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The Performance of Middle English Culture

Theatricality as a cultural process is vitally important in the middle ages; it encompasses not only the thematic importation of dramatic images into the Canterbury Tales, but also the social and ideological 'performativities' of the mystery and morality plays, metadramatic investments, and the ludic energies of Chaucerian discourses in general. The twelve essays collected here address for the first time this intersection, using contemporary theory and historical scholarship to treat a number of important critical problems, including the anthropology of theatrical performance; gender; allegory; Chaucerian metapoetics; intertextual play and jouissance; social mediation and rhetoric; genre; and the institutionality of medieval studies. JAMES J. PAXSON is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida; LAWRENCE M. CLOPPER is Professor of English at Indiana University; SYLVIA TOMASCHis Associate Professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York. Contributors: KATHLEEN ASHLEY, MARLENE CLARK, RICHARD DANIELS, ALFRED DAVID, RICHARD K. EMMERSON, JOHN GANIM, WARREN GINSBERG, ROBERT W. HANNING, SHARON KRAUS, SETH LERER, WILLIAM MCLELLAN, PAMELA SHEINGORN, PETER W. TRAVIS.
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Table of Contents

Sponsorship, reflexivity and resistance - cultural reading of the York Cycle plays, Kathleen M. Ashley; eliding the "medieval" - Renaissance "new historicism" and 16th-century cycle plays, Richard Emmerson; "Se in what stat thou doyst indwell" - the shifting constructions of gender and power relations in "Wisdom", Marlene Clark et al; the Chaucerian critique of medieval theatricality, Seth Lerer; the experience of modernity in late-medieval literature - urbanism, experience and rhetoric in some early descriptions of London, John M. Ganim; Noah's wife's flood, Alfred David; textual pleasure in "The Miller's Tale", Richard J. Daniels; Petrarch, Chaucer and the making of the Clerk, Warren Ginsberg; the crisis of mediation in Chaucer's "Troilus and Criseyde", Robert W. Hanning; reading Chaucer "ab ovo" - mock-"exemplum" in the "Nun's Priest's Tale"; a postmodern performance - counter-reading Chaucer's "Clerk's Tale" and Maxine Hong Kingston's "No Name Woman".


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