Women and Lydgate (a roundtable) @ ICMS 2020
Lydgate’s relationship with women was complicated. Within 200 lines of one poem, he denigrates their instability and denounces another author’s misogyny. Beyond the treatment of women in his works, he counted several influential women among his patrons. Political and religious extremists of our own time have attempted to appropriate medieval studies for patriarchal purposes, and we must challenge these views by fully explicating the complexities of texts about and connected to women. This roundtable solicits brief papers exploring Lydgate’s relationship with women as characters and patrons. We will attempt to untangle the various threads of Lydgate’s treatment of and relationship to women.
By posing this topic as a roundtable, we hope to solicit multiple papers that put a variety of texts into conversation with each other, bringing light to the whole range of Lydgate’s relationship to women. In doing so, we hope that the roundtable as a whole will reveal and explore the contradictions and paradoxes that emerge when examining Lydgate’s relationship with women on a macro level. The goal here is to ask how Lydgate’s relationship to women is important to the larger movement of feminism within medieval studies.