[cfp for a roundtable session I am organizing at the 2014 Congress of the New Chaucer Society, to be held in Reykjavík, Iceland.]
How does an intention to govern become realized within different scales and contexts of community? In the name of what, and by what technical means, did medieval people in various circumstances attempt to govern their possessions, themselves, and their subordinates? How did practices of government serve to define and locate individuals within class or status groups? And what links grew up between the “government of self” and the “government of others” — the latter perhaps instanced within different fields as direction, visitation, and administration, military leadership, and sovereign rule? This roundtable invites discussion of medieval practices of governynge, understood in the wide range of meanings possible for that word during the age of Chaucer.
Possible materials for discussion include manuals and records of estates management, treatises of advice to princes, chronicle histories, fiscal and administrative records of royal government, legal theory and practice, conduct manuals, sermons, and manuals of pastoral care. Proposals that link theoretical thinking to empirical research are especially encouraged.