Every two years, the ASU English Department takes a day to celebrate Geoffrey Chaucer; the so-called father of English poetry was pivotal in bringing vernacular Middle English into the realm of literature, where French and Latin dominated during the Middle Ages. While his accomplishments might be old news (circa the late 14th/ early 15th century, to be exact), the free Chaucer Celebration at ASU's Tempe Campus promises to be one for the books.
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Festivities on Friday, April 18, will begin in the late morning and continue on through the early evening.
To kick things off at 11 a.m. there will be a roundtable discussion on "Medieval Sensuality and Chaucerian Comedy" in room C6A of Hayden Library. ASU English Department professors will be joined by Professor John Ganim of the University of California Riverside in an exploration of the pivotal role of the senses in understanding Chaucer's humor. According to a press release, the panel will seek to seek to answer questions like: why is there laughter when John breaks his legs in "The Miller's Tale" and why is sex in a pear tree funny in "The Merchant's Tale"?
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During the day, there will be a performance by the Phoenix Early Music Ensemble, a presentation of the Chaucer holdings in Hayden Library's special collections, and a second roundtable discussion on "Medieval Studies and the Humanities as Ethical Educations."
The celebration wraps up at 8 p.m. with a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in room 316 of the Language and Literature Building. Popcorn will be provided, but it's BYOC (bring your own coconut).
For a complete listing of event times and locations, visit the ASU English Department.