Over the course of her career, Elizabeth Robertson has pursued innovative scholarship that investigates the overlapping domains of medieval philosophy, literature, and gender studies. This collection of essays dedicated to her work examines gender in medieval English writing along several axes: poetic, philosophical, material-textual, and historical. Gender, Poetry, and the Form of Thought in Later Medieval Literature focuses on the ways that the medieval body becomes a site of inquiry and agency, whether in the form of the idealized feminine body of secular and religious lyric, the sexually permissive and permeable body of fabliaux, or the intercessory body of religious devotional writing. This collection asks, how do imagined bodies frame literary explorations of philosophical categories such as nature, the will, and emotion? What can accounts of specific historical medieval women—as authors, patrons, interlocutors—tell us about such representations? In what ways do devotional practices and texts intersect with the representations of gender? The essays span a broad range of medieval literary works, from the lais of Marie de France to Pearl to Piers Plowman and the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, and a broad range of methodological approaches, from philosophy to affect and manuscript studies.
Jennifer Jahner is professor of English at Caltech.
Ingrid Nelson is associate professor of English at Amherst College.
Introduction: The Form of Thought
Jennifer Jahner (Caltech) and Ingrid Nelson (Amherst College)
Part 1: Form and Knowing
Jamie Taylor (Bryn Mawr College)
Stephanie Trigg (University of Melbourne)
Robert Pasnau (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Kate Crassons (Lehigh University)
Part 2: Material Poetics
Amy N. Vines (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
Julia Boffey (Queen Mary University) and A.S.G. Edwards (University of Kent)
Ad Putter (University of Bristol)
Part 3: Historicizing Gender
Roberta Krueger (Hamilton College)
C. David Benson (University of Connecticut, Storrs, emeritus) and Pamela J. Benson (University of Connecticut, Storrs, emerita)
James Simpson (Harvard University)