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A new Hoccleve translation!

Someone knocked very hard at my chamber door
And shouted loudly, ‘Hey, Hoccleve! Are you here?
Open your door! I think it’s been a really long time
Since I saw you last. Listen, my friend, for God’s sake,
Come out, for I haven’t seen you this last three months
As far as I know,’ and so I came out to see him…

Dr. Jenni Nuttall continues her translation of Hoccleve’s Series into modern English with a verse translation of its second constituent part, the “Dialogue,” now freely available here. You can view other open-access texts and translations on the Texts page of this website.

If you use these resources in your teaching or research, we’d love to hear about it! You can contact the IHS at hocclevesociety@gmail.com or directly reach out to our organizers.

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Upcoming Hoccleve at Home sessions for spring 2021

The Hoccleve Society is excited to announce four talks this spring by Hoccleve scholars from around the globe:

  • Jan 25, 20211pm Eastern, 7pm GMT Misty Schieberle (University of Kansas), “‘What stiketh by?’: The Letter of Cupid and The Harley 219 Glossary”
  • Feb 22, 20211pm Eastern, 7pm GMT Sebastian Sobecki (Groningen), “Life Imitates Art: MS Harley 219, The Gesta Romanorum, and Hoccleve’s Poetics of Autobiography”
  • March 22, 20211pm Eastern, 6pm GMT Jane Griffiths (Oxford), “‘Whi stant this word heer?’ Glossing and Reading in Hoccleve’s ‘Remonstrance to Oldcastle'”
  • May 3, 2021 – Rebecca Clark (Dartmouth), title TBA
  • June 7, 2021 – Daniel Wakelin (Oxford), “Hoccleve and Ruling”

If you would like to join us, please contact us at hocclevesociety@gmail.com to receive a meeting link. We will add you to a dedicated mailing list for future announcements and seminar materials.

If you’re interested in presenting, we continue to invite brief proposals (~500 words) for topics on Hoccleve and any aspect of his works. In the proposal, please provide an overview of your topic and a description of your planned format of presentation. As a general guideline, we suggest having a presentation of about 15 to 20 minutes in length to allow for a stronger focus and ample discussion. Seminars meet for about an hour. Please send proposals to hocclevesociety@gmail.com with “Hoccleve at Home” in the subject line.

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Hoccleve at Home, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming Hoccleve at Home sessions:

  • Oct 5, 2020 – Nicholas Myklebust (Regis University), “Hoccleve’s Metrical Game, or The Discreet Charm of the Bureaucrat”
  • Nov 2, 2020 – Liza Strakhov (Marquette University), “Making a Man out of Hoccleve”
  • Jan 25, 2021 – Misty Schieberle (University of Kansas), “‘What stiketh by?’: The Letter of Cupid and The Harley 219 Glossary”
  • Feb 22, 2021 – Sebastian Sobecki (Groningen), “Life Imitates Art: MS Harley 219, The Gesta Romanorum, and Hoccleve’s Poetics of Autobiography”
  • March 22, 2021 – Jane Griffiths (Oxford), title TBA
  • May 3, 2021 – Rebecca Clark (Dartmouth), title TBA
  • June 7, 2021 – Daniel Wakelin (Oxford), “Hoccleve and Ruling”

If you would like to join us, please contact us at hocclevesociety@gmail.com to receive a meeting link. We will add you to a dedicated mailing list for future announcements and seminar materials.

If you’re interested in presenting, we continue to invite brief proposals (~500 words) for topics on Hoccleve and any aspect of his works. In the proposal, please provide an overview of your topic and a description of your planned format of presentation. As a general guideline, we suggest having a presentation of about 15 to 20 minutes in length to allow for a stronger focus and ample discussion. Seminars meet for about an hour. Please send proposals to hocclevesociety@gmail.com with “Hoccleve at Home” in the subject line.

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Upcoming Hoccleve at Home sessions

Our next “Hoccleve at Home” event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12, at 2pm Eastern / 7pm UK and Ireland time, when David Watt (University of Manitoba) will present “You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Psalm is About You: Awkwardness in Thomas Hoccleve’s Series.” If you would like to join us, please email us at hocclevesociety@gmail.com to receive a meeting link. We will add you to a dedicated mailing list for future announcements and seminar materials.

Looking forward, mark your calendars for Monday, October 5, when Nicholas Myklebust (Regis University) will present “Hoccleve’s Metrical Game, or The Discreet Charm of the Bureaucrat.”

If you’re interested in presenting, we continue to invite brief proposals (~500 words) for topics on Hoccleve and any aspect of his works. In the proposal, please provide an overview of your topic and a description of your planned format of presentation. As a general guideline, we suggest having a presentation of about 15 to 20 minutes in length to allow for a stronger focus and ample discussion. Seminars meet for about an hour. Please send proposals to hocclevesociety@gmail.com with “Hoccleve at Home” in the subject line.

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New tools for teaching Hoccleve

The International Hoccleve Society has begun to assemble a library of pedagogical essays and open-access teaching materials to help teachers and students bring Hoccleve’s poetry into the classroom.

Our first contribution comes from Dr. Brendan O’Connell, Assistant Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin. Dr. O’Connell reflects on the successes and challenges of teaching “My Complaint” in spring 2020:

The closure of my university (Trinity College Dublin) due to the Coronavirus pandemic presented a different set of challenges: how to teach the ‘Complaint’ remotely, when neither I nor my students had access to the usual resources. While my experience of online teaching during the closure has been challenging, teaching this text was extremely positive and will shape the way I teach it in the future.

Read on here. And if you have materials to contribute, please reach out!

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More Hoccleve translations from Jenni Nuttall

Jenni Nuttall has made two more translations available for students, teachers, and all other lovers of Hoccleve:

Other translations and resources can be consulted on the Texts page. We invite further contributions!

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New translations and resources

The International Hoccleve Society is pleased to announce a growing library of Modern English translations of Hoccleve’s poetry, including Dr. Jenni Nuttall’s translation of Hoccleve’s “Complaint” and Emily Price’s translation of Hoccleve’s Ballades to Henry Somer.

Other translations and resources for students and teachers are compiled on the Texts page of this website. The IHS welcomes further contributions!

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Recovering Hoccleve: A Series on Teaching Hoccleve

On Hoccleve Recovery Day, the International Hoccleve Society invites scholars and teachers of medieval literature to contribute to a new, ongoing series about teaching the works of Thomas Hoccleve. How have you incorporated Hoccleve’s works into the syllabi of your medieval literature classes, survey courses, or other teaching endeavors? How do you teach themes of mental illness, disability, and recovery? What are ways to make Hoccleve’s late medieval bureaucratic culture intelligible to today’s students? What activities and exercises do you use to help students engage with Hoccleve’s texts?

As part of the society’s on-going efforts to promote the use and study of Hoccleve’s works, we seek contributions that describe and offer critical commentary on short exercises, assignments, long-term projects, and other pedagogical activities. These can pertain to The Series, Regiment of Princes, short poems, or any other aspect of Hoccleve’s life and works. We welcome all pedagogical approaches and theoretical methodologies. Through regular features on our website and social media accounts, we seek to build a platform for pedagogical discussion and exchange.

We welcome submissions of any length to be sent to Elon Lang at elon.lang@gmail.com with CC to Ruen-chuan Ma at rma@uvu.edu, in docx or PDF format. Please include in your submission a 200-500 word description of how you implement the exercise or use the materials in your lessons. Publication of these exercises will be accepted on a rolling basis and released at intervals after review by the Hoccleve Society organizing committee and follow-up communication with the author.

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The International Hoccleve Society Sponsors the 5th Annual Hoccleve Recovery Day: Self-Care and Cultures of Overwork

On November 1, c. 1415, Alle Hallowmesse, Thomas Hoccleve’s period of mental illness came to an end as his wits returned to him—which allowed him to return to his twofold program of work, as a poet and at the Privy Seal. Scribal work was hard—and potentially dangerous to body, mind, soul, and pocketbook—and Hoccleve didn’t let readers of his poetry forget this. His Friend from the eponymous “Dialogue with Friend” even suggests Hoccleve may have been a victim of overwork, his mental affliction caused by his “bisy studie” (line 302).

Yet, as critics have noted, Hoccleve believed work was a sort of cure, if not for his illness then at least for his subsequent problem of alienation from his associates. He chastises his friend for his suspicions, declaring that his “Complaint” ought to be sufficient evidence of his recovery (lines 317-18).

This November 1, we face our own maddening onslaught of work, with midterms and holiday preparations, and many of us will habitually feel like we never quite get enough done. Let us remember Hoccleve and his ultimately optimistic view of scribal labor and the relationship between writing, memory and selfhood. We celebrate both Thomas Hoccleve’s work and his recovery, reflecting on how our own work seeks to recover Middle English poetry and evidence of late medieval life, and on the personal and public importance of that work.

Please join us on Recovery Day through social media by posting your thoughts or thematically pertinent medieval quotations and images to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and our society’s website with the hashtag #Hoccleve. Look out for our own posts on our site and our Hoccleve Lyfe Coache, Twitter and Facebook feeds; and “like” or retweet items throughout the day under the #Hoccleve hashtag followed by any other tags you’d like, such as #recovery, #thisiswhataprofessorlookslike, #MiddleEnglish, or #MSilluminations. Please follow us, participate, and “like” us to stay tuned!

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Call for Papers Kalamazoo 2019

Identity in Public Contexts: Hoccleve and Langland in Conversation

While scholars often note that Hoccleve’s and Langland’s poetic personae each make the other more understandable, rarely have these poets been analyzed together in great detail. Thus, with this session, The International Hoccleve Society and International Piers Plowman Society seek to provide an occasion to do so. The Societies invite paper submissions that examine the ways interpretive discourses around Hoccleve’s and Langland’s works overlap and intersect. On the broadly-defined topic of public identity-formation, participants might consider how these poets construct identities for themselves, or for other identifiable social groups–asking: how and why might Langland and Hoccleve distinguish specifically public identities from each other and from private identity? Participants might also explore the politicization of identity, such as in late-medieval satire and advice on good governance in the context of 14th and 15th century political struggles. Other related questions might include: how do medieval depictions of writing as labor reveal interfaces between discourses of interiority and political speech? Or, how were revision and editing used by poets and scribes–like Hoccleve and Langland–as a means for their own (or others’) social/political rehabilitation? How do either or both poets position themselves in relation to religious or professional communities that are themselves enmeshed in complex public and private interconnections?

Please send 150-300 word paper proposals that engage with these topics or others that suggest ways that Hoccleve and Langland might be put into conversation with each other to Elon Lang, elon.lang@gmail.com, by September 15, 2018. Please send a completed Participant Information Form (available on the Conference website in July 2018) along with your submission, noting your A/V requirements.

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