Forum: Langland and the French Tradition
This special forum originated with a panel of the same name organized by R. D. Perry and Elizaveta Strakhov at the Sixth International Piers Plowman Conference, held in Seattle, WA in July 2015. The intent of this essay forum — as of the original panel — is to consider L, beyond his traditional insular English and Latin literary contexts, as a writer whose work also intersects productively with insular and Continental Francophone literature. The title ‘Langland and the French Tradition’ gestures intentionally to Charles Muscatine’s groundbreaking Chaucer and the French Tradition, both to suggest the importance for Langland Studies of bringing L into conversation with Francophone literary culture, and to promote a recentring of Middle English studies, and its Anglo-French subfield in particular, away from Chaucer and, to a lesser extent, Gower. Strakhov and Perry further invoke Muscatine’s famous work to meditate on the recent interventions in nationalizing scholarship since Muscatine’s publication, in which the terms ‘French’ and ‘English’ have both been subjected to fruitful scrutiny. This forum, too, aims to trouble the status of England as a monolithic entity and to develop scholarship on trilingual England as a place of linguistic meeting and exchange, particularly during the Hundred Years’ War.
The forum assembles a collection of essays that pull L into France and the Francophone in multiple intersecting ways that go beyond reception and source study. The essays consider (1) L in conversation with, rather than necessarily directly responding to, Continental as well as insular Francophone authors, including predecessors like Jean de Meun and Nicholas Bozon, as well as contemporaries like Deguileville, Machaut, and Deschamps; (2) L’s own meditations on cross-Channel Hundred Years’ War politics, in his presentations of Meed and the Rodent Parliament; and (3) L’s own uses of the French language in PPl. The forum offers a multifaceted perspective on L’s relationship at once to French language, culture, and politics, and aims to further enrich our understanding of L’s work as well as of late medieval Anglo-French literary relations. (RDP and ES).
This bibliography contains individual entries for all the essays in this forum.