Author Archives: Tamara Caudill

About Tamara Caudill

Assistant Professor of French at Jacksonville University Past President, International Marie de France Society Assistant Editor, Le Cygne

Call for Papers: IMFS @ ICMS 2020 (Kalamazoo)

The International Marie de France Society is pleased to announce that it is sponsoring three sessions for the International Congress on Medieval Studies to be held at Western Michigan University from May 7-10.

Abstracts and queries should be sent to Dr. Simonetta Cochis,, no later than September 15, 2019.

Food and Furnishings: The Domestic in Marie de France (papers)

Twelfth-century author Marie de France is renowned for female-focused courtly narratives, but her fictional worlds are not limited to courtly settings: they also present an intimate look at the quotidian domestic elements of the realms her characters inhabit. Domesticity links to issues of appetite and consumption, the physical presence and limitations of spaces and objects, the formation of sex, gender, and sexual identities, privacy and agency, among others, illustrating the domestic’s significance as more than merely backdrop.  Papers may address any of the known works by Marie de France (Lais, Fables, Espurgatoire seint Patriz, La vie Seinte Audree) or the anonymous lays. Comparative and interdisciplinary analyses are welcome.

Translating Marie de France: Challenges and Opportunities (A Roundtable)

This session focuses on the issues that affect the translation of the works of Marie de France. Four to seven presenters may address two broad areas: accurately rendering the substance of Marie’s texts or intentionally departing from their meanings, and the formal characteristics of the resulting translations. In the case of translations of Marie’s Old French into verse, this may include emulating the formal characteristics of Marie’s original or conforming to other formal characteristics. The objective is to generate discussion among roundtable presenters and participants regarding matters such as variations in word choice and syllable count, the use of rhyme, sentence length, and the use or avoidance of enjambment and sentence fragments. Participants will read excerpts from a variety of translations to demonstrate the impact on the modern reader.

Performances of Marie de France: Chaitivel

In this performance session, three to five performers will present the lai of Marie de France entitled Chaitivel. As in years past, the panel invites performers who revive the lai by using period music, new translations, and dramatic performances in the original language. As Evelyn Birge Vitz and others argue, hearing a text read aloud or watching its performance mirrors the way the work was received in the Middle Ages and enhances our modern understanding. Attendees regularly report that their perception of the work changes over the course of the session. The objective is to generate discussion about the use of voice, gesture, and music in the embodiment of the text – and how its performance reveals nuances of meaning that may be lost in silent reading.

Call for Papers: New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

From the New College Conference organizers:

The twenty-second biennial New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies will take place 12-14 March 2020 in Sarasota, Florida. The program committee invites 250-word abstracts of proposed twenty-minute papers on topics in European and Mediterranean history, literature, art, music and religion from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries. Interdisciplinary work is particularly appropriate to the conference’s broad historical and disciplinary scope. Planned sessions are also welcome. The deadline for all abstracts is 15 September 2019; for submission guidelines or to submit an abstract, please go to

Junior scholars whose abstracts are accepted are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration for the Snyder Prize (named in honor of conference founder Lee Snyder), which carries an honorarium of $400. Further details are available at the conference website.

The Conference is held on the campus of New College of Florida, the honors college of the Florida state system. The college, located on Sarasota Bay, is adjacent to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which will offer tours arranged for conference participants. Sarasota is noted for
its beautiful public beaches, theater, food, art and music. Average temperatures in March are a pleasant high of 77F (25C) and a low of 57F (14C).

More information will be posted on the conference website as it becomes available, including plenary speakers, conference events, and area attractions. Please send any inquiries to

ICLS Panels, Exeter, July 22-27, 2019

The International Marie de France Society has organized two panels for the 16th Triennial Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society to be held July 22-27 at the University of Exeter. For more information on the Congress, click here.


Kids, Cloth, Clothing, and Connections: Complex Communities in Marie de France

  • “It Takes a Village: Lactation and Childcare Communities in Marie de France’s Lais,” Miriam Rheingold Fuller
  • “Talking Textiles: Marie de France’s Le Fresne as Feminist Philomela,” Susan Hopkirk
  • “Fables and Lays: Constructing Community Through Carnivalesque Clothes,” Monica L. Wright
  • Fessebouc or Social Networking in the Ysopet of Marie de France,” Tamara Bentley Caudill


Marie and the Afterlife: Religious Communities and Textual Transformations

  • “Thigh wounds, chastity surveillance, and gender ambiguity: Jewish-Christian Exegetical Exchange and Marie’s “Jewish” Knight in Guigemar,” Regula Meyer Evitt
  • “Community, Liturgy, and Authorship in Marie’s Vie seinte Audree,” Donna Alfano Bussell
  • “Marie de France and the Community of Lays in ms. S (Paris, BnF, nouv. acq. fr. 1104),” Logan E. Whalen
  • “Sing me to the End of Love: Marie’s Avian Messengers in Modern Welsh and Greek Song,” Christopher Callahan

Medieval Clothing and Textiles 15

Congratulations to IMFS member Monica L. Wright, co-editor of the recently-released Medieval Clothing and Textiles 15 (Boydell and Brewer, 2019).
From the publisher:

The essays in this volume continue the Journal’s tradition of groundbreaking interdisciplinary work. The volume opens with a survey of the discipline of medieval clothing and textiles, written by founding editor Gale R. Owen-Crocker. The range of the other essays extends chronologically from the early Middle Ages through the fifteenth century and covers a variety of disciplines. Topics include the conception of the author as a “wordweaver” in the literatures of Anglo-Saxon England; intertextual literary identities established through clothing in the Nibelungenlied and the Völsunga Saga; the historical record of clothing and textiles at the court of King John of England; medallion silks, their use in Western Europe, and their representation in art; the vestments of Beguines and other penitential movements in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; and a depiction of heraldic textile weaving in late-medieval art.

For more information or to purchase, click here.

Kalamazoo 2019

Papers of Interest:

S43, Thursday at 10
Far and Foul Winds in the Lais of Marie de France 
Karen Casebier, Univ. of Tennessee–Chattanooga

Session 242, Friday at 1:30
A Concerning Complex: Courtly Love and Chivalry in Marie de France
Rachel Walkover, Univ. of Rochester

S320, Friday at 3:30
Obscure Names: Reimagining Origins in the Lais of Marie de France 
Emily Dalton, Princeton Univ.

S348, Sponsored by the International Marie de France Society

Such Devoted Sisters: Sorority in Le Frêne and Eliduc 
Leslie Anderson, Bellarmine Univ. 

Conjecture: Deus amanz and Marie’s Identity 
Rupert T. Pickens, Univ. of Kentucky

Monastic Mothering: Marie’s Le Fresne and Historical Women’s Communities 
Carol Neel, Colorado College 

Femininity, Fear, and Friendship: Exploring the Homonormative in Marie de France’s Bisclavret 
Jillian K. Sutton, California State Univ.–Long Beach

International Marie de Society Business Meeting
Fetzer 1030, 12pm on Saturday

Le Cygne to JSTOR

We are very pleased to announce that Le Cygne has been added to the new collection Lives of Literature, offered by JSTOR.

According to JSTOR,

Lives of Literature is a collection of academic journals devoted to the deep study of writers and texts associated with core literary movements. When complete, Lives of Literature will include approximately 120 journals that are all new to JSTOR.

This resource is a direct response to faculty requests for a deeper and wider set of journal content to enhance their teaching of writers and texts associated with key literary movements. The collection supports advanced literary studies and interdisciplinary research on writers and texts critical to curricula in literature, and broadens the range of authors and texts covered on JSTOR. And with its focus on journals that use an author or text as a starting place, Lives of Literature also fulfills a scholarly resource need for in-depth study and courses on a single author or text—a curricular component at many institutions.

In “Medieval Authors and Texts” series, Le Cygne joins other highly-specialized journals such as Lectura Dantis and Petrarchesca.

Le Cygne, Volume 5

We are pleased to announce the publication of Le Cygne, Volume 5.

It contains two articles, one by Katherine Pierpont, which examines the issue of disability and deformity in the works of Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France (with special reference to Bisclavret and Yonec), and the other by Matthieu Boyd, who examines three Breton translators (Kermoal, Hemon, and ar Gow) who have translated Marie’s lays into Breton. This issue also included four of the six papers that were given at the Kalamazoo meeting in 2018 on the occasion of a Round Table entitled “Marie and Ovid” (Rupert Pickens, Dorothy Gilbert, Emanuel Mickel and Susan Hopkirk). One of the current aims of the journal is to publish editions of Marie lays as they are found in MS S (Paris, BnF, nouv. acq. fr. 1104). After Le Fresne and the Bisclavret fragment in last year’s issue, this year we print Leslie Brook’s edition of Equitan. The present issue is completed by Tamara Caudill’s review of The Lais of Marie de France: Text and Translation by Claire M. Waters (Broadview Press, 2018) and a dissertation abstract (Joseph R. Johnson, New York University).

Submissions for the 2019 issue, and any comments or queries, will be very welcome (email address:

Glyn S. Burgess.

CFP for ICMS 2018, Kalamazoo, Michigan

The International Marie de France Society will sponsor three panels for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, to be held on the campus of Western Michigan University, May 10-13, 2018. Abstracts must be received by the session organizer, Tamara Bentley Caudill (, by September 15, 2017.

New for 2018: Graduate Students who participate as panelists in our sessions will be eligible to receive an IMFS-sponsored travel award in the amount of the Congress pre-registration fee for students. Last year, this fee was $95. The award(s) will be presented at our business meeting, which has historically occurred on Saturday at noon.

Note: You do not have to be a member of the society to submit a topic, but all presenters are expected to join for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. See Join IMFS for our dues schedule.

(1 – Papers) Queering Marie

This paper panel proposes to call attention to tales of queerness and alterity in the works of
Marie de France or her imitators. Papers may address any of the known works by Marie de France (the Lais, the Fables, the Espurgatoire seint Patriz, and/or La vie Seinte Audree) or the anonymous lays. Comparative analyses that draw connections between Marie and other works of medieval literature are welcome. Papers may consider, but should not be limited to, animal studies, disability studies, gender and sexuality, alterity, and so on. The objective is to stimulate discussion regarding the ways that Marie’s oeuvre addresses these themes in the Middle Ages and its broader implications.

(2 – Roundtable) Marie and Ovid

This roundtable will bring together a group of scholars interested in the intersection of the Old
French narrative lay, particularly those of Marie de France, and the Ovidian tradition. In addition
to drawing inspiration from oral Breton lays that circulated in her milieu (“des lais pensai qu’oïz
aveie” v. 33, Prologue, Lais), Marie de France draws philosophical and literary frames from the
“anciens” (v. 9) or “li philosophe” (v. 5): those who set the standards within which she composes
her poetic corpus. In this context, Ovid presents himself as an intriguing undercurrent in Marie’s
works; and this session will explore Ovid as palimpsest in Marie’s Lais. Topics may include the
transformation of lovers from human to animal (and vice versa), the rewriting of classical myths
such as Philomela, Narcissus, or Piramus and Thisbe, the influence of the Ars Amatoria and the
Remedia Amoris, and other related issues. Special consideration will be given to participants with interdisciplinary approaches, either traditional (art, philosophy, religion, etc.) or contemporary (animal studies, disability studies, etc.). Roundtable participants will be asked to transform their presentations into full-length articles, to be submitted to Le Cygne, the society’s journal.

(3 – Performances) Le Fresne Again! Celebrating a Decade of Performing Marie de France

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of our popular performance panel in its current format; and we plan to bring back the original performers (with a few new faces) for an all-new performance of the text that started it all: Le Fresne. As in years past, the panel will involve period music, new
translations, and dramatic readings in the original language. As Joyce Coleman, Evelyn Birge Vitz, and others have argued, hearing a text read aloud or watching its performance both mirrors the way the work would have been consumed in the Middle Ages and enhances our modern understanding. Our attendees regularly report that their perception of the work changes over the course of the session.

Contact information

Submit abstracts of less than 300 words to the organizer:

Tamara Bentley Caudill
Assistant Professor of French
Division of Humanities
Jacksonville University
2800 University Boulevard North
Jacksonville, FL 32211

Announcing New Officers, 2016

The following were elected via e-mail following nomination at the annual meeting at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10, 2014 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

  • President—Tamara Bentley Caudill, Tulane University
  • Vice-President—Simonetta Cochis, Transylvania University
  • Secretary-Treasurer—Ed Ouellette, Air Force Officer and Staff College

Appointees and other leadership changes:

  • Ann McCullough (Middle Tennessee State) rotated into the office of Immediate Past President.
  • Leslie C. Brook (University of Birmingham) agreed to serve on the Advisory Board.
  • Angela Warner (University of Toronto) will occupy the long-vacant Graduate Student Representative position
  • Brittany Claytor (Purdue University) will take over the website
  • Arielle McKee (Purdue University) will coordinate social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter