SURF

Kamila Kaminska-Palarczyk

Reading Chaucer's Virtuous Women in Late Medieval and Early Modern England

My research examines the tensions between Geoffrey Chaucers canon and modern scholarships dismissive treatment of the Legend of Good Women (the LGW). My research will uncover the historical and cultural forces causing this minor poem to be overshadowed by the infamous Canterbury Tales, a foundational text in every undergraduate English department. Through a codicological approach (study of the book as literary artifact), I will revisit the original early modern print anthologies that first consolidated Chaucers literary authority in the emergence of print culture. The primary anthologies of Thynne, Speght, and Stowe contextualize how these editors posthumously canonized Chaucer to consolidate his literary authority through gender. The LGW is central to demonstrating how different editors framed this poem in connection to their own representations of the Chaucerian tradition, which implicitly informed a gendered readership. Ultimately, my research will combine attention to Chaucers early print editions and the 15th-century readership, while also engaging with critical feminist scholarship that analyzes constructions of the virtuous woman in the LGW. By foregrounding the previous elision of the LGW in literary history, my research will be vital to reassessing the challenge many scholars face in interpreting and reading Chaucers works.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to thank the Anselm A&H Fund for facilitating this opportunity to pursue undergraduate research at a high level, in a dynamic and supportive environment. This opportunity to engage in research has provided me with practical and theoretical tools that will be invaluable in my academic career. Thanks to this program, I am all the more sure that I want to attend graduate school and continue my studies as a literary scholar. Moreover, residing in an environment where I can thrive as a researcher has made me more confident in my ability to continue successfully through the academic world. None of this would have been possible without the support of my donor, the Anselm A&H Fund, to whom I extend my sincerest gratitude.
  • Major: English
  • Sponsor: Anselm
  • Mentor: Steven Justice AND GSI Michelle Ripplinger