Three Schallek Awards for 2001-2002 Academic Year

From a field of seven qualifying applicants, the Branch made three awards to the following scholars, for the 2001-2002 academic year. Shown below are excerpts from their research proposals.

Beth Allison Barr, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Gendered Lessons: Priests, Parishioners and Pastoral Care in Fifteenth-Century England.” 
“Late medieval English priests were faced with a difficult challenge: how to provide effective pastoral care for female parishioners who needed their guidance but who also potentially threatened their clerical celibacy and sacerdotal purity. In this project, I seek to understand the role pastoral vernacular literature played in helping priests to wrestle with this challenge, and how, as a result, the pastoral care of women might have differed from the pastoral care of men. Using the writings of John Mirk, I plan first to analyze gender differences in his two pastoral guides; second to compare Mirk’s treatment of gender issues to other sermon collections; and third to contextualize Mirk’s advice within the world of fifteenth-century England.”

Lisa H. Cooper, Columbia University. “‘Unto our craft apertenying’: Representing the Artisan in Late Medieval England.” 
“Previous scholarship on the image of artisans and their crafts in medieval English literature has largely focused on the role of the guilds in the production of the urban Corpus Christi cycle plays, on the artisan as but one small part of the genre of ‘estates literature,’ or on the craftsmanship of one very particular kind of artisan,the poet himself. My dissertation expands this field of study significantly, situating itself between the poles of matter and metaphor to examine the way that the most concrete of acts — the making of an object with a tool — becomes a metaphor as it is represented, adapted, and co-opted in and by the language and literature of education, secular entertainment, spiritual instruction, and public record.”

Julie Noecker, Oxford University. 
“For my thesis topic, I intend to investigate the concept of brotherhood or ‘fellowship’ as it is articulated in the war/peace and public/private debates in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur and compare it to concurrent historical sources. Malory’s idea of ‘fellowship’ is a complex concept. For example, the MED lists eight senses of the word ‘fellowship,’ six of which Malory uses in his text. I believe the Round Tale and its fellowship can be perceived as a political ideal that has links to fifteenth century political thought. Some of the historical sources with which I wish to start my investigation are John Fortescue’s The Governance of England, the Middle English Translation of Christine de Pisan’s Livre du Corps de Policie and also the Stoner, Plimpton and Paston Letters. Some of the other works with which I would like to begin are The Great Chronicle of London, The Chronicle of John Hardyng, and The Brut.”

I would like to thank the members of the selection committee — Lorraine C. Attreed, Barbara A. Hanawalt, A. Compton Reeves, Shelley A. Sinclair, and Charles T. Wood — for reviewing the applications on an accelerated timetable after an unconscionable delay on my part in sending them out. I would also like to thank the many generous members of the American Branch whose contributions made it possible to make almost the entire award from current giving.

Laura Blanchard
September 2001