Kalamazoo 2013: Chaucer and the 'Celtic Fringe' : Revisiting Geographic and Cultural Margins

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Purdue Medieval and Renaissance Studies
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Many scholars have noted Chaucer's insular Englishness, which is observable in The Canterbury Tales as well as his other works. Their assessment is partially accurate, since Chaucer characterizes his pilgrims as hailing "from every shires end of Engelonde." According to this description, the party apparently lacks representatives from Scotland, Ireland, Wales or Brittany. However, despite this initial appearance of English homogeneity, geographic and cultural others do appear on the margins of Chaucer's writing, including The Canterbury Tales and The House of Fame. The Franklyn's Tale is set in Celtic Britanny while The Man of Law's Tale features Scots who trouble the borders of Northumberland and England. Additionally, as Simon Meecham-Jones has pointed out, the possibly Celtic figures of "the Bret Glascurion" and an "Englyssh Gaufride," appear in The House of Fame. Papers might examine any inclusion of Celtic peoples or locations, tropes from Celtic myth and legend, and/or references to or reworkings of Celtic figures or religious influences; we welcome submissions on any aspect of Chaucer's treatment of geographic and cultural margins in any of his works for Kalamazoo 2013.

Please email submissions to Dr. Shaun Hughes at sfdh@purdue.edu .