Hoccleve in Dialogue
The International Hoccleve Society seeks to promote scholarly attention to the writings of Thomas Hoccleve, especially by providing a forum for reappraisals of and innovative approaches to his work. This year’s session seeks to re-imagine Hoccleve’s place in the literary landscape of medieval England by placing him in dialogue with authors other than Chaucer. Although no one has done more to place Hoccleve in Chaucer’s shadow than Hoccleve himself, such critics as Derek Pearsall, Ethan Knapp, and John Bowers have done much to complicate our understanding of Hoccleve’s relationship to Chaucer’s work. The premise for this session is that new understandings of both Hoccleve and his peers might be gained if we seek out other currents of influence and exchange.
In particular, by challenging the genealogical framework of influence that Hoccleve himself championed, this session proposes a more heterogeneous and promiscuous Hocclevian literary sphere. We propose that participants consider not only underacknowledged sources and influences on Hoccleve’s work, but also resonances with the work of later authors or with literary currents with which Hoccleve may not have had direct contact. Connections with authors outside the direct Chaucerian tradition are especially welcome: what would it mean to see Hoccleve as a Langlandian, rather than a Chaucerian, poet (for example, via his use of personification, his topicality, or his poetic persona)? How can we think in new ways about Hoccleve and continental traditions (including such authors as Christine de Pizan, Machaut, Deschamps, or Deguileville)? How might his work resonate with other genres, such as debate poetry, romance, or lyric? Where can we locate points of correspondence between Hoccleve and later authors, who may not acknowledge him as their own Father Hoccleve?
We envision several papers that consider Hoccleve in relation to another poet, work, or literary tradition, possibly considering connections between themes, modes of social engagement, literary devices, language, prosody, or textual history.
Please send 250-word proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2013.