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More about Piers Plowman

21 October 2021 - 21 October 2021

1:00PM - 2:30PM

Online (Zoom)

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This is the image alt text Medieval Seminar Series

A medieval research seminar. Email m.j.huxtable@durham.ac.uk for the Zoom logon.

Piers Plowman is the product of specific social and economic changes, and is unimaginable outside them. Yet key issues with which it deals centrally and directly affect us - just as centrally and directly - in our own lives; no poem in English has more to say about regimes of inequality. This talk is called ‘Piers Plowman Out of Time’ because it aims to bring the poem into dialogue with its posterity and to suggest why it matters to modern readers to read it. The talk focuses on labour: the extent to which our lives are defined or deformed by work or its absence. Its mode is a re-enactment of medieval reading practice as evidenced in Piers Plowman itself, the treating of antecedent texts as contemporaries by putting them in play with what concerns us now. The talk will therefore offer a reading of C Passus V-IX (confession, plowing and pardon) and put it in dialogue with works by Chekhov and Olga Ravn. A warm invitation is extended, as well as to specialists, to non-medievalists – without whom the conversation, and the work, would not be complete.

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