Stuck in the Middle Ages

Geoffrey Chaucer was England’s greatest poet, a celebrated author best known for The Canterbury Tales, but also for promoting the English language at a time Latin and French predominated the British Isles. That said, joy to the man who gave us speech at the fourth biennial Chaucer Celebration. The event examines Chaucer’s brand of comedy with discussions, music, art and a screening of, naturally, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The celebration opens with a roundtable (think King Arthur) discussion on “Medieval Sensuality and Chaucerian Comedy” that examines, among other things, Chaucer’s importance in the development of comedy in medieval cultural history. Additionally, the Phoenix Early Music Ensemble will perform 12th to 15th century sacred and secular music, while an art exhibit features Chaucer holdings. Later, a second discussion looks at the use of storytelling -- something Chaucer perfected -- in the classroom. The Python film closes the event.

Celebrate the old-fashioned way from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, April 18, at ASU Tempe's Hayden Library, 300 East Orange Mall. Admission is free. Visit for a complete event schedule.

Fri., April 18, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 2014