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Festschriften, Occasional Papers, and Lectures publishes occasional volumes in honor of significant scholars of various fields of humanistic study and the premodern past, including: vernacular languages, literatures and cultures; social history and prosopography; popular beliefs and their expression; and more. This series also includes texts of significant public lectures or lecture series in the same fields.
Thomas Hahn’s work laid the foundations for medieval romance studies to embrace the study of alterity and hybridity within Middle English literature. His contributions to scholarship brought Robin Hood studies into the critical mainstream, normalized the study of historically marginalized literature and peoples, and encouraged scholars to view medieval readers as actively encountering others and exploring themselves. This volume employs his methodologies – careful attention to texts and their contexts, cross-cultural readings, and theoretically-informed analysis – to highlight the literary culture of late medieval England afresh. Addressing long-established canonical works such as Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, and Malory alongside understudied traditions and manuscripts, this book will be of interest to literary scholars of the later Middle Ages who, like Hahn, work across boundaries of genre, tradition, and chronology.
The great corpus that is medieval literature contains, at its very center, the tale. These verse and prose fictional narratives, as well as stories that are grounded in some degree of historical truth, are the foundation of what readers, scholars, and enthusiasts often point to as signifiers of the medieval age. These tales - from the skillfully crafted to the more rudimentary and plain - often make familiar to modern readers what seems so distant and foreign about the Middle Ages. This volume of essays focuses on the tale and its ability to create mirth; what modern audiences would often define as happiness or joy, and the significance that the book has had on the transference of this mirth to audiences.
This volume also celebrates the scholarship of Thomas H. Ohlgren, a medievalist whose work encompasses a number of different areas, but at its center lives the power of the tale and its ability to create a lasting impression on readers, both medieval and modern.
This volume is intended as a belated but heartfelt thank-you and Gedenkschrift to the late Larry Syndergaard (1936-2015), long-time professor of English at Western Michigan University and Fellow of the Kommission für Volksdichtung (International Ballad Commission). Larry’s contributions down the decades to ballad studies--particularly Scandinavian and Anglophone--included dozens of papers and articles, as well as his supremely useful book, English Translations of the Scandinavian Medieval Ballads. As David Atkinson and Thomas A. McKean of the Kommission have written (May 2015): “Larry... was a sound scholar with a penetrating mind which he used to support, encourage and befriend others, rather than show off his own knowledge. He will be remembered for his contributions to international balladry, especially for providing a bridge between the English- and Scandinavian-language ballads.” Larry’s particular fascination with the vernacular ballads of the northern medieval world are reflected in this collection; topics here range from plot elements such as demonic whales, otherworldly antagonists, and mer-people to thematic issues of genre, religion and sexual mores. As a tribute to the global influence of Larry’s scholarship and the broad academic interest in medieval ballads, the essays in this volume were contributed by twelve international scholars of narrative song based in Europe, North America and Australia.