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Call For Papers: Kalamazoo, 2015

The Lollard Society hopes to sponsor two sessions at the 50th Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (to be held 14-17 May 2015):

1. Another Kind of Saint: Wycliffite Hagiographies: A panel in honor of Christina von Nolcken

In honor of her retirement in 2015, the Lollard Society would like to propose one sponsored session in honor of Christina von Nolcken’s work and legacy with a special focus on John Wyclif and late-medieval religious controversy. As 2015 also marks the 600th anniversary of John Wyclif’s posthumous condemnation at the Council of Constance, the organizers are specifically interested in papers that address the figure of Wyclif and certain of his prominent followers as objects of posthumous reverence, whether during the fifteenth century or later. Presenters might also reassess Wycliffite attitudes toward saints, saints’ cults, relics, or hagiographical elements in Wycliffite texts (all topics on which important recent work has emerged). Proposals that address the posthumous trial and condemnation of Wyclif at Constance, or the cremation of Wyclif’s exhumed bones in 1428, are also welcome. This session is being organized in tandem with a Special Session in honor of Prof. von Nolcken by Sharon Rowley.

2. Lollards, Getting Formal

Conventionally, scholars have described Wycliffites as disinterested in, or even hostile to, poetic forms of discourse. Yet in Feeling Like Saints (2014), Fiona Somerset asserts that “lollard writings vary widely in style and tone, employ a range of genres, and are often self-consciously well crafted” (7). In response to Somerset’s new work and the wider formalist turn in literary studies, the organizers of this panel seek to explore not just the polemical and theological substance of Wycliffite texts but the manner in which writers express such ideas. To reconsider prominent assumptions about Wycliffite form and style, we invite papers on their employment (or critiques) of generic forms like narrative or dialogue, as well as on styles of poetics and prose.

Please send 150-200 word abstracts to Michael Van Dussen (michael [dot] vandussen [at] mcgill [dot] ca) no later than 31 August 2014.

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