Session Title

Complaining in the Middle Ages: The Genre of Complaint

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM)

Organizer Name

Sean Lewis

Organizer Affiliation

Mount St. Mary's Univ.

Presider Name

Sean Lewis

Paper Title 1

Complaining about Writing and Writing about Complaining in Medieval England

Presenter 1 Name

Danielle Bradley

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Rutgers Univ.

Paper Title 2

"She kyttheth what she is": Poetics of Consolation, Complaint, and Repentance in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women

Presenter 2 Name

Serena Howe

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Dallas

Paper Title 3

Silencing Complaint: The Querulous Narrator of the Roman de silence

Presenter 3 Name

Jenny Tan

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Start Date

12-5-2018 10:00 AM

Session Location

Valley 2 Garneau Lounge

Description

In her classic study Medieval Readers and Writers, 1350-1400, Janet Coleman characterized the complaint as a largely middle-class genre of “social and religious unrest” in the 14th century, a genre whose authors included Chaucer, Gower, and Langland, as well as a number of anonymous poets. Our own climate of “unrest” is a particularly timely one in which to reflect on this genre, and this paper session seeks revisit and reassess our understanding of the complaint. In particular, this session is interested in further attention to dimensions of the genre untreated by Coleman: the complaint’s literary sources and antecedents before the fourteenth century, its non-political expressions (particularly in erotic and religious contexts), the function of gender in the genre, and its further developments in the 15th and early 16th centuries.

Alison (Ganze) Langdon

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May 12th, 10:00 AM

Complaining in the Middle Ages: The Genre of Complaint

Valley 2 Garneau Lounge

In her classic study Medieval Readers and Writers, 1350-1400, Janet Coleman characterized the complaint as a largely middle-class genre of “social and religious unrest” in the 14th century, a genre whose authors included Chaucer, Gower, and Langland, as well as a number of anonymous poets. Our own climate of “unrest” is a particularly timely one in which to reflect on this genre, and this paper session seeks revisit and reassess our understanding of the complaint. In particular, this session is interested in further attention to dimensions of the genre untreated by Coleman: the complaint’s literary sources and antecedents before the fourteenth century, its non-political expressions (particularly in erotic and religious contexts), the function of gender in the genre, and its further developments in the 15th and early 16th centuries.

Alison (Ganze) Langdon