“Touching Hoccleve: The Social Cure” | The 2nd Annual Hoccleve Recovery Day

Although Hoccleve traces his recovery from mental illness to a spiritual intervention on All Hallows, his social recovery required the society of his peers.  Hoccleve encoded this recovery into his Series, depicting a conversation with a friend about his stability and desire to continue writing.  Similarly, a conversation with an old man dominated the prologue to the Regiment of Princes, in which Hoccleve sought career and life advice from a wise and caring passer-by.  His contacts and connections were remedy as well as motivation to overcome his ills.  Much critical work on Hoccleve centers on the emotions he portrays, and how his life was touched by the poverty, precarity, and anonymity of late medieval England.  Hoccleve imagined a recovery jointly financial, psychic, and physical, one that required an unraveling of his social disaffection.

Join us on 1 November 2015 in celebrating Hoccleve’s recovery of his London community by participating in this social media event, in which we touch on Hoccleve’s struggle with mental health by exploring the ways our lives touch each other within networks of wellness and support.  We invite you to post passages or images related to Hoccleve or his medieval peers, perhaps favorite lines from his poetry, a testimonial on why these verses should be remembered, or encouragement to Hoccleve and to each other in our daily efforts at the Privy Seal or in the academy. Please identify your posts and tweets with the hashtag #Hoccleve, and feel free to “like” or retweet thematically pertinent items throughout the day under this hashtag.  You may also attach other tags (#memory, #medievalistproblems, #emotion, #MSilluminations, etc.) after #Hoccleve as they are relevant. We will kick off the event with posts on our Twitter feed, Facebook account, and Tumblr page. So please follow us there and on this site!

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Call for Papers Kalamazoo 2016

Touching Hoccleve

Recent work in such fields as disability studies, book history, affect studies, the history of emotions, and cultural studies has raised provocative questions about the writings of Thomas Hoccleve, the fifteenth-century Privy Seal clerk and friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. Hoccleve’s autobiographical accounts of his struggles with mental illness, social disaffection, and the physical strain of writing have offered modern scholars fruitful sites for re-examining the body, its textual representations, and its affects in ways analogous to current work in these emergent interdisciplinary fields. In particular, Hoccleve’s texts permit critiques of the presupposition of normative, able bodies as well as explorations of the variety of non-rational, sub-discursive ways that bodies affect and are affected by their surroundings. Recent scholarly attention to both the discursive affects and material effects of Thomas Hoccleve’s poetry has offered numerous sites for touching the medieval to these modern interventions.

Our panel seeks papers that extend work along these critical interventions, organizing our thought around the metaphors of “touching” and “recovering.” Thomas Hoccleve’s affective and emotional economies stage the categories of wellness, malady, (dis)ability, precarity, and recovery in quixotic and often thought-provoking ways. The blurring languages of financial, mental, and physical recovery in Hoccleve’s poetics present a complex interaction between the physical and psychic burdens of a precarious life. We hope the panel will consider both the ways Hoccleve’s depictions of malady and recovery can be touching and the sites where modern critical methods can touch Hoccleve’s medieval world in ways similar to those proposed by affect theorists like Erin Manning and medieval literary scholars like Carolyn Dinshaw. We invite papers that touch upon Hocclevean recovery in all of its facets and forms, including his poetic descriptions of recovery and its attendant affects, the recovery of Hocclevean material, the medieval medical contexts of Hoccleve’s infirmities, the work of memory as an act of recovery in the past and the present, the place of the text in all of its materiality as a document of recovery, and the blurring of financial, psychic, and physical recovery. In other words, we ask what is touching about Hoccleve’s poetry – what does it mean to be touched by it, to touch on it, or to handle its material?

We hope to offer a more nuanced and sensitive account of the affects, emotions, bodies, and texts engendered by Hoccleve’s poetics of recovering while also remaining open to the ways that recovery and the poetics of touch can be risky (or risqué). We recognize that touching the past can be dangerous or have the potential to diminish or destroy the very material we seek to handle. Similarly, we are sensitive to the ways in which thinking, writing, and speaking about recovery and non-normative bodies or subject positions can be difficult, uncomfortable, potentially offensive, or otherwise disaffecting. To touch the past can be exposing. Yet, the past’s provocative power resides in its very exposures to us and its power to expose us in its brief brushes and gentle caresses. We take up Hocclevean recovery, then, in order to ask whether, how, and why it touches us and how we might continue to reach back a recovering hand to our Hocclevean texts.

Please submit abstracts and inquiries to The International Hoccleve Society at hocclevesociety@gmail.com by September 15.

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The Year in Hoccleve, Volume 2 (Spring, 2015)

The Newsletter of the International Hoccleve Society, Volume 2 (Spring, 2015), is available. In the annual newsletter, you will find updates about IHS projects, a bibliography of publications and dissertations in Hoccleve studies, and summaries of important Hoccleve-related events and conference sessions.

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Remembering Hoccleve: The 1st Annual Hoccleve Recovery Day on Social Media

In his “Complaint,” Thomas Hoccleve claims that his memory returned to him on Alle Hallowmesse. In order to mark the occasion, the International Hoccleve Society invites you to join us in “Remembering Hoccleve” on 1 November 2014. We invite you to participate by posting short medieval passages and/or images on the following topics on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr: healing, the benefits of being among people, complaints about money, complaints about one’s perception in the world, images that show medieval medical practice, images related to Alle Hallowmesse and the autumn saints days, etc. Alternatively, you can participate by “remembering Hoccleve” in some other way, perhaps by sending or posting a favourite passage from his work (up to 14 lines) and a short explanation of why you think it should be remembered. Please identify your posts and tweets with the hashtag #Hoccleve.

Image courtesy of luminarium.org. Detail from British Library MS Arundel 38 f. 37.

We will kick off the event with posts on our Twitter feed, Facebook account, and Tumblr page. So please follow us there and on our webpage! We hope you will join us by posting at least one item on 1 November under the hashtag #Hoccleve and liking or retweeting thematically pertinent items throughout the day under this hashtag. Please, of course, feel free to attach other hashtags (#memory, #medievalistproblems, #emotion, #MSilluminations, etc.) after #Hoccleve as they are relevant.

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Call for Papers Kalamazoo 2015

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 hocclevesociety@gmail.com by September 15, 2014.

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Minutes from General Meeting, 19 May 2014

On 19 May 2014, IHS conducted its annual general meeting to discuss Society business and plan for the coming year. The meeting was a teleconference conducted via Skype, and the minutes are available here in PDF format.

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“Hoccleve in Dialogue” at Kalamazoo 2014

Please join us for our third sponsored session at Kalamazoo.

Hoccleve in Dialogue (Session 335)
Saturday May 10, 10:00am in Valley I, Ackley 104

Organizer and Presider: Amanda Walling, Univ. of Hartford

Presenters:
“Al in the glose folk laboure and swete”: Langlandian Doubt in the Regiment of Princes
–Spencer Strub, Univ. of California–Berkeley

Dialogic Collapse and Royal Presence: Inventio and the “Makyng” of a King in Thomas Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes
–Taylor Cowdery, Harvard Univ.

“By communynge is the beste assay”: Thomas Hoccleve and the Centrality of Dialogue as a Socioliterary Practice
–Travis Neel, Ohio State Univ.

“Of Mescreantz” in Lancastrian England: Hoccleve and Gower
–David Watt, Univ. of Manitoba

Session Description:
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?

Contact the session organizer, Amanda Walling, with any questions or to inquire about how to meet up with International Hoccleve Society members while at Kalamazoo.

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A Work in Progress: The Hoccleve Bibliography

Thanks to the efforts of general editor Helen Killick (University of York), the Hoccleve Bibliography is now available via Zotero. At present, the bibliography comprises 224 entries for editions, scholarly essays, and monographs related to the life and work of Thomas Hoccleve, and we are adding new entries all the time as they are published or as we become aware of them. Under Helen’s editorial direction, IHS members are also working to organize and annotate the existing entries. When this next phase of curation is complete, the full bibliography will be made available on this site, and we will continue to collect and maintain bibliographic data using Zotero to ensure the bibliography remains as current and comprehensive as possible.

We are looking for contributions and contributors to the bibliography. If you know of an essay or monograph that should be included in the bibliography and is not yet listed, or if you’d like to submit or update an annotation for an existing entry, please complete the form on the bibliography home page. If you would like to participate in this project as a more regular contributor–providing ongoing assistance with updates, annotations, and research–please send an email briefly stating your interest and qualifications to hocclevesociety@gmail.com. Substantial and regular contributors will be credited on this site, and on the Zotero group landing page.

In addition to providing an important resource for scholars and teachers of late-medieval history and Middle English literature, we hope the bibliography will create opportunities for undergraduates to engage in meaningful scholarly collaboration. We encourage teachers to work with students to prepare and submit new entries, or annotations and updates to existing entries. Where desired and where attribution information has been provided with the submission, individual contributors will be acknowledged in the notes and annotations for which they are responsible.

All original content (annotations, notes, etc.) contributed to the Hoccleve Bibliography is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License so that it may be redistributed and reused in other projects. We ask only that the Hoccleve Bibliography and, when applicable, the individual contributor be credited, and that the resulting “remixes” be shared under the same terms. To learn more about how Creative Commons licensing works, please visit creativecommons.org.

As we move ahead with work on the bibliography, we would love to hear your suggestions about how it might be improved. So, please, comment below to let us know what you think.

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Call for Papers for Kalamazoo 2014

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 hocclevesociety@gmail.com by September 15, 2013.

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“Take Anothir Forme” at Kalamazoo 2013

Please join us for our second sponsored session at Kalamazoo

“Take Anothir Forme”: The Selection of Forms in Thomas Hoccleve’s Work

3:30pm, Thursday, May 9, 2013

Schneider 1345

Organizer and Presider: David Watt (Univ. of Manitoba)

Presenters:

A. C. Spearing, Univ. of Virginia — Hoccleve and the Form of the Prologue

Robin Wharton, Georgia Institute of Technology — Hoccleve’s Poetics of Heresy and Sovereignty in the Regiment of Princes

Amy Anderson, Univ. of Kentucky — “The Substaunce of My Memorie”: Memorial Forms in Thomas Hoccleve’s “My Compleinte” and “La Male Regle”

Helen Maree Hickey, Univ. of Melbourne — Hoccleve’s Formulary: Parchment Poetics, Literary Allusions

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