International Pearl-poet Society ICMS 2019 Sessions

This promises to be an excellent year for the Society at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University. We have five very exciting panels scheduled for Kalamazoo next May. Please do keep in mind that the IPpS Business Meeting is held at 12.00 PM on the Saturday (May 11). We will elect a new Vice-President and plan our proposed sessions for the 55th ICMS in 2020.

 

Is there a class in this text? Teaching the Gawain-poet (Roundtable)

Chair: B.S.W. Barootes (Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies)

 

“The Pearl-poet and Non-Conformist Religious Ideas in the First Year Seminar”

Felisa Baynes-Ross (Yale University)

 

“Playing the Manuscript: Teaching the Games of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Julie Nelson Couch (Texas Tech University) & Kimberly Bell (Sam Houston State University)

 

“An Intertextual Approach to Courtliness and the Divine in Pearl

Amber Dunai (Texas A&M University—Central Texas)

 

“Defamiliarizing the Pearl-poet: Rejecting Translation and Broadening the Course”

Stephen D. Powell (University of Guelph)

 

“Teaching Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the Context of Rhetorical and Linguistic Traditions of the Middle Ages”

Scott Troyan (University of Wisconsin—Madison)

 

Gender and Engendering in the Works of the Pearl-poet

Chair: Kimberly Jack (Athens State University)

 

“Nurturing Fathers and Supportive Authorities: Reconsidering Paternal Affection in the Pearl-poet’s Works”

Ashley E. Bartelt (Northern Illinois University)

 

“Untying and Re-tying the ‘Endles Knot’: Retroactively Reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as a Woman’s Narrative”

Jonathan Juilfs (Redeemer University College)

 

“‘He Said, She Said,’ He Said: Gendered Dialogue in Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”

Florence Newman (Towson University)

 

“The Emotional Intelligence of Pearl: Purging the Jeweler of his Gendered Irrationality?”

William M. Storm (Eastern University)

 

Visual Rhetoric in the Works of the Pearl-poet I: New Frontiers

Chair: Denise A. Stodola (Kettering University)

 

“The Green Knight Without the Green: Re-Investigating the Multispectral Illustrations of MS Cotton Nero A.x art. 3”

Matthew R. Higgins (Georgia State University)

 

“Visible Thoughts: The Spontaneous Gesture and Imaging Identity in the Pearl-Poems”

Misho Ishikawa (UCLA)

 

“Peripheral Vision: Choreographing Description through Dance in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Clint Morrison, Jr. (Ohio State University)

 

“Crashing by Dasein: Neurorhetoric Supplying the Vision for “Being There” at the Green Chapel”

Scott Troyan (University of Wisconsin—Madison)

 

Visual Rhetoric II: Looking Closer

Chair: Julie Nelson Couch (Texas Tech University)

 

“Spaces for Seeing: Sight as a Function of Moral Space in the Works of the Pearl-Poet”

Andrew Bell (University of Connecticut)

 

“Inside the Whale and Outside the Ark: Reconsidering Enclosure in Patience and Cleanness

David K. Coley (Simon Fraser University)

 

“Visual Rhetoric and Argumentation in Pearl

Denise A. Stodola (Kettering University)

 

Of schyr goulez: Red as Complement to Green in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Witt Womack (Independent scholar; University of Leeds)

 

Fifty Shades of Green: Hagiography and Demonology in the Pearl-poet Corpus

Chair: Ashley E. Bartelt (Northern Illinois University)

 

“Confessing to Fairies”

Richard Firth Green (Ohio State University)

 

“Romance in St. Erkenwald: Blending the Pagan Past and Christian Present”

Jenna Schoen (Columbia University)

Cleanness Cotton Nero A.x fol 56

London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero A.x (art. 3), fol. 56r

ICMS 2019: Pearl-poet Society CfP

The International Pearl-Poet Society is sponsoring five sessions at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 9–12, 2019) at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.

1. Is there a class in this text? Teaching the Pearl-poet (Roundtable)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has long been a mainstay of Brit Lit surveys and introductions to medieval literature. However, the recent anthologising of Pearl, both in the Middle English and in translation, and the rise of pedagogical interest in vernacular religious traditions such as those exemplified by Cleanness and Patience, calls for a fresh appraisal of classroom strategies for approaching these texts.

2. Visual Rhetoric in the Works of the Gawain-poet

From the description of shining, jewelled New Jerusalem to the blazons of Sir Gawain and the Pearl-maiden to the Pearl-dreamer’s inability to ‘see’ clearly, the Gawain-poet reveals himself to be a writer who depends on visual metaphors, imagery, and motifs. Seeking to renovate earlier work by Sarah Stanbury (1991, 2007), Maidie Hilmo (2001), and Tony Davenport (2008), this session will explore the ways that the poet deploys motifs of sight and seeing to shape the meaning of his texts.

3. Gender and Engendering in the Works of the Pearl-poet

Morgan le Fay, Hagar and Sarah, Lady Bertilak, the Pearl-maiden, Lot’s unnamed wife and daughters, Queen Guinevere. Shrinking Gawain, wayward Jonah, ‘beardless’ Arthur, the gentle Jeweller, the Green Knight with his half-giant chest and shoulders to match. Households hoping for heirs; kingdoms that shall never know one. The Pearl-poet presents a broad spectrum of gendered characters. This session invites participants to consider how the poet plays with tropes of gender in the Cotton Nero A.x poems and St. Erkenwald.

4. Beyond the Codex: Extraliterary Influences on the Texts of the Pearl Manuscript

The Pearl-poet was, without a doubt, widely read. But what other cultural ‘texts’ and contexts influenced his poetry? How did architecture, the liturgy, political upheaval, religious debates, economic anxiety, international affairs, and epidemic outbreak weigh on mind of the poet as he composed his works?

5. Fifty Shades of Green: Hagiography and Demonology in the Pearl-poet Corpus

Between the celestial city and the shady Green Chapel, the miracles of a London bishop and the Leviathan-underworld in the belly of a sea beast, the works of the Pearl-poet explore the full range of the divine and the infernal. The papers in this session will interrogate the poet’s use of hagiographic tropes as well as material from folk traditions as he crafts his supernatural narratives.

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We invite abstracts from scholars of all levels. Papers may deal with one or all of the poems by the Pearl-poet. Paper sessions will consist of either three twenty-minute or four fifteen-minute presentations; all paper sessions will afford at least thirty minutes for discussion. As lively conversation and collaboration are key goals, the pedagogical roundtable can accommodate up to six participants presenting for seven or eight minutes, with approximately half the session reserved for discussion.

Please send your abstract (max. 300 words) and the completed Participant Information Form by

15 September 2018 to

Benjamin Barootes

bsw.barootes@utoronto.ca

Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies

59 Queen’s Park Crescent East

Toronto, Ontario

Canada    M5S 2C4

SGGK illustration and first page

(BL, Cotton Nero A.x fols. 94v-95r)

Decorated Initials in Pearl (BL, Cotton Nero A.x)

I’ve been working on my Kalamazoo-ICMS paper on Pearl and Holy Name devotion. Part of my discussion has involved the decorated capital at the top of fol 49r (line 721; opening of Section XIII), where the name Jesus–Ihs in the manuscript–replaces the refrain word from Section XII, Ryght. My interest in the Ihs in Section XIII led me to look for scholarly treatments of the decorated capitals in Pearl (and the Cotton Nero MS more generally), of which there are few. The best treatment that I have come across is A.S.G. Edwards’ essay in the Companion, which deals with the capitals in about a page. Thanks to the University of Calgary’s wonderful Cotton Nero A.x Project , anyone can explore this small-but-so-important and fascinating manuscript at their leisure (or under deadline duress), but I have compiled my own notes and observations about each of the decorated capitals–21 in all–for you here.

Each entry includes a link to the folio on which the capital appears. I’ve tried to be systematic and consistent throughout, but I also confess this started as a haphazard collection of jotted notes. This document is a work-in-progess, so please let me know if you spot any errors or have further insights to add. Comment below or email me at bsw [dot] barootes [at] utoronto [dot] ca.

The materiality of the Cotton Nero manuscript, too often passed off as nothing to write home (or on the internet, or in the journals) about, is worth exploring further. Often laughed off for its seeming shoddiness–one early commentator shat on the illustrations’ coarse execution while many other critics point to the 400-odd scribal errors–its contents, quality (or qualities), and size–it’s the same size as the postcard my sister sent from Portugal, the same size as the framed picture of your kids on your desk–speak to an interest in reading and rereading, an interest in frequently engaging with important topics that have local and universal resonances.