International Hoccleve Society at Kalamazoo 2017: Teaching Hoccleve (A Roundtable)
There is a subtle irony in the fact that Thomas Hoccleve, whose corpus of early fifteenth-century poems is saturated with the concepts of recovery and rehabilitation, has been at the center of a decades-long process of poetic and pedagogic rehabilitation in university English departments. No longer brushed aside as a mere epigone of Geoffrey Chaucer, the traditional nucleus of Medieval English literature syllabi, Hoccleve now claims a legitimate place in the late medieval canon. But what is that place exactly, as far as college classrooms go? The International Hoccleve Society wishes to evaluate current and potential uses of Hoccleve’s poetry in literature, comparative literature, and history curricula. We appeal to instructors to share their experiences teaching Hoccleve to various sorts of university undergraduate, graduate, and secondary-school classrooms, and to recommend lesson plans, assignments and in-class exercises, and pedagogical approaches to Hoccleve’s oeuvre.
One goal is to evaluate the effects of institutional contexts of instruction, for instance the experience of teaching Hoccleve at four-year universities versus community colleges, within history versus literature departments, and for survey courses versus upper-level seminars. What do students find entertaining or surprising about his poetry, and what difficult? What does this teach us about the size of Hoccleve’s rightful place in a syllabus on medieval or late medieval subject matter? Is he rightfully taught as a subordinate within a a post-Chaucerian framework, or can one envision an upper-level undergraduate or graduate literature course focused on Hoccleve? What would that look like?
Secondly, we wish participants to discuss Hoccleve’s role in critical paradigms, including how his poetry might usefully illustrate (or be illustrated by) theories like new historicism, new formalism, feminist and queer theory, narratology, cultural studies, postcolonialism, affect theory, or deconstruction. What opportunities does Hoccleve provide students in questioning medieval genre, periodization, popular spirituality, administrative culture, socio-economic class structures, urban life, political commentary and resistance, or the rise of the individual? Is Hoccleve a useful nexus for interdisciplinarity?
Please send abstracts or statements of interest of up to one page for 10-minute roundtable presentations, along with a Participant Information Form (https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Danielle Bradley (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 September 2016. Inquiries also welcome.