beyond the boundaries of “Europe.” This panel seeks to explore and interrogate the notion of “Europe” in relation to such perceived peripheral places in the age of Chaucer from a historical cross-cultural perspective: how are boundaries conceived, contested and/or imagined in relation to intellectual, scientific, cultural and literary exchanges? How can we compare/connect places, ideas and texts? What makes something “European?” Papers may address any aspect of such cross-cultural contact, particularly in light of new critical approaches to the concept of Medieval European Literatures, such as those formulated by David Wallace and outlined in a recent issue of Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures.

Thread: Chaucer Abroad
Organizer: Shazia Jagot (University of Surrey)
Moderator: Shazia Jagot
Room: Victoria College 101

  1. Michelle Karnes (University of Notre Dame), “Babylon”
  2. Anna Wilson (Harvard University), “Historical Geographies in Late Medieval Pilgrimage Guides”
  3. Emily Houlik-Ritchey (Rice University), “Mediterranean Contexts in Floris and Blancheflour and the Crónica de Flores y Blancaflor

Session 10B: Medieval Technocultures II (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); Alan Mitchell (University of Victoria)
Moderator: Jenna Mead
Room: Emmanuel College 119

  1. Tekla Bude (Oregon State University), “Hap, Hasarde, Aventure, Assurance: Medieval Technologies of Risk”
  2. Patricia Clare Ingham (Indiana University Bloomington), “Dead Metal”
  3. Emily Steiner (University of Pennsylvania), “Sydrac and Bokkus and Vernacular Information”

Session 10C: Gendered History, Historicized Gender II (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: Jennifer Jahner (California Institute of Technology)
Room: Victoria College Chapel

  1. David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania), “Giovanni/Giovanna: Boccaccio and Chaucer Revisited”
  2. Michelle Ripplinger (University of California, Berkeley), “Chaucer’s Unanticipated Female Readers”
  3. Nicholas Watson (Harvard University), “Medieval Women's Literary Culture”

Session 10D: Late Fifteenth-Century Anglo-French (Lightning)

This panel invites lightning talks on late fifteenth-century Anglo-French literary relations. Heretofore, critics have focused on cross-Channel exchange in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. This panel will extend the Anglo-French tradition further into the fifteenth century, to ask how the final years of the Hundred Years War influenced literary production, and to consider the status of French in England during the Wars of the Roses and the ascension of the Tudors. How does the still-understudied literature of the late fifteenth century carry on Anglo-French literary relations? Where do new forms and new avenues of influence emerge? For the purposes of this panel, the “late fifteenth century” stretches from Lydgate’s collaboration with Benedict Burgh in the 1440s to the writings of Skelton and the Scottish makars.

Thread: Language Contacts     
Organizers: R. D. Perry (New Chaucer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, Saint Louis University); Spencer Strub (University of California, Berkeley)
Moderator: R. D. Perry
Room: Victoria College 212

  1. Rory Critten (University of Lausanne), “Palsgrave's Examples”
  2. Catherine Nall (Royal Holloway, University of London), “Books of Consolation and of Comfort: Responding to Defeat at the End of the Hundred Years War”
  3. Jenni Nuttall (University of Oxford), “Were There English Rhétoriqueurs?”
  4. Jaclyn Rajsic (Queen Mary University of London), “Reading Genealogical Rolls across the Channel: Anglo-French during the Reign of King Henry VI”
  5. Misty Schieberle (University of Kansas), “Harley 219’s Epistre Othea and the Rise of English”

Session 10E: Inhabiting Inhuman Times (Seminar)

In medieval thought, linear human lifetimes unfolding from birth to death were also marked by nonhuman times, such as the cyclical seasons, the apparently timeless continuity of species and ecosystems, the chaotic turns of Fortune’s wheel. These intersecting times offer an ecosystemic challenge to thinking time, decentering the human in favor of a broader view of creaturely life. For example, what is the temporality of a saint’s restoration of prelapsarian peace among the creatures? In Piers Plowman, why do agricultural and social processes so persistently intersect?  In Chaucer's Knight's Tale, do the ships Mars burns, the towers Saturn pulls down, and the inspirited grove destroyed for Arcite’s pyre imagine the material world to be within the purview of Fortune and Providence? Why does the Gawain poet choose to narrate Sir Gawain's last year of life as a sequence of four seasons?

Thread: Middle English Literature at Scale 
Organizer: Susan Crane (Columbia University)
Moderator: Susan Crane 
Room: Victoria College 323

  1. Evelyn Reynolds (Indiana University Bloomington), “Rethinking the Temporality of Joy in Pearl’s Heaven”
  2. Tara Williams (Oregon State University), “Whale Time and the Poetics of Wonder in Patience”   
  3. Richard Firth Green (The Ohio State University), “Heterochronology in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”   
  4. Elizabeth Allen (University of California, Irvine), “Hiding in Holes: Sanctuary and Time”
  5. Catherine Sanok (University of Michigan), “The Inhuman Day”
  6. Carolynn Van Dyke (Lafayette College), “‘Each in Its Kind’: Composing Species Time”
  7. Christine Chism (University of California, Los Angeles),“Vaster than Empires and More Slow: The Trees of Time in the Alexander Romance”

Session 10F: Five Easy Pieces: Augmented Teaching of Texts, Temporalities, and Fields (Lightning)

This session seeks focused presentations on texts for teaching and citing Middle English sources and the other contemporary literatures of later medieval England, including Chaucer, of course. Is the demise of the Riversideindicative of deep challenges to the field, or merely a pedagogical inconvenience—and so for Middle English anthologies, and Middle English courses, more broadly? Heretical positions encouraged: is it time to address Chaucer and Middle English texts for the twenty-first century, including respelled texts and translations? Provocations addressing changes, choices, and challenges are welcome: what will be the teaching texts and/or the editions of reference in 2050?

Organizer: Thomas Goodmann (University of Miami)
Moderator: Thomas Goodmann
Room: Emmanuel College 302

  1. Leah Haught (University of West Georgia), “Cannibalizing Chaucer Twice Over”
  2. Ben Joy Ambler (Dwight Englewood High School), “Incubating Interdisciplinarity”
  3. Sarah Noonan (Saint Mary's College, Indiana), “Beyond the Single-Author Edition: Anthologizing to Illustrate Chaucer’s Intellectual and Literary Foundations”
  4. Thomas Hahn (University of Rochester), “Praxis vs. Perfection: The Middle English Texts Series”
  5. William Rhodes (University of Pittsburgh), “Telling Different Stories”

Session 10G: Forms of Middle English Prayer II (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: Taylor Cowdery
Room: Northrop Frye 113

  1. Anne Baden-Daintree (University of Bristol), “Prayerful Reading in the Domestic Household”
  2. Nicole D. Smith (University of North Texas), “Praying the Apostles’ Creed: ‘A Christian Mannes Believe,’ Lyric, and the Thinking Heart”
  3. Gabriel Haley (Concordia University, Nebraska), “Contemplative Ductus as Lyric Aesthetic”

Session 10H: Institutional Affects (Paper)

We invite reflections on the role of affects and emotions in our response to institutions in the broad fields of medieval studies and medievalism studies. In both arenas relationships with institutions are often as deeply emotional as they are intellectual. We think of Hoccleve in the office of the Privy Seal, or Margery Kempe’s struggles with priests and bishops, or medieval and modern scholars negotiating the demands and privileges of the university and the church; even the sometimes vexed relationship between medieval studies and medievalism in the modern academy. How do/can we read historical emotion and affect vis-à-vis institutions? How does/should emotion affect our work as medieval scholars?

Organizers: Thomas A. Prendergast (College of Wooster); Stephanie Trigg (University of Melbourne)
Moderator: Thomas A. Prendergast
Room: Victoria College 215

  1. Jessica Chace (New York University), “‘Should I Talk About My Depression?’: Melancholia and Hoccleve in the Classroom”
  2. George Shuffelton (Carleton College), “Mixed Feelings: The Emotional Life of the Medieval University”
  3. Jamie Taylor (Bryn Mawr College), “Chaucerian Anger:  Frustration, Outrage, and Literary Analysis in the Canterbury Tales
  4. Paul Megna (University of Western Australia), “Christ’s Whip: Anti-Institutional Affect and Divine Violence in the Chester Mystery Cycle”

Session 10I: New Ideas in Manuscript Studies II (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 115

  1. J. D. Sargan (University of Oxford), "'Cultural Graphology' and Creative Reading: Derrida, Fleming, and Reading Practice in Late Medieval Manuscripts"
  2. Ann Higgins (Westfield State University), "Manuscript as Fetish, Manuscript as Text: Ignoring the Argument of the Physical Object"
  3. Lawrence Warner (King's College London), "Scribe D, John Marchaunt, and the Dilemma of Identity"

12:30-2:00     Lunch

2:00-3:30    SESSIONS: GROUP 11

Session 11A: Chaucer on Islam and the East (Paper)

Chaucer accents Eastern elements beyond those present in his sources. He lavishes attention on Syrian women—Zenobia (Monk's Tale), the Sultaness (Man of Law's Tale)—and on Dido (Legend of Good Women and House of Fame); he heightens Islam’s role in Man of Law's Tale, sets Squire's Tale and Prioress’s Tale in eastern lands, and compiles eighth-century Egyptian astronomer Messahala’s texts in Treatise on the Astrolabe. From characters to content to forms, Arabic learning and Eastern elements reverberate. We seek papers addressing such elements in Chaucer, both how Islam and the East shape Chaucer's poetry and, reciprocally, how Chaucer reshapes Islam and the East.

Thread: Chaucer Abroad
Organizers: David Hadbawnik (American University of Kuwait),  Susan Nakley (St. Joseph’s College, New York)
Moderator: David Hadbawnik 
Room: Emmanuel College 119

  1. Gabriel Ford (Converse College), “Arabic Frametales and Chaucerian Fabliaux: A Reassessment”
  2. Leila K. Norako (University of Washington), “Chaucer's Spectrum of Otherness”
  3. Radhika Koul (Stanford University), “The Canterbury Tales in Light of the Kathāsaritasāgara: A New Perspective from the East”

Session 11B: Marginal Figures in Late Medieval Society and Its Texts (Paper)

Excluded from good society, marginal figures tend to be registered in legal records, an “archive of repression” (Geremek). Whatever their excluded group, their “abjected alterity” (Butler) enforces established social order even as they may constitute a zone of transgressive pleasure for good society, offering the opportunity of living dangerously (Hanawalt). Do historical and literary studies give us reconcilable accounts of the marginalized? Apt for historical understanding of the marginalized is a mode close to fiction, the microhistory, which couples social structures with a focus on lives in the everyday (as explored in a recent issue of JMEMS, for example). But what are the consequences of repressive archive and transgressive lure for understanding medieval fiction? Are particular genres (outlaw story, tales of trickery) peculiarly responsive to marginal lives, being "rooted in the real” (like microhistory) even when they engage in a play of conventions? Do novel subjectivities arise in marginalized, “in-between spaces” that “initiate new signs of identity” (Bhabha)?

Thread: History Now   
Organizer: Roger Nicholson (University of Auckland)
Moderator: Roger Nicholson
Room: Victoria College 101

  1. Rebecca Menmuir (University of Oxford), “Interpreting Letters: Ovid's Abandoned Women in Chaucer”
  2. Erica Weaver (University of California, Los Angeles), “Dear X: Liminal Affects”
  3. Jeremy DeAngelo (Carleton College), “Legal Outlawry and Fictional Heroism in the Tradition of Hereward the Wake”
  4. Leah Pope Parker (University of Wisconsin, Madison), “A Poetics of Neurodiversity in Hoccleve’s Compleinte

Session 11C: Language Contacts in Manuscript (Paper)

While the former standard narratives (by Suggett, R.M. Wilson, Berndt, Kibbee and others) of the literary and social roles played by multilingualism in the medieval period have been extensively revised, less attention has been paid to the nature and range of multi- or plurilingual manuscripts across the period, well beyond the well-known case of Piers Plowman. This session calls for work on the production and reception of codices in which languages are juxtaposed, interleaved or otherwise arranged, and asks what kinds of literary, linguistic, theological, social, or political implications there might be in the choice and disposition of languages across genres. Papers might address glossing, marginalia of all kinds, and the use of language in images, as well as the arrangements throughout a booklet or larger section of a manuscript of works in more than one language.

Thread: Language Contacts   
Organizer: Claire M. Waters (University of California, Davis)
Moderator: Claire M. Waters
Room: Victoria College 212

  1. J. R. Mattison (University of Toronto), “Managing French with English: Reading the Lancelot-Grail in Fifteenth-Century England”
  2. Emily Ulrich (Yale University), “Cumulative Semantics: Trilingual Reading Practices in McClean MS 123”
  3. Barbara Zimbalist (University of Texas, El Paso), “Multilingual Devotion in Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts”

Session 11D: Manuscript and the Print Devolution (Lightning)      

Recent scholarship on late-medieval manuscript production has revealed a complex and vibrant network of scribes, illuminators, and workshops, booksellers and readers—a culture that persists after the arrival of Caxton’s press to England in 1476. This session explores the role of the manuscript in the increasingly mechanized literary world of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It theorizes the notion of a “print devolution,” a paradoxical increase in the authority, desirability, and production of manuscript books after the advent of print. Resisting accounts that simply chart the demise of the manuscript, this session explores the complexities and complications of a historical moment where these purportedly disparate forms coexisted.

Thread: Making the Text     
Organizer: Zachary Hines (University of Texas at Austin)
Moderator: Zachary Hines
Room: Emmanuel College 302

  1. Aditi Nafde (Newcastle University), “Reading the Printed Book in Manuscript”
  2. Mimi Ensley (University of Notre Dame), “Inscribing the Tradition: A Recusant Catholic’s Romance Manuscripts”
  3. Martha Driver (Pace University), “From Public to Private: MSS on the Move”
  4. Thomas Sawyer (Washington University in St. Louis), “Apocalipsis Libri Impressi”
  5. Carl Kears (King's College London), “Franciscus Junius: Making Networks Through Manuscript Books”

Session 11E: Scale Jumping (Paper)

Scale jumping in geography is when a social or other phenomenon jumps from a small sphere of influence to a much larger one or vice versa. The power of scale jumping is that small events can affect large ones, or a small or large phenomenon is exposed as limited because of its scale. The simple juxtaposition of things of vastly different sizes also implies a distinct kind of metonymy or transumptio that is similar to scale jumping. Papers are sought that examine the nature and effects of scale jumping in scientific, literary, historical, and artistic works.

Thread: Middle English Literature at Scale
Organizer: Matthew Boyd Goldie (Rider University)
Moderator: Matthew Boyd Goldie
Room: Northrop Frye 113

  1. Erika Harman (University of Pennsylvania), "Answers for Every Question: Encyclopedic Dialogues in Late Medieval England"
  2. Paul Holchak (Queens College, CUNY), "Scales of Performance in the Monastic Divine Service" 
  3. Joseph Morgan (Indiana University Bloomington), “Scale Jumping with Julian: Cosmic Collapse as Proof of Divine Love”
  4. Steven F. Kruger (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), “Scale Jumping and Non-Comparative Comparison in Medieval Dream Vision”

Session 11F: Digging up the Past: Memorialization, Inscription, and St. Erkenwald (Paper)                     
Organizers: The NCS Program Committee       
Moderators: Jordan Zweck (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Room: Northrop Frye 119

  1. Sif Rikhardsdottir (University of Iceland), “Death as Remembrance: Time, Memory and the Sense of Pastness in St. Erkenwald and Egils saga Skallagrímssonar
  2. Michael Wehrman (Frostburg State University), “Meche memory and muddling was mellyd to-geder: Bede’s Two Erkenwalds and Their Roles in St. Erkenwald
  3. Jill Hamilton Clements (University of Alabama, Birmingham), “Remembering in Runes: The Written Body and the Illegible Dead in St. Erkenwald
  4. Jordan Kirk (Pomona College), “Roynyshe Resounes: St. Erkenwald on the Caracter

Session 11G: Living Research: Drama and Performance in Practice (Lightning)       

The two live dramatic productions that Toronto’s PLS brought to NCS 2016 — The Pride of Life and an impromptu site-specific Mankind — brought up a number of questions regarding the way that live production of late medieval plays might relate to the production of academic research in the field, whether or not it constitutes research in itself. This panel invites respondents to report on live productions of early plays or live performances/readings of any early text, emphasizing performances that have reached beyond campus; these short reports will be followed by an open discussion.

Please visit to view the video for this session.

Organizer: Matthew Sergi (University of Toronto)
Moderator: Matthew Sergi
Room: Victoria College 323

  1. Ernst Gerhardt (Laurentian University), “Playing with Food: The Towneley First Shepherds’ Play in Performance”
  2. Andrew Albin (Fordham University), “Frustrating Performances: Fordham Medieval Dramatists' Antichrist and the Language of Game”
  3. Olivia Robinson (University of Fribourg), “The Medieval Convent Drama Project: Gender, Performance and Research”
  4. Tricia Postle (University of Toronto), “Travels with a Werewolf: Performing the Lai de Bisclaveret
  5. Kyle A. Thomas (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), “Medieval/Postmodern Performance: Approaches to a Performance of the 12th-Century Play of Adam

Session 11H: Newer Materialisms (Paper)

Since the publication of Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter in 2010, medieval studies has witnessed an explosion of debate around the question of the ontology and agency of physical stuff in the Middle Ages. Five years after Bennett’s book, and roughly ten years after Speculative Realism, this panel aims to reassess the place of New Materialism within medieval studies. We welcome any abstracts that consider New Materialism as a field, but particularly welcome are papers that focus on its relation to other critical methodologies, on its historicity and/or historical roots, and on its possible futures. What was New Materialism before, and what is it now? What schisms exist within the field of New Materialism, as broadly defined? And to what extent has New Materialism learned from the critiques of other subfields—in particular, from historicist and Marxist critiques?

Organizer: Taylor Cowdery (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Moderator: Taylor Cowdery
Room: Victoria College Chapel

  1. Myra Seaman (College of Charleston), “Not Aloof but OOF: Feminist Object Studies”
  2. Kellie Robertson (University of Maryland), “The Origins of Poetic Materialism”
  3. Respondent: Lisa H. Cooper (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

Session 11I: The Language of Birds (Paper)
Organizer: David K. Coley (Simon Fraser University)
Moderator: David K. Coley
Room: Victoria College 115

  1. Christopher Roman (Kent State University), “The Sounds of Chaucer's Dreamscapes”
  2. Liam Lewis (University of Warwick), “Quacking and Trapping: Mastering the Sounds of Birds in Bibbesworth's Tretiz
  3. Sarah Stanbury (College of the Holy Cross), “Birdsong and the Noises of Home in the Manciple's Tale

3:30-4:00    Break

4:00-5:30    Biennial Lecture and Closing: Maura Nolan, University of California, Berkeley (Isabel Bader Theatre), "The Invention of Style"

5:30-6:30    Transition Time

6:30-TBD    Dinner at the Toronto Reference Library