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CFP: Kalamazoo, 2014

The Lollard Society is sponsoring two sessions at the 49th Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (to be held 8-11 May 2014):

1. What Is a Wycliffite Book?

In recent years scholars have been expanding and complicating definitions of what constitutes heresy, orthodoxy, and heterodoxy, investigating how so-called Wycliffite practices intersect with mainstream forms of devotion, theology, literature, etc. This expansion is characterized in part by textual analysis. Yet increasingly sophisticated ways of studying individual texts (as abstracted compositions) do not necessarily help us when we examine other levels of text such as the codex and its material forms. While many studies offer nuanced analyses of what makes a Wycliffite text, then, this panel seeks to develop a more sophisticated typology of what constitutes a Wycliffite book in its socio-material contexts. Possible questions to consider include several that have become familiar in manuscript studies, but which take on special resonance in the context of Wycliffite controversy. How does the material form of the codex shape how we understand the reception and circulation of its contents? What do we mean when we call a book or manuscript “Wycliffite”? What characteristics must a miscellany have in order to be considered Wycliffite? How might the contents of a miscellany illuminate its Wycliffite text(s)? Contributors to this panel are invited to consider the distinctions between material (and unique) codicological evidence and more abstracted levels of text.

2. (co-sponsored by the White Hart Society): After McFarlane’s Lancastrian Kings and Lollard Knights

Together with Margaret Aston and Anne Hudson’s work, K. B. McFarlane’s Lancastrian Kings and Lollard Knights situated lollardy as a field of study perhaps uniquely simultaneously historical and literary. Scholarship on the topic bloomed, especially in literature departments, and has gone well beyond McFarlane’s footnotes. Today, scholars are reconsidering approaches to lollardy, and its place both in vernacular religion and politics. This session seeks to pursue that revisionism, and re-explore those Lancastrian kings, as well as the so-called “lollard knights,” and the possibilities of their political and religious dissent.

Please send 150-200 word abstracts to Michael Van Dussen (michael [dot] vandussen [at] mcgill [dot] ca) no later than 1 September 2013 (preferably earlier).

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