Schedule: 18 July

Friday, 18 July

Group 6: 9:00-10:30

6A Paper Panel: Reassembling the Material Turn: Manuscript Texts as Vehicles in Network Formation (1) (HT103)

What are the consequences of “localizing” a text in a manuscript culture? What happens when we resist the temptation to fix a manuscript text in space and time, refusing to treat it as a rarefied, static, or completed object? What new concepts emerge when we choose instead to deploy a manuscript as a mediator in the dynamics of group formation? Where do we draw the boundaries between manuscripts as material goods and cultural capital? And is studying the manuscript text as a vehicle compatible with studying its literary qualities? This session invites panelists to do something that we seldom see in manuscript studies: to regard the manuscript (not necessarily the codex) as a mediator, not the product of a completed process. We invite presenters to explore how manuscript circulation affects/effects group formation; how manuscripts are in turn shaped through space and time through this process; and how examining manuscript culture in this way might lead us to challenge current notions of textual or social fixity. Possible topics might also include analysis of the economic value of book contents and think about the role of books (as well as their contents) in European trade networks. Papers can investigate the role of texts or their MS instances in economic networks of exchange. Presenters are encouraged to discuss manuscripts, networks, and social groups that connect England with parts of the European continent that extend beyond France and Italy (including English links with the Low Countries, the Empire, the Hanseatic League, and Central Europe).

Thread: Movement, Networks, Economies 5.4.A
Organizers: Michael Van Dussen, McGill University and Sebastian Sobecki, University of Groningen
Chairs: Michael Van Dussen, McGill University and Sebastian Sobecki, University of Groningen

  1. Andrew Taylor, University of Ottawa, “Gifts from Camelot: Networking with the Gruuthuse Froissart"
  2. Thomas Hahn, University of Rochester, “Material Possessions: How a Manuscript Imagines its Audiences”
  3. Zachary Stone, University of Virginia, “From England to Eyjafjallajökull via Vercelli: The Curious Past of Vercelli MS 225”

6B Paper Panel: Thinking Chaucer (1) (HT104)

Our minds are not independent of our bodies: our mental health is displayed somatically, as medieval writers knew well – love sickness and dying for love are only the best-known examples. And neuroscience is extending our understanding of the relationship between the senses, the mind, and the experience of reading in exciting new ways: one recent study demonstrates that our sensory cortex responds differently when we read of a ‘velvet’ voice as opposed to a ‘pleasing’ voice. For our brains, there is a blurred boundary between touching, reading about touching, and reading about metaphorical touching. This session invites contributors to think about thinking: about metaphor, the imagination, the memory, the landscape of the mind, mental health, cognition. Presentations might address Chaucer’s portrayal of mental change or breakdown, the kinds of imagery he uses, his engagement with contemporary theories of thought. They might also, of course, address Chaucer’s contemporaries’ engagement with these issues. Papers might also or alternatively focus on how neuroscience can be usefully deployed in medieval literary studies, on intersections between literary and scientific texts and theories, or on the interplay between medieval and current ideas about how we think, how we respond to reading, how we change our minds.

Thread: The Medieval Sensorium
Organizer: Marion Turner, University of Oxford
Chair: Marion Turner, University of Oxford

  1. Sarah A. Kelen, Nebraska Wesleyan University, “The Eyes Have It?”
  2. Corinne Saunders, University of Durham, “Thinking Voices: Mind, Affect and Imagination in Chaucer’s Writing”

6C Paper Panel: (Absent) Jews in the Middle (3) (HT101)

While scholars have cited multiple shifts marking the movement from the medieval to early modern periods in England, one aspect of English history proved continuous. From the time of their forced expulsion in 1290 to the fraught period of their tacit readmission during the seventeenth century, Jews were officially absent from England. This session invites proposals for papers on the image of the Jew in both Chaucer’s poetry and other works produced during the some 350 years when England was imagined as a place devoid of Jews. Especially welcome are papers on how English writers proved particularly invested in the relationship between Jews and history (e.g., the Prioress’s odd sense that Jews martyred Hugh of Lincoln “but a litel while ago”), as well as papers on how the perceived absence of Jews served to define England as a nation during the late middle ages and renaissance.

Thread: In Search of Things Past
Organizer: Kathy Lavezzo, University of Iowa
Chair: David Raybin, Eastern Illinois University

  1. Asa Simon Mittman, California State University-Chico, “Jews of the Past, Jews of the Future”
  2. Jenny Adams, University of Massachussets-Amherst, “‘A litel scole of Cristen folk’: The Prioress’s Jewish lenders”
  3. Dorothy Kim, Vassar College, “Acoustic Alterity, Alma Redemptoris Mater, and the Nuneaton Book”
  4. R.F. Yeager, University of West Florida, “Gower’s Jews”

6D Paper Panel: The House of Fame as Hermeneutic Sound Garden (L102)

In what modes of cultural architecture does the House of Fame reside? How might our readings comprehend the sonic elevation of its design-in-time, from ekphrasis to ekstasis—echoic, reverberant, anxious, parodic? In what ways does the poem resonate with its imagined pasts—Scipionic, Vergilian, Dantean—and its future translations (Pope, Gröndal), as well as within its many productive critical readings? How might we hear the sound and the fury of Fama in our own moment of post-punk redux dissonance?

Thread: The Ways We Read Now
Organizer: Tom Goodmann, University of Miami
Chair: Tom Goodmann, University of Miami

  1. Rebecca Davis, University of California-Irvine “‘For al mot out’: Form and Motion in Chaucer’s House of Fame
  2. Boyda Johnstone, Fordham University, “Reading the Walls of House of Fame: Toward a Hermeneutics of Stained Glass”
  3. Tom Stillinger, University of Utah, “Sounds and Senses in the House of Fame

6E Paper Panel: Late Medieval Speech Communities (1): Sound and Speech (L103)

This session seeks to explore the evidence, in late medieval text and manuscripts, for “speech communities,” that is, social networks created in and understood through spoken interaction. Proposals are invited for papers which explore ways into late medieval attitudes to speaking and dialogue, even through textual and material sources of evidence. Papers might consider any of the following questions: how far can we consider the heard and said, as well as the seen and written, when we approach Middle English text and manuscript? How are relationships based upon dialogue and speech represented in writing and so converted into the very different transactions between reader and text? Why do so many medieval texts fictionalise the face-to-face, voiced encounter as a way to efface their own textuality? Are there medieval communities or social relationships which we necessarily observe today only through text and image but which medieval people understood to be more especially established and conducted through sound and speech.

Organizer: Isabel Davis, University of London, Birbeck
Chair: Sarah Stanbury, College of the Holy Cross

  1. Christine Neufeld, Eastern Michigan University, “‘Folweth Ekko’: Gossips and the Art of Listening”
  2. Barbara Zimbalist, University of Texas-El Paso, “Christ’s Lyric Voice and the Community of Devotion”
  3. Isabel Davis, Birkbeck College, London, “Kneeling and Naming: Speech Communities and the Late Medieval Subject”

6F Paper Panel: Masculinity and 14th Century Literature (L204)

Recently, there has been a growing interest in men and masculinity in the Middle Ages. The aim of this session is to discuss and compare masculinity in late medieval Icelandic literature and Chaucer. Possible topics may include: Theory and methods, bodily boundaries, the male body/clothes, cross-dressing, masculinity and space, homosocial relationships, friendship, homosexuality.

Organizer: Ásdís Egilsdóttir, University of Iceland
Chair: Ásdís Egilsdóttir, University of Iceland

  1. Anna Waymack, Cornell University, “Open-Ers”: The Femininized Voice of the Reeve’s Old Age”
  2. Marian Elizabeth Polhill, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, “Lovesickness and Masculinity: Literary Representations of a Medical Discourse from South to North”
  3. Angela Jane Weisl, Seton Hall University, “‘I have felled many men and made this poem about it’: Violence and Masculinities in Late-Icelandic literature and Chaucer”
  4. Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir, University of Iceland, “ʻHow do you know if itʻs Love or Lust?ʼ On Male Emotions and Attitudes towards Women in Medieval Icelandic Literature”

6G Paper Panel: Committing Poetry (1) (L205)

The return to form in literary studies in the past decade has sought to bring the insights of New Historicism and cultural studies to bear on the study of literary forms and poetics.  This panel solicits papers that consider how medieval poetry, especially in the later Middle Ages, constitutes an intersection between form and action informed by social, historical, or cultural contexts.  What kinds of action does poetry commit and permit?  What happens to medieval poetry when it is ‘committed’ to writing (i.e. in manuscripts), or to memory?   How do poetic commissions (e.g., by patrons) influence poetic form, content, and use-contexts?  Do poetics and form constitute a kind of action?  This panel especially welcomes papers that put formalist concerns in dialogue with social and material contexts.  Papers might address the ritual or performative contexts of poetry; how poetry constitutes a social act; or how the copying of poems in manuscript negotiates the spatial representation of performance contexts or poetic form.

Thread: How To Do Things With Texts
Organizer: Ingrid Nelson, Amherst College
Chair: Ingrid Nelson, Amherst College

  1. Arthur Bahr, MIT, “Do Cleanness and Patience Make Us Clean or Patient?”
  2. Katherine Zieman, Independent Scholar, “Theologies of Alliteration, Theologies of Rhyme: Pastoral Poetry in North Yorkshire”
  3. Laura Wang, Harvard University, “Henryson, Holland, and the Politics of Unnatural Form”

6H Paper Panel: Networks of Solitude (L201)

Medieval solitude, as manifested within the medieval anchoritic and hermitic traditions in particular, was, by the era of Chaucer, an extremely popular and common form of religious and cultural experience and, as Anne Savage has persuasively argued, the practices it generated were by no means restricted to those women and men entering the anchorhold as religious recluses. Although the original ideologies of anchoritism certainly encouraged isolation and solitude, there were also many networks and communities, both religious and lay, running throughout England and the Continent that shared ‘anchoritic’ texts, ideas, and spiritual practices.

In this session we seek to include presentations on the networks constructed around and by medieval solitary experience and the types of communication – textual or otherwise – that manifested itself during the time of Chaucer, whether among and between anchorites and other solitaries, their patrons, their spiritual advisors or the community at large. Papers addressing specific authors who participated in these ‘networks of solitude’ (Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, William Flete, Margery Kempe, and the adapters of the Katherine and Wooing Group texts, for example) are welcome. Also invited are those dealing with the transmission of manuscripts, the spread of solitary practice and devotion, the reception of anchoritic traditions, relationships between Continental and English solitary traditions and their texts, and the spatial networks that built up around solitary practice in individual locations (for example, East Anglian churches and communities, or the Low Countries).

Organizers: Susannah Chewning, Union County College and Liz Herbert McAvoy, Swansea University
Chairs: Susannah Chewning, Union County College and Liz Herbert McAvoy, Swansea University

  1. Diane Watt, University of Surrey, “Exiles or Diaspora? Eve of Wilton and Goscelin’s Liber confortatorius
  2. Michelle M. Sauer, University of North Dakota, “‘For iþe ane mai ich alle frend finden”: Notions of Networks and Anchoritic Friendship”
  3. Gabriella Del Lungo Camiciotti, University of Florence, “William Flete’s Remedies against Temptations in the context of late Middle English instructional religious literature”
  4. Sebastian Langdell, University of Oxford, “Audelay and Hoccleve”

6I Paper Panel: Views of the Scandinavian (Br)Other in Later Medieval England Session (G102)

In this session, we invite papers examining the representation of Scandinavians in the post-conquest literature of England (Anglo-Norman, Latin and English). Papers can focus on any literary genre (romance, historiography, hagiography, etc.); we also welcome contributions investigating aspects of social history (i.e. evidence of trade contacts), including material culture that might contribute to or underlie literary depictions. Possible topics include representations or literary implementations of Scandinavian history, culture and language; ideas of "nation" and "nationality"; expressions of similarity/identification/difference; and the place of Scandinavia and Scandinavians in the English view of the world.

Thread: North 2: Contexts
Organizers: Molly Jacobs, University of California-Berkeley and Giselle Gos, independent scholar

  1. Joanna Bellis, University of Cambridge, “Writing History on the Walls of Public Houses: A Fourteenth-Century Anglo-Scandinavian Encounter”
  2. Cynthia Turner Camp, University of Georgia, “Recuperating Cnut in the English Chronicles”
  3. Christiania Whitehead, University of Warwick, “The Hermit and the Sailor: Readings of Scandinavia in North-Eastern Hagiography”
  4. Stephen Yeager, Concordia University, “Danes, Tribute, Martyrs, and the Reeve’s Rusty Blade”

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

Group 7: 11:00-1:00

7A Seminar: Ecomaterialism: Questions/Problems/Ideologies (HT103)

Ecomaterialist theories and practices vary widely and proliferate rapidly these days, and variations therein and their genealogies (speculative realisms, new materialisms, object-oriented-ontologies, to name a few) are constantly subject to debate—often heated—in the academy. Medievalists are right in the middle of such debates. How might medieval studies continue to contribute to ecomaterialist theories? How might ecomaterialism help us form a more nuanced understanding of medieval people and their interactions with, and understanding of, their environments? How do medieval literary texts, philosophical treatises, historical documents, and natural histories contribute to the history of our own involvement with the natural world? More broadly, an all-too-familiar divide separates the humanities and the sciences with respect to studying the natural world and its history: as the sciences and the social sciences come to dominate the new sustainability studies in universities, how might humanists take their place at that table?

Questions/problems/ideologies under discussion may include: What kind of ecomaterialism? Aesthetic? Activist? Environmentalist? Humans first? Things first? Enmeshed things? All things in their unique, solitary, unknowable orbits? Networky? Combined with other theories and practices such as eco-criticism, neo-ecocriticism, and/or zoocriticism? Marxist, feminist, queer, postcolonial, and/or psychoanalytic theory? First wave, second wave, third wave? How do politics/geopolitics/biopolitics figure in ecomaterialist thought and practice? Theology? Gender, race, sexuality? What is ecoliterature—or is everything ecoliterature?

In this seminar, participants (and, we hope, session attendees) will read a set of texts (list can be found here) that take up current debates on ecomaterialist theories and practices as well as that showcase ecomaterialist readings of medieval texts or other medieval cultural artifacts. Participants are invited to present in a variety of modes—a work-in-progress, a theorized close reading, a blog post, a meditation on one or more of the readings, a set of questions, a suggestion for a new direction, a manifesto, a digital media presentation, a video, a creative piece—anything that engages with the readings while enacting an ecomaterialist practice. Limited to eight participants. Abstracts should include a description of the mode of presentation, for a 4-minute presentation. In order to increase opportunities for participation and dialogue, seminar attendees are invited to bring their own brief (one page) pieces to share (though this is not required!).

Organizers: Myra Seaman, College of Charleston and Kathleen Kelly, Northeastern University

  1. Matthew Boyd Goldie, Rider University, “Ecoemotions: Nicole Oresme and the Kinematic World”
  2. Gillian Rudd, Liverpool University, “The Resilience of Flowers: A Theorized Close Reading of Book of the Duchess, 397-427”
  3. Corey Sparks, Indiana University, “The Matter of Medieval Newgate”
  4. Karl Steel, Brooklyn College, CUNY, “‘By chance’ or ‘in itself’: Spontaneous Generation and the Problem of Material Agency”
  5. Sharon O’Dair, University of Alabama, “Water’s Love”
  6. Laurie Finke, Kenyon College, “wordthing”

Reading List

7B Seminar: Creatura (HT104)

For the past century, thinkers of a certain political-theological bent have found themselves returning with a new urgency to the category that might well be regarded as the master category of medieval being: the category of creatura that included all created things. Franz Rosenzweig stresses the ura in creatura: the imperfect construction, the thing always undergoing creation, always being subjected to transformation. For Walter Benjamin the creature appears, at moments of crisis, as the half-formed harbinger of another form of life, and for him the storyteller is both the advocate of creaturely life and its highest embodiment. Eric Santner gives the concept a humanist inflection by arguing that “creatureliness [signifies] less a dimension that traverses the boundaries of human and nonhuman forms of life than a specifically human way of finding oneself caught in the midst of antagonisms in and of the political field.” Finally, Giorgio Agamben has thrust creatureliness into the center of his ethical and political critique. Even as philosophy’s reengagement with the creature poses a problem for modernity, it raises a question for medieval studies: To what degree is the modern conception of the creature already operative in the Middle Ages? Would it get us anywhere if we approached medieval subjects (and/or literary creations) not as creatures of a sovereign creator but as creatures of another sort: creatures of institutions, of corporations, of communities, of language, of one another? Would the category add another turn to the ongoing reconsideration of medieval animal-human relations? Would it allow us to think more broadly about craft and making? Would it help us, at the most basic, literary-historical level, to reevaluate a character like the Pardoner or “this creature,” Margery Kempe? Should we detect, in the creatures of the Middle Ages—real, imaginary, symbolic—the figures of a future politics still in the making? This seminar invites short papers exploring these and other questions pertaining to creatureliness as a point of contact between medieval and modern. The seminar has room for up to 8 participants. Members of the seminar will circulate papers in advance of the congress.

Organizers: George Edmondson, Dartmouth College and Robert Stein, Leiden University

  1. Tara Williams, Oregon State University, “Margery Kempe as a Twenty-First Century Creature”
  2. Elizabeth Harper, Mercer University, “‘The ryche man hatz more nede thanne the pore’: Creation and Dependence in Dives and Pauper”
  3. Patricia Clare Ingham, Indiana University, “Creative Creatures”
  4. Stacy S. Klein, Rutgers University, “Sexing the Creatures of Anglo-Saxon Literature”

Seminar papers can be accessed through the HUB here:

7C Seminar: Editing [for] the Future (HT101)

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the Early English Text Society. This is an opportune moment to reflect on the future of the scholarly edition. The scholarly fields of Book History, the New Philology, Material Philology, and the evolving areas of eco-criticism, space theory and other theoretical discourses continue to require edited texts to explore, and increasingly need more in the way of collateral and contextual information about the transmission of those texts in the manuscript matrix. How should editors respond? Papers are invited to reflect on changes needed to accommodate the needs of students, the scholarly community, and the wider reading public, and to ensure the sustainability and accessibility of the textual archive. We will aim to circulate papers in advance and to dedicate our time to a round-table discussion of the issues.

Organizer: Vincent Gillespie, University of Oxford

  1. Wendy Scase, University of Birmingham, "Rethinking Editing in the Digital Age"
  2. Simone Celine Marshall, University of Otago, “Nineteenth-Century Editing and The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: How Society Influences Editorial Practices”
  3. Helen Leith Spencer, Exeter College, University of Oxford, "How should we approach Furnivall‘s Six-Text Canterbury Tales: with incense or a duster?"
  4. John Bowers, University of Las Vegas, “Editing Tolkien Editing Chaucer”
  5. Robert Sturges, Arizona State University, “Toward a Queer Chaucer Edition”

7D Seminar: Re-orienting Disability (L102)

Since the category of “disability” was not in circulation in the Middle Ages, what exactly does a medievalist disability studies investigate? The scholarship of the last decade suggests that such research begins with acts of translation: by moving between disability in the present and its analogues and precursors in the past; by crossing from disability’s recent discursive contexts to distinctly medieval configurations of care, sensory experience, constructed environments, physical impairment, and notions of embodied difference; and by marking both the similitudes and the disjunctions between, say, blindness then and blindness now, between literal blindness and spiritual, between blindness as a narrative device and as a lived experience. Building on such insightful recent work, this seminar will bring together up to six participants engaged in “re-orienting” the study of disability in the Middle Ages. What questions and methodologies, we ask, promise to open up new lines of theoretical, historical, or literary-critical inquiry? How do disability approaches (re)constitute and (re)configure social relations and modes of analysis?

Interested participants should submit brief abstracts outlining the most compelling, urgent, or exciting question(s) facing a medievalist disability studies. We welcome submissions from scholars who work in fields outside of English literature, including literature in other languages, as well as the history of medicine, music, art history, or people who work on material outside the medieval Latin West. Selected participants will be asked to submit papers of no more than 2000 words prior to the conference, concerning new directions (in methodology, subject matter, or theoretical conceptualization) in the study of disability in the age of Chaucer. In the interest of being “oriented” and well as “re-oriented” within disability studies, we will also ask participants each to recommend an essay or book chapter that s/he considers essential reading in the field. Participants’ papers as well as their recommended readings will be available to prospective audience members registered for the seminar. The conversation at NCS, informed by our shared reading, will explore the new possibilities for studying medieval disability.

Organizers: Jonathan Hsy, George Washington University and Julie Orlemanski, University of Chicago

  1. Brantley Bryant, Sonoma State University, “Wild Words: The Disability of Truth-Telling in Late Medieval England”
  2. Haylie Swenson, The George Washington University, “Attending to ‘Beasts Irrational’ in Gower’s Vox Clamantis
  3. Leah Pope, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Spiritual Prosthesis: Bodily Aberrance in Medieval Hagiographical Narrative”
  4. M. W. Bychowski, George Washington University, “Crip Christianity”
  5. John P. Sexton, Bridgewater State University, “Naming Difference in Medieval Disability Studies”

Reading List

7E Seminar: The Boundaries of Medieval Drama (L103)

This seminar seeks to draw together 6-8 scholars to explore the question “What intersects with drama at its boundaries?” In order to facilitate our conversation, participants will be asked to read the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, a dramatic text that, in the words of Michael Jones, “demonstrates the same transgression of boundaries—generic, cultural, historical—as it thematizes in its own plot.” To help ground discussion of the play, we will also consider

Theresa Coletti and Gail McMurray Gibson, “The Tudor Origins of Medieval Drama,” in Kent Cartwright, ed., A Companion to Tudor Literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 228-245; and

Jonathan Gil Harris, Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), Introduction: “Palimpsested Time: Toward a Theory of Untimely Matter.”

Building on this work of Coletti and Gibson and Harris, seminar members will use the Play of the Sacrament as a test case for exploring more generally medieval drama’s complex temporalities, manuscript situations, appropriations of other genres, ideologies, and contexts. We invite participants who are interested in a variety of medieval literatures and cultural practices that overlap with the Play of the Sacrament’s own concerns and claims as well as scholars pursuing a variety of critical approaches (e.g., eco-criticism, object-oriented ontology, history of affect) to studying early drama.

The seminar will open with five-minute statements from participants, followed by 30 minutes of roundtable discussion among presenters. The audience will then be invited to participate during the remainder of the seminar.

Organizers: John T. Sebastian, Loyola University New Orleans and Christina M. Fitzgerald, University of Toledo

  1. Robert W. Barrett, Jr., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Joyous Fruition: Vegetal Bodies and Virtual Hosts in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament
  2. John T. Sebastian, Loyola University New Orleans, “The Play of the Sacrament as Tudor Drama”
  3. Kathy Lavezzo, University of Iowa, “Histrionic and Historical Houses: Jewish Dwellings in Bury St. Edmunds and the Croxton Play of the Sacrament
  4. Emma Lipton, University of Missouri, “Medieval Drama and Evidential Culture”
  5. Meisha Lohmann, SUNY-Binghamton, “Multitemporal Objects and Spaces: The Abby Gates in the Context of The Croxton Play of the Sacrament
  6. Matthew Sergi, University of Toronto, “The Southern Banns: Croxton”
  7. J. Case Tompkins, Purdue University, “Losses, Legendry, and the Grocers’ Pageant in the Norwich Muniment Room”

7F Seminar: Reading Chaucer (L204)

This 2 hour session will focus on communal reading of selections from Chaucer's works. A chief aim of the session is to encourage conversation between readers of Chaucer from a range of academic backgrounds and career points. The session will have 5 “lead” participants who will introduce passages no longer than 200 lines, or a pair of passages no longer than 200 lines in total, by outlining a brief response to them from any critical or textual perspective. To leave time for as much discussion as possible, these introductions should last no longer than 5 minutes. Reference citations for the passages chosen for discussion in the seminar will be circulated in advance so we all have common ground and can share different ways of reading Chaucer. To apply to the seminar, please send the passage you propose.

Organizer: Helen Barr, Univesity of Oxford

  1. Robert Meyer-Lee, Indiana University-South Bend, “Merchant-Squire: Love, Fiction, and Literary Value”
  2. Karen Cherewatuk, St. Olaf College, “Mother-Murder in the Prioress Tale and the Man of Law’s Tale
  3. Sheila Fisher, Trinity College, “When Chaucer’s Women Talk About Themselves”

7G Seminar: Extracurricular Chaucer: Creative Pedagogies (L205)

This seminar is less about the practical and experiential – “how I teach Chaucer” – and more about reflecting on our practices and experiences: how we teach Chaucer now (and why) and how we might teach Chaucer in the future (and why). The seminar aims to consider the impact of changes in our institutional and disciplinary environments on the content and mode of delivery of our teaching and of students’ learning. Topics might include: to what extent does the lack of consensus about the disciplinary protocols of “English” help or hinder our teaching of Chaucer? how might the medieval liberal arts help us to reimagine the modern classroom? the impact of digital humanities (changes in information technology, access to scholarly research tools, etc.); how we incorporate blogging, tweeting, and social media into our teaching practices; canons/traditions; the connections between Chaucer and disciplines that seem very removed (such as the sciences); the place of affect in the classroom; the decline of language learning and its impact on teaching Chaucer and his age; teaching Middle English; orality in the classroom; how might the emerging discipline of Future Philology affect our teaching? Or the new humanisms? the university as “the marketplace of ideas” – or its opposite; “critical thinking”; why teach Chaucer? medievalism and Creative Anachronism; the turn towards objects; crowdsourcing, the Internet of Things, and the wikiality of it all.

The session is limited to 8 participants. There will be some reading (TBA) for everyone to do beforehand. Participants will present short position papers (5 minutes max.), allowing time for discussion amongst themselves and the audience. The session does not seek ex cathedra pronouncements but impromptu critical debate about teaching Chaucer now. You may present in any format you wish: position-paper, lesson plan, video, Prezi/PowerPoint, poster + ad libbed explanation, dramatic piece, Socratic method, poem, etc. I welcome joint presentations and encourage interventions of a tentative, experimental, impure, hesitant, incomplete (but not inarticulate) nature.

Reading might include
Derek Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges (2006).
Rita Copeland, Pedagogy, Intellectuals, and Dissent in the Middle Ages (2001).
Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (2012).
Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University (2010).
Dany Nobus and Malcolm Quinn, “Reading Seminar XVII: From the Desire to Know to the Fall of Knowledge,” Knowing Nothing, Staying Stupid: Elements for a Psychoanalytic Epistemology. (2005). 107-37.

Organizer: Ruth Evans, Saint Louis University

  1. Amanda Bohne, University of Notre Dame, “Chaucer, Vygotsky, and Wikipedia: New Ways of Reading”
  2. Alex Mueller, University of Massachusetts-Boston, “Chaucer’s Wiki Speaks”
  3. Susan Yager, Iowa State University, “Is Accessibility Simple? Is Simplicity Naïve?”
  4. Derrick Pitard, Slippery Rock University, “Participatory Pedagogy”
  5. Kara Crawford, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla, California, “Experiential Chaucer: Providing Tools to Make Meaning”
  6. T. Ross Leasure, Salisbury University, “Using Panopto and Dropbox to Enhance Students’ Reading and Recitation”
  7. Stephanie Amsel, Southern Methodist University, “Teaching Chaucer Within the Framework of a Rhetoric and Composition Class”

7H Seminar: Digital Chaucer (L201)

The purpose of this seminar is to provide a forum for the discussion of the role of digital resources and methods in Chaucer Studies. The seminar has space for up to 8 speakers who will circulate short papers of no more than 2000 words before the Congress; these draft papers will be made available to prospective audience members electronically. Speakers will be expected to summarise these papers briefly in the seminar; the majority of the seminar will be focused on discussion among the panel and audience members. Possible topics for discussion include the use of existing resouces, such as digital facsimiles, online manuscript catalogues, electronic texts, the Middle English Compendium, the Glossarial DataBase, for teaching and research. Prospective speakers embarking on new digital projects are also encouraged to present their work-in-progress or future plans. As the New Chaucer Society establishes its presence on Twitter and Facebook, participants might also consider the possible impact of social media on Chaucer Studies, as well as new forms of online collaboration such as Crowdsourcing and Wikis.

Organizer: Simon Horobin, University of Oxford

  1. Noriyuki Kawano, Yoshiyuki Nakao, Akiyuki Jimura, and Kenichi Satoh, Hiroshima University, “A Computer-assisted Textual Comparison among the Manuscripts and the Editions: With Special Reference to Caxton’s Editions”
  2. Kathryn A. Lowe, University of Glasgow and Benjamin Albritton, Stanford University, “Crowdsourcing the Medieval”
  3. Emily Lethbridge, University of Iceland and Stofnun Árna Magnússonar, “Digital Sagas and Saga Manuscripts”
  4. Tomonori Matsushita, Senshu University, “Ubiquitous Canterbury Tales MSS Archive and IT Scribes”
  5. Robin Wharton, Georgia Regents University and Elon Lang, University of Texas-Austin “Scholarly Editing through Digital Pedagogy in the Hoccleve Archive”
  6. Kathleen Ogden, University of Toronto, “Beyond the Body of the Book: The Future of Digital Materialities”
  7. Candace Barrington, Central Connecticut State University, “Global Chaucers: A New Digital Project”
  8. Richard North and Mari Volkosh, University College, London; Peter Robinson and Barbara Bordalejo, University of Saskatchewan and Scholarly Digital Editions; Terry Jones, Independent Scholar, “The Canterbury Tales as App”

7I Poster Session: How to Do Things with Books (posters will be hung in the walkway between HT and Gimli and the poster session will take place next to the poster wall, directly facing HT101) 

In order to respond to changing modes of conference presentation and to widen the kinds of evidence-based participation at the Congress, we are trialling a poster session in Reykjavík 2014. Poster Sessions—presentations displayed on bulletin boards by an individual or by research groups—usually include narrative, illustrations, tables, graphs, and similar presentation formats. Our poster session is also likely to include reproductions or facsimiles of archival materials. The poster should concisely communicate the essence of the presenter’s research and/or showcase a particular artefact and the researcher's findings. Colorado State University has published useful general information on Poster Sessions which can be accessed here. Some handsome example posters are available by following this link.

Poster Sessions offer excellent opportunities for extended informal discussion and conversation focused on topics of scholarly or pedagogical research. Posters are displayed for the entire Congress, so that attendees can view the work even when the authors are not physically present. This Poster Session will take place in a busy area, in close proximity to the main conference rooms; there will be one formal session when authors are expected to be physically present and engage in discussion with interested delegates. Authors will not have to make a formal oral presentation about their work, although the session organizers will give a brief introduction to the session on the day. Posters are invited on any topic likely to be of interest to the New Chaucer Society Congress delegates.

Proposals for Poster Sessions must include the following:
- Title of Poster
- Summary of project, not to exceed 250 words

Displays should be assembled during the first day of the Congress. During the live presentation session (90 minutes), presenters stand by their poster displays while others view the presentation and interact with the presenters. We expect to accept up to 16 posters.

Presenters will have wall space on which to affix their poster; they should plan on a poster with dimensions of approximately standard paper size A0 (84 x 118 cm, 33.1 x 46.8 inches). We will also endeavor to place tables nearby for materials like handouts and sign-up sheets, although we cannot guarantee the layout at this stage. Please be aware that we also cannot guarantee a nearby electric power source.

Thread: How to Do Things with Books
Organizers: Anthony Bale, University of London, Birkbeck and Alexandra Gillespie, University of Toronto

  1. Leah Schwebel, University of Connecticut, "Genealogies on the page: Boccaccio, Dante, and the Chigiano Manuscript"
  2. A. B. Kraebel, Yale University, “"Translations of Form: Richard Rolle and the Development of Middle English Commentary"
  3. Elizaveta Strakhov, University of Pennsylvania, “Translating 'Skarsete' in Chaucer's Complaint of Venus"
  4. Chris Piuma, University of Toronto, “How to Read a Pseudotext: Recognizing and Reading the Texts of Pere Serra’s Altarpiece of the Virgin
  5. Nicole Smith, University of North Texas, “The Clensyng of Mannes Soule: An Edition in the Making”
  6. William Youngman, Cornell University, “Impressed By Translation: Translating Caxton’s Early Printed Books”
  7. Daniel W. Mosser, Virginia Tech; Linne Mooney, University of York (in absentia) and Holly James-Maddock, University of York, “Identity and Difference: The Case of the ‘Hooked-g’ Scribe(s)”
  8. Laura Saetveit Miles, University of Bergen, “Imaginative Reading, Books of Hours, and the Late-Medieval Devotional Treatise Of Three Workings in Man’s Soul
  9. Hannah Ryley, Worcester College, Oxford, “Waste Not Want Not: Recycling and the Medieval Manuscript”
  10. Thomas White, Birkbeck College, London, “Signs of Use in Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts”
  11. Andrea R. Harbin, SUNY-Cortland and Tamara F. O’Callaghan, Northern Kentucky University, “The Augmented Palimpsest: From Chaucer to ChaucAR”
  12. Jessica Henderson, University of Toronto, “Medical Manuscript as Practical Tool: Medical Illustrations in British Library, MS Harley 397 and Wellcome Library, MS 39”

2:00 Half-Day Excursion

2:00-5:00 Manuscript Exhibit (Þjóðarbókhlaðan, National Library/ University Library, lower level)