Cornell University

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The 40th Anniversary of the Paul Gottschalk Memorial Lecture by Suzanne Akbari

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 4:30pm

A. D. White House, Guerlac Room
29 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

“Chaucer’s Periodization”

To talk about “Chaucer’s periodization” often means to ask how we ourselves think of Chaucer: as a quintessentially “medieval” poet, or as a harbinger of the “modern.” Instead, this lecture explores how Chaucer and his contemporaries saw their own place in time, focusing on the House of Fame, the Knight’s Tale, the Man of Law’s Tale, and Troilus and Criseyde, and asking questions such as the following: Does Chaucer present a linear or a cyclical view of history? To what extent does each national history stand on its own? And what’s the place of the individual subject within Chaucer’s periodization?

Suzanne Conklin Akbari is Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. She has written books on optics and allegory (Seeing Through the Veil) and European views of Islam and the Orient (Idols in the East), and edited collections on travel literature (Marco Polo), Mediterranean Studies (A Sea of Languages), and somatic histories (The Ends of the Body). She is finishing up a monograph titled Small Change: Metaphor and Metamorphosis in Chaucer and Christine de Pizan, and working on another project on premodern ideas of periodization as seen in universal histories, maps, and diagrams (The Shape of Time). She is also an editor of the Norton Anthology of World Literature

Reception to follow in the A.D. White House

The Gottschalk Memorial Lecture was established in memory of Paul Gottschalk, Professor of English at Cornell, scholar of British Renaissance literature and author of "The Meanings of Hamlet" (1972). He died in 1977 at the age of 38.

Free and open to the public

This event is presented by the Department of English at Cornell University

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Lecture, Author Appearance




cashum, engdep




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Lynn Lauper

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Suzanne Akbari

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Disability Access Information

The venue is wheelchair accessible and equipped with assistive listening technology. If you need additional accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us as soon as possible.

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