116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Middle English Literature, Including Chaucer II

Session Chair: 
John M. Ganim, UC Riverside
Session 6: Saturday 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Bond Hall 109


  1. Michael McShane, Carthage College
    Chaucer's Prioress's tale is horrifically, violently anti-Semitic.  I argue that the Prioress unconsciously enacts contradictions inherent in a Christian ideology of femininity.  The magnitude of the story's violence indicates the magnitude of the relevant contradictions, as seen in the figure of Mary, an impossible unity of virginity and maternity. 
  2. Debra Best, California State University Dominguez Hills
    In Middle English romance, women who perform the role of monstrous Other, including loathly ladies, Saracen princesses, and “adulterous” wives, enact the romance genre’s exploration of larger threats to marriage, including sin, errant fathers, and inappropriate matches. These tales critique the social and marital conventions that affect women and potentially force a virtuous beauty to perform the role of monstrous beast.
  3. Christopher Wrenn, University of Hawai'i, Manoa
    The evocative power of words admirably unifies many of the elements which make up the late-fourteenth-century poem Sir Gawayn and the Grene Knyȝt.
  4. Elizabeth Salazar, Washington State University
    Geoffrey Chaucer questions the natural roles and qualities of women throughout much of his work, from the ambiguous Criseyde in Troilus and Criseyde, to the saintly progression of victims in The Legend of Good Women, to the wide array of abstracted, fictional, and pseudo-living women in The Canterbury Tales. While he repeatedly attributes a unifying female nature to these characters, his own depictions of womanhood place anything beyond common humanity into question.
Session Cancelled: