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

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

ICLS Panels 2016 – Tentative

The following Marie de France papers will be presented at the 15th Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society, July 24-29 at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.  Dates and times subject to change. We will update again once the official program has been printed.

For more information on the conference, visit

Tuesday, July 26 is “Marie de France Day”

8:30-10a.m. –  Leisure, Ludics, and Life-Changing Linens in the Lays of Marie de France
Chair: Rupert T. Pickens (University of Kentucky)
Location: Niles Gallery

  • “The Wounding of the Deer in Marie de France’s ‘Guigemar’: A Medieval Veterinarian Perspective,” Carol Dover (Georgetown U)
  • “Marie at Play: Equitan as Courtly Diversion or Carnivalesque Subversion?” Monica L. Wright (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
  • “Liminal Beds and Dangerous Textiles in Marie de France’s Lais,” Susan Hopkirk (U of Toronto)

2-3:30p.m. – Marie de France: Reception and Performance
Chair: TBD
Location: Niles Gallery

  • “Marie de France Enlightened and Romanticized,” Logan Whalen (U of Oklahoma)
  • “Chaitivel: A Reconstruction of the Performance of a 12th Century Lai,” Ronald Cook (Independent Scholar)
  • TBD, Simonetta Cochis (Transylvania U)

3:30-4p.m. – Coffee Break
Location: Fine Arts Lobby


4 – 5:30p.m. – Performances of Old French Narrative Lays
Location: Niles Gallery

  • Ron Cook (Independent Scholar), Tamara Bentley Caudill (Tulane U), Simonetta Cochis (Transylvania U)

Highlights from Kzoo Sneak Peak!

The Kalamazoo Sneak Peak is now available online!

Some highlights for scholars of Marie de France are as follows:

  • Friday, 1:30 PM: Session 249
    Unwilling Wives: Doon, Melian, and Bisclavret, Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner, Boston College
  • Friday,  3:30PM: Session 298
    Marie de France: A Case Study of Cultural Shift and Literary Motherhood, Kimberly Tate Anderson, Florida State Univ.
  • Saturday, 10AM: Session 367
    (1) Of Medieval Spaces: Heterotopia and Gender in Marie de France’s Lanval, Julie K. Chamberlin, Indiana Univ.–Bloomington
    (2) Women, Space, and Influence in the Lais of Marie de France, Holly C. A. Corbett, McMaster Univ
  • Saturday, Noon
    Business Meeting of the IMFS
  • Saturday 1:30PM: Session 387
    (1) Expression in Disjunction: Marie’s Espurgatoire, Ann McCullough
    (2) Interspecies Encounters: Words and Deeds between Man and Beast in the Fables of Marie de France, Tamara Bentley Caudill, Tulane Univ
  • Saturday 3:30PM: Session 441
    Performances of Marie de France: Equitan, Tamara Bentley Caudill (Tulane Univ), Chris Treen (Independent Scholar), Simonetta Cochis (Transylvania Univ), Ronald Cook (Independent Scholar), Walter A. Blue (Hamline Univ)
  • Sunday 8:30AM: Session 510
    Beastly Desires: Heteronormative Correctives in Marie de France’s Guigemar, Bisclavret, and Yonec, L. Kip Wheeler, Carson-Newman Uni

Le Cygne, Vol. 2 (3rd Series) announced

For the second year in a row, Le Cygne will send out its annual issue in the early months of the new year.  Contributions are as follows:


Beston, John. ” The Role of the Secretary Girart in the Old French Lay of Amours.”

Brown, Brandy N. “A Hard Day’s Knight: The Journey to the Otherworld in Marie de France’s Espurgatoire seint Patriz.”

Goyette, Stefanie. “Modeling Subjecthood in MS Paris, BNF, fr. 2168: Marie de France’s Lay of YonecAucassin and Nicolette, and the Lay of Narcisus and Dané.”

Whalen, Logan. “Animals as Performers and Communicators in Marie de France’s Guigemar, Bisclavret, and Eliduc.


Caudill, Tamara Bentley. “Reviews of Two Companions to Marie de France.”


Blue, Walter. “The Lay of Acoustic.”

ICLS 2016 Call for Papers – Marie de France panel(s)

The International Marie de France Society aims to sponsor 1-2 panels at the
XVth Congress
Of the
International Courtly Literature Society
University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky USA
24-29 July 2016

Embracing Lexington’s status as the horse capital of the world, the theme of the Congress is Courtly Pastimes.

This event promises to be memorable! In addition to the many excellent panels, there will be concerts and performances, as well as planned excursions to horse farms, bourbon distilleries, and the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. The International Marie de France Society (IMFS) will also host a special invitation-only luncheon for our panelists.


The IMFS invites papers addressing courtly pastimes in a broad sense, both in the works of Marie de France and in the so-called anonymous lays. Panel titles will be announced once submissions have been accepted and grouped, but we can envision sessions such as “Leisure in the lays” or “Courtliness in ‘other works’ of Marie de France.”

Papers are welcome on topics such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Hunting, falconry, jousting, and tournaments
  • Festivals, ceremonies, and celebrations
  • Games and sports
  • Dance, music, songs, and poetry
  • The Garden: Plants and Nature (real or symbolic, in treatises, in visual arts)
  • Animals (real, mythical, literary, heraldic, emblematic)
  • Domestic animals (horses, lap dogs, hunting dogs, household cats)
  • Exotic pets
  • Reading and writing
  • Sewing, embroidery, textile arts
  • Amorous dalliances
  • Courtly spaces: Decorous interiors, decorative objects, fabrics, and furnishings
  • Warriors dismounted: Knights at court (courtly conduct, speech, dress)

Submission & Guidelines

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to by November 25, 2015. This will allow time to compile and submit the documentation for the overall conference deadline of December 1.

You need not be an IMFS member to submit an abstract, but all accepted panelists will be expected to join the society before presenting. For more information, see

Participants will then be invited to submit their polished papers to Le Cygne, the peer-reviewed journal of the Society, editor: Glyn S. Burgess.

New Italian edition of Guingamor, Tydorel, and Tyolet

Edizioni dell’Orso announces an all-new Italian translation of the anonymous Breton lais Guingamor, Tydorel, and Tyolet. The volume includes a scholarly presentation of the lais as well as a Glossary and Bibliography.

Translation and presentation: Margherita Lecco (Università di Genova)
ISBN: 978-88-6274-612-0
Cost: € 16.00
Copyright: 2015

For more information, visit the Website (in Italian).