Thursday, February 20, 2014

Medieval Literature: Criticism and Debates, ed. Holly Crocker and Vance Smith

by J J Cohen

When I arrived at my office this morning a copy of the hot-off-the-press edited collection Medieval Literature: Criticism and Debates was waiting for me -- and I was very pleased to see it. Because the day consists of non-stop teaching and meetings, I won't have the chance to sit with the book for a while -- but am looking forward to doing that.  The volume brings together some classic work in the field, often abridged, with many newer voices, under rubrics like "Form and History," "Memory and Matter," and "Science and Embodiment." The introduction states that an organizing principle is difference in argument, productive provocation, and criticism as a contested and varied term. I appreciate that the book costs $49.95 so it could be used for a class on medieval literature and theory.

I will reproduce the ToC below.  Congratulations Holly and Vance.

Introduction, Holly A. Crocker and D. Vance Smith 
Part 1: Form and History 1. Chronicles and Literary Form, Sylvia Federico 2. The Ballad and the Middle Ages, Richard Firth Green 3. Lyrics and Short Poems, Bruce Holsinger 4. Christianity and Middle English Romance, Corinne Saunders 
Part 2: Belief and Thought 5. Christians and Jews, Love and Hate, Anthony Bale 6. Did the Middle Ages Believe in Their Miracles? Steven Justice 7. Envy and Ethics: "Plesaunce Leefful" in the Parson’s Tale, Jessica Rosenfeld 8. When is a Bosom Not a Bosom? Problems with 'Erotic Mysticism, Sarah Salih 
Part 3: Gender and Sexuality 9. Conduct Becoming: Gender and the Making of an Ethical Subject in The Book of the Knight of the Tower, Glenn Burger 10. Purity and Sexuality, Anke Bernau 11. The Matter of Feminine Virtue in Pearl, Holly A. Crocker 12. Whatever You Do Is a Delight to Me!: Masculinity, Masochism, and Queer Play in Representations of Male Martyrdom, Robert Mills 13. This Living Hand': Thirteenth-Century Female Literacy, Materialist Immanence, and the Reader of the Ancrene Wisse, Elizabeth Robertson 
Part 4: Memory and Matter 14. Crafting Memory, Lisa H. Cooper 15. Antisemitism and the Purposes of Historicism: Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale, Hannah Johnson 16. Haunted Hoccleve? The Regiment of Princes, the Troilean Intertext, and Conversations with the Dead,Nicholas Perkins 17. Irregular Histories: Forgetting Ourselves, D. Vance Smith 
Part 5: Nation and Language 18. English, French and Anglo-French: Language and Nation in the Fabliau,Ardis Butterfield 19. Between the Old and the Middle of English, Christopher Cannon 20. The Medieval Mediterranean, Christine Chism 21. Machomete' and Mandeville's Travels, Frank Grady 22. Discipline and Romance, Patricia Clare Ingham 
Part 6: Time and Place 23. Movie Medievalism: Five (or Six) Ways of Viewing an Anachronism, Tison Pugh and Angela Jane Weisl 24. The Romance of Medievalism, Laurie Finke and Martin B. Shichtman 25. Topography as Historiography: Petrarch, Chaucer, and the Making of Medieval Rome, Jennifer Summit 26. Imperium, Commerce, and National Crusade: The Romance of Malory's Morte, David Wallace
Part 7: Science and Embodiment 27. Knights in Disguise: Identity and Incognito in Fourteenth-Century Chivalry, Susan Crane 28. Dining Tables, Conduct Texts, and Human Ecology, J. Allan Mitchell 29. The Jew, the Host and the Virgin Martyr: Fantasies of the Sentient Body, Ruth Evans 30. Materiality and the Hylomorphic Imagination, Kellie Robertson 
Part 8: Period and Politics 31. Henryson's Doubt: Neighbors and Negation in The Testament of Cresseid, George Edmondson 32. Imagining Polities: Social Possibility and Conflict, Marion Turner 33. Lords, Servants, and the Ethics of Medieval English Literature, Emily Steiner 34. Dullness and the Fifteenth Century, David Lawton 
Part 9: Desire and Performance 35. Absent Presences: The Theatre of Resurrection in York, Sarah Beckwith 36. Sacrificial Desire in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Aranye Fradenburg 37. Willing, Nicollette Zeeman 38. Women in Uniform: Dress and Performance in Medieval Court Culture, Stephanie Trigg 

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