The Making of Thomas Hoccleve, 6-8 July 2018, University of Manitoba

The International Hoccleve Society will host its first conference, “The Making of Thomas Hoccleve,” this summer. The aim of the society and of the conference is to map and inspire future directions of research into the making of Thomas Hoccleve by bringing together established and emerging scholars.  We are delighted that Amy Appleford (Boston), Vincent Gillespie (LMH, Oxford), and Stephanie Trigg (Melbourne) will share plenary talks and that Nicholas Watson will respond to the conference as a whole. The conference will take place during the weekend prior to the meeting of the New Chaucer Society in Toronto. This way, scholars from far afield will be able to attend both conferences on a single trip to Canada.

In our call for papers, the Society invited scholars to consider and address a range of questions about Thomas Hoccleve and his making. For example, how might we set his poetry, which is often celebrated for its idiosyncrasies and individuality, in broader frameworks? How might we re-examine its relationship to literary history?  Hoccleve’s closeness to Chaucer is well known but what other early influences, in English, French and Latin, shaped his writing?  Why do he and Lydgate, both writing for the same Lancastrian patrons, each studiously avoid reference to their rival?  Hoccleve is a key early-adopter of Chaucerian language, style, versification and metrical practice.  But Hoccleve also refuses much of Chaucer’s potential legacy (for example the genre of dream-vision, the mode of courtly allegory, narratives of cities of the pagan past such as Troy and Thebes) when Lydgate does not.  Where do those refusals leave Hoccleve in relation to English poetic history and what motivates them?  Did he influence Middle Scots makers, alongside the works of Chaucer, Gower and Lydgate?  What happens to the Lancastrian Regiment of Princes, a popular text surviving in whole or part in nearly fifty manuscripts, during the rule of the House of York?  What can this substantial corpus of manuscripts tell us about the reading of poetry and of political advice in the fifteenth century?

Hoccleve played an active role in the making of his own books as well as the translation of a range of texts drawn from several languages and traditions. Is Charles R. Blyth right that Hoccleve was not ‘widely read’, when his source-texts can be diverse and surprising?  Where and in what forms did Hoccleve encounter these source texts?  What linguistic theories and intentions underpin his translations of orthodox religious writing (especially given the context of Arundel’s Constitutions)?  And what about the diverse audiences for Hoccleve’s own poetry?  Hoccleve wrote not only for fellow civil servants but also for London citizens and members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.  Some works might serve the antifeminist world of ‘London club culture’ (as Derek Pearsall has named it), but other works respond to the interests and reading habits of noblewomen, while Nancy Bradley Warren has put the Regiment in the hands of female monastics in the early sixteenth century. How can Hoccleve studies take account of such diversity while offering a coherent account of this author?  How might new approaches inform our understanding of Hoccleve in this context?

Hoccleve inhabits a middle position between ‘clerical’ and ‘lay’ literary and intellectual cultures, a middle position also characteristic of many of the most interesting cultural and artistic exchanges, relationships and texts of this period. To make and remake Hoccleve’s literary reputation, as this conference will aim to do, is to also reach new understandings of the uncertain and rapidly changing cultural position of English poetry in the fifteenth century. We hope you can join us in Manitoba this summer. The tentative conference program is available below.

Tentative conference schedule:

Friday, July 6

9:15-10:45 Session 1. Form

  • Hoccleve and the Logic of Incompleteness

R. D. Perry, New Chaucer Society Postdoctoral Fellow

  • The Influence of John Walton’s de Consolatione on Hoccleve’s Metrical Style

Nicholas Myklebust, Regis University

  • Hoccleve and Suso, Revisited

Steven Rozenski University of Rochester

10:45-11:15 Break

11:15-12:30 Keynote

 “Ransakid” by Death: Body, Soul and Image in Hoccleve’s “Lerne to Die.”

Stephanie Trigg, University of Melbourne

12:30-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:30 Session 2. Circulation

  • Friends Made Along the Way: Situating Huntington MS HM 111

Dylan Matthews, Bangor University

  • Hoccleve and Speght: Chaucer Scholars “wrytynge playne”

Cameron Burt, University of Manitoba

  • Anti-establishment Hoccleve and Resistance in the Archives

Elon Lang, University of Texas at Austin

Robin Wharton, Georgia State University

3:30-4:00 Break

4:00-5:30 Workshop 1. Making Poetry

Aditi Nafde, Newcastle University

Jenni Nuttall, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford

David Watt, University of Manitoba

5:30-7:30 Dinner

7:30-8:45 Keynote

The noise the words make: religious aureation and orthodox reform in early fifteenth-century England

Vincent Gillespie, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

Saturday, July 7

9:15-10:45 Session 3. Belief

  • Curatorial Hoccleve: Bookishness and Saintliness in the Regiment of Princes

Ruen-Chuan Ma, Utah Valley University

  • And to that ende, here is remembrance’: Registers of Petition in ‘The Monk and Our Lady’s Sleeves’

Laurie Atkinson, Durham University

  • Holy Hoccleve

Sebastian Langdell, Vassar College

10:45-11:15 Break

11:15-12:45 Workshop 2. Digital Tools for the Study of Hoccleve

Robin Wharton, Georgia State University

Elon Lang, University of Texas at Austin

12:45-2:15 Lunch

2:15-3:45 Session 4. Language

  • Hoccleve and the Visual Force of Language

Taylor Cowdery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  • Speech Acts and Conversation in the Series

A. Arwen Taylor, Arkansas Tech University

  • Hoccleve as a Voice of Restlessness and Reason: The Concepts of Fortune, Poverty, and Boethian Philosophy in The Regiment of Princes 

Bradley J. Peppers, Georgia State University

3:45-4:15 Break

4:15-5:30 Keynote

Extraordinary Bodies

Amy Appleford, Boston University

6:00-8:00 Conference Dinner

Sunday, July 8

9:15-10:45 Session 5. Embodiment

  • Homosocial Hoccleve

Michelle Ripplinger, University of California at Berkeley

  • Life Could Be a Dream: Form and Affect in the Prologue to the Regement of Princes

Travis Neel, The Ohio State University

  • Hoccleve, Swelling and Bursting

Spencer Strub, University of California at Berkeley

10:45-11:15 Break

11:15-12:45 Workshop 3. Hoccleve: telling stories

Nicholas Perkins, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford

12:45-2:15 Lunch

2:15-3:30 Response

Nicholas Watson, Harvard University

3:30-3:45 Conference Closure





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2 responses to “The Making of Thomas Hoccleve, 6-8 July 2018, University of Manitoba

  1. Cornelius Dekok

    Is there an updated Conference schedule please ?
    thank you
    Cornelius dekok

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