DULUTH, MN – Dr. Ruth Evans, the Dorothy McBride Orthwein Professor of English at Saint Louis University and executive director of the New Chaucer Society, will present the 16th Annual Jankofsky Lecture on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 4 pm in the Olive Tesla Library and Lecture Room, Tweed Museum of Art, on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. Her lecture is entitled “Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde: Sexual Difference and the Knots of Memory.” The event, sponsored by the UMD English Department though the Klaus P. Jankofsky Fund for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.
Ruth Evans’ major research interests are in medieval literature and cultural history of the period 1300-1580, with particular focuses on gender and sexuality, translation theory, and memory. Her most recent books are an edited collection, A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages (Berg, 2011) and Roadworks: Medieval Roads, Medieval Britain (co-edited with Valerie Allen), forthcoming from Manchester University Press (2015). She is working on a monograph, Chaucerian Fictions of Memory.
In this paper, Evans begins by asking in what senses memory in the Middle Ages is gendered and then turns to the recurrent use of the trope of the knot – as a reference to both memory and the binding power of love – in Troilus and Criseyde. Troilus and Criseyde, the poem claims, remember differently and have different claims on each other’s memory. But these gendered differences are not as uncomplicated as they at first appear.
The Jankofsky Lecture Series was established in 1999 when a former student anonymously donated funds to the UMD English Department as a tribute to Professor Klaus Jankofsky’s career of outstanding teaching and scholarship in the field of medieval and renaissance studies. The first lecture was held in 2000.