The Lollard Society will sponsor two sessions at the 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI (May 12-15, 2016):
1. What Do We Mean by Devotion?
In scholarship on later medieval religiosity, the terms “devotion” and “devotional” can signal a wide range of dispositions, behaviors, teachings, and textual forms: just what do we mean by this term? For this panel, we seek papers that explore the variety of external behaviors and internal states we might consider devotional. Questions papers might engage with include, but are not limited to: What are the scope and limits of this terminology? How does devotion relate to form, genre, emotion, cognition, contemplation, or theology? Papers might also ask how devotion meaningfully differs from or overlaps with pastoral instruction, guidance for right living, examination of conscience, or communal ritual. Likewise, they might explore to what extent manuscript contexts determine how we categorize religious texts. We welcome papers addressing the texts, codices, and experiences of lay people or clerics, whether dissenters, reformers, or more mainstream Christians.
2. Lollardy and Literature
As a part of the so-called “religious turn,” the study of lollardy (or Wycliffism) in Middle English literature has flourished over the past two decades. This panel aims to take stock of what such scholarship has achieved and to identify directions for future research. Do we read Chaucer, Langland, Hoccleve, or Lydgate differently in light of lollard studies? If we don’t, should we? What place do lollard texts hold in the corpus of Middle English literature or within English literature curricula? How do we better understand anticlerical, antifraternal, or other dissenting discourses within English literary history? Alternatively, how might emphasis on lollardy distort the literary landscape, such that we become too prone to “smelle a loller in the wind”? We welcome discussion of the assumptions, methods, and research questions that shape our understanding of dissent, reform, or heterodox belief in Middle English literature.
Please send your abstract (approx. 200 words) and a completed Participant Information Form  to Mary Raschko (raschkml[at]whitman[dot]edu) no later than September 15, 2015.