Medieval Poetics and Social Practice: Responding to the Work of Penn R. Szittya

Synopsis

This collection responds to the critical legacy of Penn R. Szittya, the recently retired former chair of Georgetown University's English Department. Inspired by Georgetown's Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice and its statement that poetry "traverses the fields of aesthetic, social, political, and religious thought," this work investigates how medieval poetic language reflects and also shapes social, political, and religious worlds. At a moment in contemporary culture when poetry finds its value increasingly challenged,Medieval Poetics and Social Practicelooks to the late Middle Ages to assert the indispensability of poetry and poetics in the formation of social structures, actions, and utterances. The contributors offer new readings of canonical late-medieval English poetic texts, such as Langland's Piers Plowmanand Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, and, of equal importance, explore texts that have hitherto not held a central place in criticism but make important contributions to the literary culture of the period. Introduced by Seeta Chaganti, the collection includes essays by Richard K. Emmerson, J. Patrick Hornbeck, John C. Hirsh, Moira Fitzgibbons, John T. Sebastian, Nicholas R. Havely, Kara Doyle, Anne Middleton, Jo Ann Moran Cruz, and Mark McMorris.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • Seeta Chaganti
  • Richard K. Emmerson
  • J. Patrick Hornbeck II
  • John C. Hirsh
  • Moira Fitzgibbons
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2012