Medieval Literature

Criticism and Debates

Edited by Holly Crocker, D. Vance Smith

© 2014 – Routledge

552 pages

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Paperback: 9780415667906
pub: 2013-12-12
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About the Book

Medieval Literature: Criticism and Debates combines classic critical essays alongside new voices and approaches, highlighting vibrant debates on medieval literature that will continue to shape critical conversations for the coming decades.

Holly A. Crocker and D. Vance Smith present a fascinating collection of essays from leading contemporary scholars of medieval literature and culture, examining topics including gender, sexuality, politics, belief, language, nationhood, science and desire. The volume sheds light on critical discussions of the medieval period and shows the continuing relevance and vivacity of Medieval English literature in the twenty-first century.

Each section is thoroughly introduced and the essays develop various debates in key areas, providing a springboard for readers to establish their own study, arguments and opinions. Further reading sections make this volume an accessible and important resource for those studying literature from the Medieval period and beyond.

Contributors: Anthony Bale, Sarah Beckwith, Anke Bernau, Glenn Burger, Ardis Butterfield, Christopher Cannon, Christine Chism, Lisa H. Cooper, Susan Crane, Holly A. Crocker, George Edmondson, Ruth Evans, Sylvia Federico, Laurie Finke, Aranye Fradenburg, Frank Grady, Richard Firth Green, Patricia Clare Ingham , Hannah Johnson, Steven Justice, David Lawton, Robert Mills, J. Allan Mitchell, Nicholas Perkins, Tison Pugh, Elizabeth Robertson, Kellie Robertson, Jessica Rosenfeld, Sarah Salih, Corinne Saunders, Martin Shichtman, D. Vance Smith, Emily Steiner, Jennifer Summit, Stephanie Trigg, Marion Turner, David Wallace, Angela Jane Weisl, Nicolette Zeeman

Reviews

"An expertly curated selection framed by an introduction and extensive bibliography…the book will be ideal for advanced students or for faculty working up a new area. Summing Up: Recommended." -- D. W. Hayes, Lakehead University, in CHOICE

Table of Contents

Introduction, Holly A. Crocker and D. Vance Smith Part 1: Form and History 1. Chronicles and Literary Form, Sylvia Federico 2. The Ballad and the Middle Ages, Richard Firth Green 3. Lyrics and Short Poems, Bruce Holsinger 4. Christianity and Middle English Romance, Corinne Saunders Part 2: Belief and Thought 5. Christians and Jews, Love and Hate, Anthony Bale 6. Did the Middle Ages Believe in Their Miracles? Steven Justice 7. Envy and Ethics: "Plesaunce Leefful" in the Parson’s Tale, Jessica Rosenfeld 8. When is a Bosom Not a Bosom? Problems with 'Erotic Mysticism, Sarah Salih Part 3: Gender and Sexuality 9. Conduct Becoming: Gender and the Making of an Ethical Subject in The Book of the Knight of the Tower, Glenn Burger 10. Purity and Sexuality, Anke Bernau 11. The Matter of Feminine Virtue in Pearl, Holly A. Crocker 12. Whatever You Do Is a Delight to Me!: Masculinity, Masochism, and Queer Play in Representations of Male Martyrdom, Robert Mills 13. This Living Hand': Thirteenth-Century Female Literacy, Materialist Immanence, and the Reader of the Ancrene Wisse, Elizabeth Robertson Part 4: Memory and Matter 14. Crafting Memory, Lisa H. Cooper 15. Antisemitism and the Purposes of Historicism: Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale, Hannah Johnson 16. Haunted Hoccleve? The Regiment of Princes, the Troilean Intertext, and Conversations with the Dead, Nicholas Perkins 17. Irregular Histories: Forgetting Ourselves, D. Vance Smith Part 5: Nation and Language 18. English, French and Anglo-French: Language and Nation in the Fabliau, Ardis Butterfield 19. Between the Old and the Middle of English, Christopher Cannon 20. The Medieval Mediterranean, Christine Chism 21. Machomete' and Mandeville's Travels, Frank Grady 22. Discipline and Romance, Patricia Clare Ingham Part 6: Time and Place 23. Movie Medievalism: Five (or Six) Ways of Viewing an Anachronism, Tison Pugh and Angela Jane Weisl 24. The Romance of Medievalism, Laurie Finke and Martin B. Shichtman 25. Topography as Historiography: Petrarch, Chaucer, and the Making of Medieval Rome, Jennifer Summit 26. Imperium, Commerce, and National Crusade: The Romance of Malory's Morte, David Wallace Part 7: Science and Embodiment 27. Knights in Disguise: Identity and Incognito in Fourteenth-Century Chivalry, Susan Crane 28. Dining Tables, Conduct Texts, and Human Ecology, J. Allan Mitchell 29. The Jew, the Host and the Virgin Martyr: Fantasies of the Sentient Body, Ruth Evans 30. Materiality and the Hylomorphic Imagination, Kellie Robertson Part 8: Period and Politics 31. Henryson's Doubt: Neighbors and Negation in The Testament of Cresseid, George Edmondson 32. Imagining Polities: Social Possibility and Conflict, Marion Turner 33. Lords, Servants, and the Ethics of Medieval English Literature, Emily Steiner 34. Dullness and the Fifteenth Century, David Lawton Part 9: Desire and Performance 35. Absent Presences: The Theatre of Resurrection in York, Sarah Beckwith 36. Sacrificial Desire in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Aranye Fradenburg 37. Willing, Nicollette Zeeman 38. Women in Uniform: Dress and Performance in Medieval Court Culture, Stephanie Trigg Suggestions for Further Reading Bibliography Index

About the Editors

Holly A. Crocker is Associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. She has received fellowships and grants from the German Fulbright Comission, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

D. Vance Smith is Professor of English and Director of the Program in Medieval Studies at Princeton University. He has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the U.K. Fulbright Commission, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

About the Series

Routledge Criticism and Debates in Literature

The Routledge Criticism and Debates in Literature series offers new perspectives on traditional and core subjects from Medieval Literature to Postmodernism. Exploring different approaches and critical directions, essays range from ‘classic’ and newer criticism to brand new papers. Sections give an essential overview of key topics and inspire lively debate, enhancing subjects through modern takes, angles or arguments against classic debates.

Ideal for students approaching a topic for the first time, the volumes are also useful for those looking for important critical background. Each contains section introductions that usefully situate the topic within wider debates, and glossaries of key terms, people and places. Challenging and provocative, the Routledge Criticism and Debates in Literature series shows how subjects and their criticism have travelled into the twenty-first century in an intelligent and accessible way.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT011000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval