The Gower Project is establishing an online journal entitled Accessus: A Journal of Premodern Literature and New Media.
The Gower Project has created a new site. The Gower Project Translation Wiki is an open forum for modern translations of John Gower's Major works Miroir de l'Omme, Vox Clamantis, and Confessio Amantis can be presented to the wiki community with ease and open communication. Please email Georgiana Donavin to be made a member of the Gower Project Translation wiki.
The Gower Project is planning two sessions for III Gower Congress: University of Rochester
The Gower Project sponsored two sessions at the 2013 Congress in Kalamazoo: "Historiographical Gower" and "Gower and Gender."
The Gower Project sponsored the following session at the MLA Convention in Boston, 2013:
Enabling Access: Gower and Premodern Disability Studies
Medievalists have only recently begun to explore constructions of disability in premodern culture; Edward Wheatley’s Stumbling Blocks Before the Blind (2010), which addresses medieval conceptions of blindness with more recent attempts to regain civil rights for the (dis)abled is but one example. A particularly fruitful substrate for this line of inquiry into premodern attitudes toward blindness is the work of John Gower since the poet both personally experiences visual impairment and uses his impairment as a central trope in his compendious English work, the Confessio Amantis. The four papers in this session address various aspects of blindness and the impaired body both in relation to fourteenth-century perceptions of (dis)ability and within a broader historical context. They demonstrate how Gower’s work provides a model of disability that contributes both to what we know about access and limitation for the (dis)abled, the disenfranchised, and the displaced. Jonathan Hsy (George Washington U.) repositions Gower in the literary canon by looking to nineteenth-century anthologies---Biography of the Blind and Blindness and the Blind to situate the poet within a lineage of visually challenged artists. Gower’s “blindness poetry” and his own status as a blind poet both challenges the hegemony of Homer and displaces the most famous of early blind English poets---Milton---to become a “founding figure of a newly configured disability canon,” an identification that enables us to recognize other poets (both male and female) as “participants in the history of early advocacy for the blind and even disability rights activism.” Tory Vandeventer Pearman (Miami U.) looks to Gower’s Confessio Amantis and the representation of blindness in the tales of Medusa and Constance, arguing that the “formal structure and thematic explorations. . . rely upon the (dis)abled body and its inextricable relationship to narration.” The correlation between Gower’s socially-inflected poetic and the fractured body politic of fourteenth-century England is mapped out explicitly. The poem’s fixation on blindness, both physical and metaphorical, construct a conundrum, a dis-ease that requires a remedy, here construed as the talk therapy of confession. Candace Barrington (Central Connecticut State U.) looks at a particular manuscript of the Confessio Amantis, the “only extant manuscript we can date after Gower becomes blind” to examine how it “registers disability, becoming, as it were, a text about disability.” Because this particular manuscript “bears marks of editors’ and readers’ discomforts with its disabilities” it provides a commentary on “how post-medieval readers have misread disability and other so-called deviancies.” The case for the poet as an important source for understanding premodern disabilities is made. William Youngman (Cornell U.) explores the correlation between age and “affective responses” to the deteriorating and impaired physical body. Gower’s unveiling of his pubescent poetic persona, Amans, as a persona of the aged poet himself exposes the disparities between youth and age and the limitations of a lover grown old. And because the body is so central to the narrative, the implications of deteriorating sexual puissance also play out in the body of the text. “Gower’s description of age presents a relationship to texts and history that is characterized by infirmities and impairments, even as it is affective and textual: time revises the body.”
Gower Project members attended the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2012, which marked the 50th anniversary of Western Michigan University's first conference on medieval studies.
The Gower Project sponsored two sessions, "Digital Gower" and "Gower and Translation"" at the Congress.
Abstracts of papers presented at "Digital Gower" session:
"Technology and/as Mirror of Man" by Denise Stodola
"Gower and the Digital Wor(l)d" by Tamara F. O’Callaghan
"Disseminating Gower" by Eve Salisbury
Abstracts of papers presented at "Gower and Translation" session:
"Gower's Amans and the laus mentulae in Maximianus" by David R. Carlson
"Translating Gower's Balades: Challenges, Solutions" by R.F. Yeager
"Translating the Confessio: Theory and Practice" by Martha W. Driver and Eugene Richie
Gower Project members gathered at The Medieval Association of the Pacific at Santa Clara University on March 30-31, 2012. We sponsored a session for the conference entitled "New Work from The Gower Project," with papers by Lynn Arner, Robert Meindl, Eve Salisbury, and Kim Zarins.
Abstracts of papers presented at MAP:
"Gower and Death, Chaucer and Futurity" by Lynn Arner
"London 1381 and Cologne 1945: "A Tale of Two Cities"?" by Robert Meindl
The Gower Project met at The International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, 2011. We sponsored a session entitled "Gower and Theory" and in our business meeting agreed to begin work on a network of Web sites, each dedicated to a specific project in Gower studies. See the links below for synopses of the papers in the "Gower and Theory" session.
Abstracts of papers presented:
"Reading Gower in Early Modern Monster Culture" by Serina Patterson
"Commemorating Latin" by Cristina Pangilinan
"Civility and the Vox Clamantis" by Lynn Arner
46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 12-15 May 2011.
2010 Medieval Association of the Pacific's Conference, University of Pugent Sound, Tacoma, WA 4-6 March, 2010.
Gower's Geography, The New Chaucer Society's XVI International Congress, Swansea University, 17-22 July 2008, in Wales.
Session Organizer and Chair: Lynn Arner
"New Directions in John Gower Studies: A Round Table Discussion," International Medieval Congress 2006, Leeds, UK, 10-13 July, 2006.
John Gower and Hypertext Project members will hold a formal meeting during a round table at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, July 10, 2006. See the following details.
IMC Session Number: 406
Location: Weetwood, Cookridge Room 1
Time: 7:30-8:30 PM
Organizer: Georgiana Donavin, Westminster College
Moderator: Diane Watt, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Session Title: New Directions in John Gower Studies—A Round Table Discussion
John Gower’s 14 th-century poems have undergone a critical renaissance. Each participant in this round table represents an emerging movement in scholarship on John Gower, including the new ethical criticism, interdisciplinary approaches, Marxism, British Cultural Studies, studies in medieval violence, and constructions of masculinities. Participants will identify how these new approaches and subjects of inquiry inform and rejuvenate readings of Gower’s work. Finally, the round table will explore the possibility of a hypertext project that facilitates communication about these new methods and topics for Gower research, and also allows for more representation of European scholars. In conclusion, the group will survey the best means of organizing The John Gower and Hypertext Project in order to accomplish the goals set during the round table.
Lynn Arner, University of Pittsburgh
Isabel Davis, Birkbeck College, University of London
Simon Meecham-Jones, University of Cambridge
Allan Mitchell, University of Kent
Eve Salisbury, Western Michigan University
Malte Urban, University of Wales, Aberystwyth