Piers Expo 2021

Piers Expo

May 21 & May 22, 2021

Friday: May 21st

  • 11:00am-11:15am Director’s Welcome
  • 11:15am-12:15pm Plenary Interview I: Can Piers Teach us How to Feel?
  • 12:30pm–1:45pm Lightning Rounds A and  B
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm Roundtable: Spheres and Atmospheres  
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm Translation Tournament

Saturday: May 22nd

  • 11:00am-12:00pm Plenary Interview II: Can Piers Teach us How to Act?
  • 12:15pm-1:30pm Roundtable: Building Character 
  • 1:45pm-2:45pm Roundtable: Piers Past and Future 
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm Piers Trivia Contest
Zoom Links Provided upon Registration


Members: Free / Non-members: $25 / Graduate students and contingent faculty: $5 / Non-members: Expo fee + IPPS membership: $50 / Non-members: Expo fee + IPPS membership: $25


Step 1

Step 2

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Fill out and submit this form.

Non-IPPS members should select their
registration-type below & pay through Paypal.

We will email you the program with Zoom links
and passwords prior to the event.

  • General Public
  • $ 25
  • 2-day tickets
  • General Public
  • $ 50
  • IPPS Membership & 2-day tickets
  • Grad Students & Contingent Faculty
  • $ 5
  • 2-day tickets
  • Grad Students & Contingent Faculty
  • $ 25
  • IPPS Membership & 2-day tickets

All registrants will receive an email with Zoom links prior to the event.  Anyone who is in financial need and wants to become a member or renew a membership should contact the Director at steinere@sas.upenn.edu.

Deadline: May 15th

Langland Longline Competition

Your entry should comprise a stanza of between 1 and 5 alliterative longlines in either Modern or Middle English on any aspect of contemporary current affairs.

You should mark your entry ‘Langland Longline Competition entry’ and email it to Isabel Davis (i.davis@bbk.ac.uk). Submit your entry by May 15th 2021. The entries will be judged by Alastair Bennett, Isabel Davis and Stephanie Trigg.

The winner will be announced at the Piers Expo. The winner will receive a special mystery prize; they and the runners up will have their verse published on the IPPS website.

Daily Schedule


Friday, May 21

Director’s Welcome
Emily Steiner, University of Pennsylvania

Plenary Interview 1: Can Piers Teach Us How to Feel?

Organizer: Stephanie Batkie, University of the South
Interviewer: Nicholas Watson, Harvard University

  • Chase Padsuniak, Princeton University Sarah McNamer, Georgetown University
  • Cristina Maria Cervone, University of Memphis Allan Mitchell, University of Victoria
  • Jessica Rosenfeld, Washington University, St. Louis

Lightning Rounds A and B
Organizer: Adin Lears, Virginia Commonwealth University
Moderators: Louise Bishop, University of Oregon, and John Sebastian, Loyola Marymount University

Lightning Round A

  • Spencer Strub, University of California, Berkeley “The Feeling of Dislocation”
  • Richard H. Godden, Louisiana State University “Disabling Will”
  • Katharine Jager, University of Houston-Downtown “Meddlynge with Makynges: Idleness, Aesthetics and Identity in Piers Plowman”
  • Alexis Becker, Ithaca College “Lewed and Lettred Abetting”
  • Ahmed Seif, Harvard University “The Langlandian Character as a ‘jurydical’ Person”
  • Jennifer Jahner, California Institute of Technology “A Life Assayed: Piers Plowman as Experimentum”

Lightning Round B

  • Hope Doherty, Durham University “Langland’s ‘Kynde’ and Heredity as Typology: Some Contexts and Questions”
  • Shannon Gayk, Indiana University “The Uncertain Climes of Piers Plowman”
  • Adin Lears, Virginia Commonwealth University “Covetousness and the Leap of the Louse”
  • Jennifer Sisk, University of Vermont “Hospitable Reading”
  • Bernardo Hinojosa, University of California, Berkeley “Langland, Auerbach, and the Materiality of Jewish History.”

2:00pm- 3:00pm
Roundtable 1: Spheres and Atmospheres
Organizer: Paul Megna, SUNY, Purchase College Moderator: Larry Scanlon, Rutgers University

  • Andrew Galloway, Cornell University, “The Fog of the Law”
  • Danielle Allor, Rutgers University “The World’s Wicked Wind: Windthrown Trees and Uprooted Virtue”
  • Karl Steel, Brooklyn College / The Graduate Center, CUNY “The Problem of Hunting: Wolf-Killing in Piers Plowman C.9 and Idaho”
  • Tekla Bude, Oregon State University “Wyndes and Wyndowes”

Translation Workshop
Leader: Katharine Jager, University of Houston-Downtown

Join us for an hour-long session of creating collaborative translations of Piers Plowman!

We will first think through some different possible styles (lyric narrative free verse? as close to the original as possible? prose? the hip-hop long line? iambic pentameter and rhyme?) for translating Piers into Modern English.

Then we will split into groups and translate an excerpt from the B-text. Together we will generate a hybrid, performative version of an excerpt from Piers Plowman, which we will share online via social media.

Saturday, May 22

Plenary Interview 2: Can Piers Plowman Teach us How to Act?
Organizer: Holly Crocker, University of South Carolina
Interviewer: Elizabeth Robertson, University of Glasgow

  • Masha Raskolnikov, Cornell University Fiona Somerset, University of Connecticut Julie Orlemanski, University of Chicago
  • David Lawton, Washington University, St. Louis Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia

Roundtable 2: Building Character
Organizer: Arvind Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles
Moderator: Michael Calabrese, California State University, Los Angeles

  • Jamie Taylor, Bryn Mawr College “Writing Character in the Dirt: Grit, Shame, and Empathy in B.12”
  • Nicolette Zeeman, University of Cambridge “The Person in Personification”
  • Alastair Bennett, Royal Holloway, University of London “Forgetting instruction, recovering character”
  • Katharine Breen, Northwestern University “Unmaking Persons in Piers Plowman”

Roundtable 3 : The Futures and Pasts of Piers Plowman
Organizer: Micah Goodrich, University of Connecticut
Moderator: Eric Weiskott, Boston College

  • Samantha Seal, University of New Hampshire “Langland’s ‘Christian Race’”
  • Lawrence Warner, Kings College, University of London “Piers Plowman Around Us”
  • Karma Lochrie, Indiana University “Inventing Futurity”
  • Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, University of Notre Dame “New Hope for Old Textual Troubles: The Clerical Proletariat, Canon Law and Recent Rediscoveries of the C-Text”
  • Noelle Phillips, Douglas College “The ‘Leuest labour’: Community College Teaching, Being a Scholar, and Piers Plowman”

Piers Trivia Contest (Kahoot!)
Creator and Moderator: Sarah Star, Kenyon College

Planning Committee

  • Stephanie Batkie
  • Holly Crocker
  • Isabel Davis
  • Micah Goodrich
  • Katharine Jager
  • Adin Lears
  • Paul Megna
  • Sarah Star
  • Emily Steiner
  • Arvind Thomas