CFP: Moral Chaucer? Ethical Theory and the Premodern Text (9/15/04; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Allan Mitchell

CFP: Moral Chaucer? Ethical Theory and the Premodern Text (9/15/04;

A forthcoming collection of essays seeks to (re)engage the question of
"moral Chaucer."

Chaucer's immediate successors credited him with "pleasance" coupled
with "sentence," and some compared him with the great moral
philosophers Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca. For later generations
Chaucer would come to be distinguished for his geniality and ironic
detachment in sharp contrast to the dogmatism and dullness of so many
contemporary moralists. Only recently (notwithstanding the exegetical
criticism of the mid-twentieth-century) have critics begun to
re-examine and describe Chaucer's "ethics."

The collection will be a timely contribution to the so-called ethical
turn across the disciplines which has so far influenced modernist
scholarship rather more than medieval studies. Major proponents of
ethical theory and criticism (e.g., Nussbaum, McIntyre, and Booth on
the Anglo-American side; Ricoeur, Levinas, and Irigaray on the
Continental side) confine themselves to reading ancient tragedies and
modern novels. With few exceptions they ignore periods in between.
One purpose of this collection is to generate a wider dialogue on
postmodern ethical theory and premodern culture.

The editor is seeking work that especially foregrounds theoretical
issues and explores connections between Chaucer and any of the

• the ethics of psychoanalysis
• feminist ethics; the ethics of sexual difference
• narrative or discourse ethics
• neo-Aristotelian or virtue ethics
• developments in late medieval moral philosophy
• the reception of "moral" Chaucer
• moral dilemmas and decision-making
• ethics and aesthetics
• didacticism

Send papers or proposals to

Deadline: 15 September, 2004
Length: 4000-6000
Format: Chicago Style. Endnotes

Allan Mitchell
School of English
University of Kent

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Received on Sun Jul 25 2004 - 10:45:07 EDT