Lydgate without Chaucer? Kalamazoo 2014 Deadline Sept. 15

full name / name of organization: 
Alaina Bupp
contact email: 

The 2013 International Medieval Congress hosted a panel boldly titled "Lydgate without Chaucer." This session provided answers as to why we should study Lydgate, but it also raised questions as to his literary independence. In the question and answer session, the subject of Lydgate's dependence on and indebtedness to Chaucer caused heated debate. And though the panel's title, and some of its papers appeared to proclaim the value in studying Lydgate for Lydgate's sake, the bond between Lydgate and Chaucer remains, for some, unbreakable.

The purpose of this session, then, is to explore this connection and ask the question if we can, or should, study Lydgate without acknowledging his reliance on Chaucer. Can Lydgate be viewed as his own link in the chain of literary history? Or do we heed Lydgate's own words and recognize that Chaucer's influence cannot be surmounted? This debate gets at the heart of fifteenth century English literature: how do we deal with self-proclaimed 'translators' and 'compilers' and their relationship to their sources?

This is a crucial time in Lydgate studies. Interest in Lydgate is growing as scholars explore different aspects of his work, such as his roles as an early playwright or a religious poet. But in order for this scholarship to progress, in order for us to know Lydgate, his relationship with Chaucer must be resolved.

Please send an abstract of 250 words (accompanied by the Participant Information Form, available at to: or Feel free to email with any questions.

Sponsored session at International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo May 8-11, 2014

Deadline: September 15, 2013