Session Title

Langland's Women

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Gender and Medieval Studies Group; International Piers Plowman Society

Organizer Name

Sarah Wilma Watson

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Pennsylvania

Presider Name

Liz Herbert McAvoy

Presider Affiliation

Swansea Univ.

Paper Title 1

Lady Mede's Reading Lesson

Presenter 1 Name

Michelle Ripplinger

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Paper Title 2

"Yet hadde I levere wedde no wyf to-yeere": Dame Studie as Shrew

Presenter 2 Name

Matthew W. Irvin

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Sewanee: The Univ. of the South

Paper Title 3

Langland's Working Women: The Disappearance of Women's Labor from the A-Text

Presenter 3 Name

Katelyn Jaynes

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Connecticut

Paper Title 4

Respondent

Presenter 4 Name

Elizabeth Robertson

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow

Start Date

13-5-2017 3:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard Brown & Gold Room

Description

The history of scholarship on Langland and women offers numerous paths for new work. Since Helen Cooper’s seminal article, “Gender and Personification in Piers Plowman” (1991), scholars have begun investigations into Langland’s female personifications such as Holy Church, Dame Study, and Lady Mede. Articles such as Ralph Hanna’s “Brewing trouble” (1996), have spurred historical research, helping us to understand the ladies, ale wives, prostitutes, and literate women populating Langland’s poem. In 1998, a special section on gender in the Yearbook of Langland Studies, urged scholars to develop a gender criticism for Piers Plowman, a call that has been partially fulfilled as critics treat not only Langland’s female figures but also consider “the feminine” as a mode of analysis in Langland’s poem.

Despite this varied and exciting body of existing scholarship, much work remains to be done. This panel invites papers that expand upon or challenge the current critical discourse on Langland and women. Some topics might include: Langland and feminism(s), Langland and historical women, the hermeneutics of chastity and virginity in Piers Plowman, and women in Langland, Chaucer, and Gower to name only a few.

Sarah Wilma Watson

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May 13th, 3:30 PM

Langland's Women

Bernhard Brown & Gold Room

The history of scholarship on Langland and women offers numerous paths for new work. Since Helen Cooper’s seminal article, “Gender and Personification in Piers Plowman” (1991), scholars have begun investigations into Langland’s female personifications such as Holy Church, Dame Study, and Lady Mede. Articles such as Ralph Hanna’s “Brewing trouble” (1996), have spurred historical research, helping us to understand the ladies, ale wives, prostitutes, and literate women populating Langland’s poem. In 1998, a special section on gender in the Yearbook of Langland Studies, urged scholars to develop a gender criticism for Piers Plowman, a call that has been partially fulfilled as critics treat not only Langland’s female figures but also consider “the feminine” as a mode of analysis in Langland’s poem.

Despite this varied and exciting body of existing scholarship, much work remains to be done. This panel invites papers that expand upon or challenge the current critical discourse on Langland and women. Some topics might include: Langland and feminism(s), Langland and historical women, the hermeneutics of chastity and virginity in Piers Plowman, and women in Langland, Chaucer, and Gower to name only a few.

Sarah Wilma Watson