The Provocative Fifteenth Century (Co-sponsorship with The Huntington)

Project Description

Until very recently, the literature of fifteenth-century England had been characterized as overly decorous, overly didactic, and aesthetically and intellectually dull. This conference, which will be held at the Huntington Library in October 15-17, 2015, will explore the myriad ways that fifteenth-century texts defy and escape such traditional and traditionally negative critical paradigms, and showcase instead how they are in fact especially provocative in their various engagements with readerly expectations. Bringing together international leaders in the field as well as critical newcomers, this conference is designed to attract interdisciplinary attention to the recent resurgence of critical interest in fifteenth-century texts and manuscripts, and moreover, to help reshape the critical dialogue about this important moment in English literary history at the cusp of the modern age.

In addition, on October 14th, 2015, UC Riverside will host Simon Armitage, poet and conference keynote speaker, for a reading and book signing. Check our Upcoming Events page for more details on this distinguished author’s visit.


Andrea Denny-Brown, English Department
The Huntington Library


Bringing together international leaders in the field of medieval studies, this conference focuses interdisciplinary attention on the recent resurgence of interest in fifteenth-century texts and manuscripts and reshapes the dialogue about this decisive moment in English literary history. This conference was funded by The Huntington’s Dorothy Collins Brown Endowment and The Center for Ideas and Society, University of California, Riverside.

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