Hoccleve Less Studied
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 turns its attention to the less-studied parts of Hoccleve’s oeuvre. The Society seeks to encourage scholars to challenge conventional notions of Hocclevian canonicity. In this session, we will work to destratify Hoccleve scholarship and create a polysystematic set of readings of Hoccleve’s lesser known works. In doing so we welcome presenters to use the “major texts” as points of departure while working to expand the boundaries of Hoccleve studies.
In our endeavor to disrupt the problematic differentia specifica of Hoccleve’s work at our Kalamazoo session, we seek to build upon the work of scholars who have begun this effort. For example, thoughtful criticism by Robyn Malo, Ethan Knapp, and Heather Hill-Vasquez, has persuasively demonstrated how Hoccleve’s ‘minor’ works, the “Letter to Cupid,” the “Address to Sir John Oldcastle” and the Marian Lyrics, are informed by many of the same literary traditions or discourses with which he engages in The Regiment of Princes. Others, such as Linne Mooney, Helen Hickey, and Ruth Nisse, have moved beyond the canonical understanding of Hoccleve as an autobiographical poet and thereby opened up all of his work to new interpretive frames of reference. The premise for this session is to continue conversations started by such scholars.
We seek papers that make an effort to de-familiarize Hoccleve studies by emphasizing Hoccleve’s texts that are not normally considered to have much weight in Hoccleve scholarship, and to explore the gravitational pull they might have to Medieval Studies and Fifteenth Century Studies as a whole. In particular, by looking beyond The Regiment of Princes, this session proposes a more robust and heterogeneous perspective on the Hocclevian literary corpus. We propose that participants consider not only under-represented texts, but also resonances within the texts themselves to each other and to both modern and medieval generic and scholarly discourses. Questions to consider might include: how might Hoccleve’s (over)use of the penitential genre affect its power to console? How might the Formulary expose genre indeterminacies by disseminating seemingly contradictory forms—the bureaucratic and the artistic—in the context of fifteenth-century poetry that exposes a fundamental instability of both genres? How might Hoccleve’s translations both undermine and reinforce ideas of masculine literary identity? By engaging in this carnivalesque celebration of textual expansion, we hope to turn Hoccleve’s lesser known works into their own competitive cooperation of divergent voices within this writer’s full literary corpus.
We especially welcome paper proposals that consider Hoccleve’s lesser known works in the context of theory, manuscript dissemination, textual history and/or media studies, modes of social engagement, and connections between themes, literary devices, language, and prosody.
Please send 250-word proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2014.