Later Middle English Literature, Materiality, and Culture Essays in Honor of James M. Dean

Cover: Later Middle English Literature, Materiality, and Culture Essays in Honor of James M. Dean
Brian Gastle and Erick Kelemen

Brian Gastle, Erick Kelemen, Mark Amsler, Craig E. Bertolet, John M. Ganim, Scott Lightsey, Kathryn McKinley, Gabrielle Parkin, Karla Taylor, Joseph Turner, Lawrence Warner, R.F. Yeager, Christian Zacher

April 2018 • ISBN 978-1611496765 • $140.00

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The essays in this volume consider the ways in which material and intellectual culture both shaped and were shaped by the literature of late medieval England. The first section, “Textual Material,” reflects on cultural and social issues generally referred to as the History of Ideas, and how those ideas manifest in later medieval English texts, addressing affect in The Book of Margery Kempe, rhetoric in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” anarchy in late medieval political texts, and temporality in Gower’s “Confessio Amantis.” The second section, “Material Texts,” examines physical objects – from pilgrim badges, to manuscripts, to money, to early printed editions – and the cultural behaviors associated with them, interpreting these objects and exploring their connections to the important literary and political texts of the age such as “Piers Plowman,” Lydgate’s Troy Book, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. All eleven essays emerge from the relationships and connections between the issues that characterize Jim Dean’s work: the cultural, material, and aesthetic aspects of later medieval English literature, and so too do they reflect a movement in medieval literary studies presaged by Dean’s career of scholarship and teaching, that critical approaches to literary texts are best undertaken with an understanding of the complex cultural and historical milieu that defines both the production of those texts and the production of our own work on those texts.

About the Editors

Brian Gastle is Professor of English at Western Carolina University. He has co-edited numerous volumes, including MLA Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower (2011) and The Routledge Research Companion to John Gower (2017), as well as a special issue of ES: Revista de Filologia Inglesa titled Gower in Context(s): Scribal, Linguistic, Literary and Socio-historical Readings (2012).

Erick Kelemen is former Director, Center for Teaching Excellence at Fordham University. He is author of Textual Editing and Criticism: An Introduction (2008), and has published on textual matters in early English literature in ELH: English Literary History, ANQ, and The Library.