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Polyphonies, Art and Territories: Medievalism and Modernity

Polyphonies, art, territoires : médiévisme et modernité

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Published on Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Cette journée d’étude propose de questionner le rapport entre la polyphonie et l’art et, en partant de l'œuvre de Geoffrey Chaucer, d’étendre cette réflexion à d’autres poètes et périodes. Ce faisant, nous espérons mieux cerner et définir le lien entre le médiéval et le moderne à travers des études soulignant le rôle central joué par la polyphonie – voire même les polyphonies – tant dans l’évolution de l’art (le gothique vient naturellement à l’esprit) que dans la définition même des territoires linguistiques européens. 


Université Grenoble Alpes 9 février 2018


Geoffrey Chaucer, translator, rhetorician and courtly poet, has long been considered by the critics as the father of English poetry. However, this notion not only tends to forget a huge part of the history of Anglo-Saxon literature but also to ignore the specificities of Chaucer’s style. It has been shown that his contribution to the history of literature is much more important than we had previously imagined. Indeed, Chaucer’s decision to write in Middle-English, in a time when the hegemony of Latin and Old-French was undisputed (especially at the court of Edward III and Richard II), was consistent with an intellectual movement that was trying to give back to European vernaculars the prestige necessary to a genuine cultural production, which eventually led to the emergence of romance and of the modern novel. The assimilation of the specificities of the poetry of Chrétien de Troyes, Guillaume de Lorris, and Jean de Meun thus allowed Chaucer to give back to English poetry some of its respectability. Nonetheless, it was his discovery of the Divina Commedia that made him aware of the true potential of literature: Dante thus allowed him to free the dialogism of his creations and to give his poetry a first-rate polyphonic dimension. As a result, if Chaucer cannot be thought of as the father of English poetry, he is, however, the father of English prose and one of the main artisans of what Mikhail Bakhtin called the polyphonic novel.

We thus propose, during this study day, to keep on questioning the relationship between polyphony and art, and to extend this reflection to other poets and periods. In doing so, we hope to better understand and define the link between the medieval and the early modern thanks to studies underlining the role played by polyphony – or even polyphonies – both in the evolution of art (Gothic art naturally comes to mind) and in the very definition of European linguistic territories.


Vendredi 9 février

Grande salle des colloques, bâtiment Stendhal

9h Accueil des participants

Session 1

Président de séance : Sébastien Scarpa

  • 9h30 – 10h Laurence Doucet (Université Grenoble Alpes, Litt&Arts) Cemeteries and Tombstones as Polyphonic Places in the French Medieval Quest of Lancelot
  • 10h30 – 11h Caroline Bertonèche (Université Grenoble Alpes, ILCEA 4) « ´Tis more ancient than Chaucer Himself »: Keats and Romantic Polyphony

11h30 – 12h Questions

12h30 – 14h Déjeuner  

Session plénière

Président de séance : Jonathan Fruoco

  • 14h – 15h Paul Strohm (Columbia University) Chaucer and the Streams of Parnassus

15h – 15h30 Questions

Session 3

Président de séance : Cyril Besson

  • 15h:30 – 16h Juliette Dor (Université de Liège) Lire Chaucer au prisme de la polyphonie
  • 16h – 16h30 Jonathan Fruoco (Université Grenoble Alpes, ILCEA 4) ‘Turnynge over the leef’: Chaucer and the English Novel

16h30 – 17h Questions


  • Bâtiment Stendhal - 621 Avenue Centrale
    Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France (38400)


  • Friday, February 09, 2018

Attached files


  • chaucer, polyphonie, médiéval, modernité


  • Jonathan Fruoco
    courriel : jonathan [dot] fruoco [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Jonathan Fruoco
    courriel : jonathan [dot] fruoco [at] gmail [dot] com


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« Polyphonies, Art and Territories: Medievalism and Modernity », Study days, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, https://calenda.org/429051

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