Organized by Wan-Chuan Kao (kaow@wlu.edu) and Paul Megna (paul.megna@purchase.edu)

200-word abstract by 22 September 2023

(1) Email to session organizer(s), and (2) fill out online form at



The (Counter-)Logistical Lyric in Chaucer and Beyond
Organizer: Stephanie L. Batkie (slbatkie@sewanee.edu)
Session Format: Lightning Talks

This session will consider the poetic infrastructures of Chaucer’s lyric poems to ask: are these texts fundamentally logistic? Or do they access counter-logistical forces within the poetic and geopolitical climate of the later Middle Ages? Papers might consider individual lyric forms (the ballade, the envoy, etc.), ideas of brevity and efficiency, flows of affective or literary value, tracking lyric portability across international supply-lines, and more. We invite papers that focus on Chaucer, but also those which examine his relationality to the larger literary economy.


Entrances and Exits
Organizers: Sarah Star (sarah.star@utoronto.ca) and Rosemary O’Neill (oneillr@kenyon.edu)
Session format: Lightning Talks, hybrid

How did you get into my bedroom unseen, Criseyde asks Pandarus in Chaucer’s Troilus? “Here at this secre trappe dore,” he replies. Pandarus’s strange response—both precise and secretive— exemplifies a larger pattern around entrances and exits in medieval literature. Sometimes that movement is carefully coordinated in an explicit display of control; other times it happens secretly and mysteriously as if by magic. This session draws on the modern discourse of logistics to prompt new analyses of this movement’s meaning, either in Troilus or medieval literature at large. We invite proposals for lightning talks that consider Chaucerian and other entrances and exits or beginnings and endings through a logistical lens, including those that query the movement across thresholds to address issues of governance, control, capital, violence, and volatility. The session will consist of pre- recorded papers played in the session plus a livestreamed Q&A.


Affective Logistics
Organizers: Paul Megna (paul.megna@purchase.edu) and Wan-Chuan Kao (kaow@wlu.edu)
Session Format: Position Papers

What constitutes “affective capital” in the age of Chaucer? Though pilgrimage is a fundamentally logistical endeavor, the Canterbury pilgrims enter into a game of affective logistics upon accepting the terms of Harry Bailey’s tale-telling contest, an affective loop that traffics in all sorts of material and immaterial capital. If affective logistics is the art of manipulating networks of feeling, do Chaucer, his pilgrims, or the characters they portray understand themselves as affective logisticians? Panelists might consider affective labor, as well as the difference race, gender, sexuality, ability, and faith make on its valuation within the Chaucerian corpus and contemporary works.

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