Session Title

Social Justice in the Piers Plowman Tradition

Sponsoring Organization(s)

International Piers Plowman Society; Lollard Society

Organizer Name

Elizaveta Strakhov; Michael Calabrese

Organizer Affiliation

Marquette Univ.; California State Univ.-Los Angeles

Presider Name

Elizaveta Strahkov; Michael Calabrese

Paper Title 1

Piers Plowman's Limbs

Presenter 1 Name

Micah Goodrich

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Connecticut

Paper Title 2

Natural Justice and "Kinde Konninge" in Alexander and Dindimus

Presenter 2 Name

Thomas Hahn

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Rochester

Paper Title 3

"Leten I nelle that eche man shal have his": Confession as Social Justice in Piers Plowman

Presenter 3 Name

Amanda Leary

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Purdue Univ.

Paper Title 4

No Pretensions, No Presumptions: Piers Plowman and the Path to Agency

Presenter 4 Name

Marjorie F. Smith

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Pasadena City College

Start Date

11-5-2018 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1235

Description

“Social Justice” is generally understood as the quest for empowerment, equality, and equity in all matters of civics, law, and labor, and extending as well to nature and the environment. Many universities are focusing their curricula on 21st century themes of social justice due to the rising demand placed on academia to help make sense of the rapid pace of social change in the modern world. Following on recent Kalamazoo panels, of the last three years in particular, that have looked to medieval literature as a site to explore issues of contemporary urgency such as rape culture, misogyny, and ableism, this panel investigates how the great 14th-century poem Piers Plowman both treats issues of social justice in its own time and invites, in pedagogy, dynamic engagement with issues relevant to today' world. One particular site inviting such engagement between the medieval and the modern is labor. Piers Plowman asks questions about sustainability, gainful employment, disability as it relates to labor and access, the role of institutions (e.g., governmental or ecclesiastical) and charity as it pertains to work, the integrity of labor, and a host of other issues. The session also welcomes broader constructions of the Piers Plowman tradition and social justice issues that mediate the medieval and the modern, such as: the rhetorics of patient poverty; the visibility of disability, reimagining class distinctions; the ethics of animal-human labor; and the ongoing relation between humankind and the natural world.

Michael Van Dussen

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May 11th, 10:00 AM

Social Justice in the Piers Plowman Tradition

Schneider 1235

“Social Justice” is generally understood as the quest for empowerment, equality, and equity in all matters of civics, law, and labor, and extending as well to nature and the environment. Many universities are focusing their curricula on 21st century themes of social justice due to the rising demand placed on academia to help make sense of the rapid pace of social change in the modern world. Following on recent Kalamazoo panels, of the last three years in particular, that have looked to medieval literature as a site to explore issues of contemporary urgency such as rape culture, misogyny, and ableism, this panel investigates how the great 14th-century poem Piers Plowman both treats issues of social justice in its own time and invites, in pedagogy, dynamic engagement with issues relevant to today' world. One particular site inviting such engagement between the medieval and the modern is labor. Piers Plowman asks questions about sustainability, gainful employment, disability as it relates to labor and access, the role of institutions (e.g., governmental or ecclesiastical) and charity as it pertains to work, the integrity of labor, and a host of other issues. The session also welcomes broader constructions of the Piers Plowman tradition and social justice issues that mediate the medieval and the modern, such as: the rhetorics of patient poverty; the visibility of disability, reimagining class distinctions; the ethics of animal-human labor; and the ongoing relation between humankind and the natural world.

Michael Van Dussen