postmedieval

pp 1–21 | Cite as

Physical possibilities: pedagogical presence in Chaucer

Original Article
  • 5 Downloads

Abstract

With interest in body studies increasing, scholars are reconsidering the bodies of teachers, especially as online learning gains prominence in the realm of educational innovation. They question the lessening role and even complete disappearance of teachers’ physical presence, while acknowledging that the teacher’s body constitutes a force that guides and transforms the educational experience of students. Teachers’ bodies have always served as a pedagogical force – potentially useful or detrimental – in classrooms. Medieval thinkers, especially poets, also recognized the powers of teachers’ bodies. Chaucer, for one, portrays a spectrum of possibilities regarding the effects of a teacher’s physical presence, particularly in Fragments VIII and IX of the Canterbury Tales, depicting the morally ambiguous auctoritee and limitations of the physical presence of a teacher. The contemporary classroom, the physical world inhabited by both students and teachers, can perhaps be better navigated by the map provided by Chaucer, which illustrates the possibilities of presence.

Keywords

Chaucer Canterbury Tales Second Nun’s Tale Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale Manciple’s Tale Pedagogy Physicality 

References

  1. Bruhn, M. 1999. Art, Anxiety and Alchemy in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale. Chaucer Review 33(3): 288–315.Google Scholar
  2. Bynum, C. 1987. Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Chaucer, G. 1987. The Canterbury Tales. In The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd edn., ed. L.D. Benson, 23–328. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  4. Chism, C. 1996. I Demed Hym Som Chanoun For To Be. In Chaucer’s Pilgrims: An Historical Guide to the Pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales, eds. L.C. Lambdin and R.T. Lambdin, 340–56. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  5. Cowgill, B.K. 1995. Sweetness and Sweat: The Extraordinary Emanations in Fragment Eight of the ‘Canterbury Tales.’ Philological Quarterly 74: 343–57.Google Scholar
  6. Fisher, J.H. 1996. A Gentil Maunciple Was Ther of a Temple. In Chaucer’s Pilgrims: An Historical Guide to the Pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales, eds. L.C. Lambdin and R.T. Lambdin, 281–7. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  7. Freedman, D.P. and M.S. Holmes. 2003. Introduction to the Teacher’s Body: Embodiment, Authority, and Identity in the Academy, eds. D.P. Freedman and M.S. Holmes. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  8. Garland-Thomson, R. 2003. Forward to The Teacher’s Body: Embodiment, Authority, and Identity in the Academy, eds. D.P. Freedman and M.S. Holmes. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  9. Grennen, J.E. 1964. Chaucer’s Characterization of the Canon and his Yeoman. Journal of the History of Ideas 25(2): 279–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. hooks, B. 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Jaggars, S.S. 2014. Choosing Between Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Community College Student Voices. American Journal of Distance Education 28: 27–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jones, A. 2004. Social Anxiety, Sex, Surveillance, and the ‘Safe’ Teacher. British Journal of Sociology of Education 25(1): 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Masciandaro, N. 2007. The Voice of the Hammer: The Meaning of Work in Middle English Literature. South Bend, IN: Notre Dame University Press.Google Scholar
  14. McGavin, J.J. 1987. How Nasty is Phoebus’s Crow? Chaucer Review 21(4): 444–58.Google Scholar
  15. McWilliam, E. 1996. Admitting Impediments: Or Things to Do With Bodies in the Classroom. Cambridge Journal of Education 26(3): 367–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Olson, G. 1982. Chaucer, Dante, and the Structure of Fragment VIII (G) of the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Review 16(3): 222–36.Google Scholar
  17. Raybin, D. 1997. Chaucer’s Creation and Recreation of the Lyf of Seynt Cecile. Chaucer Review 32(2): 196–212.Google Scholar
  18. Reames, S.L. 1980. The Cecilia Legend as Chaucer Inherited It and Retold It: The Disappearance of an Augustinian Ideal. Speculum 55(1): 38–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rosenberg, B.A. 1968. The Contrary Tales of the Second Nun and the Canon’s Yeoman. Chaucer Review 2(4): 278–91.Google Scholar
  20. Taylor, P.B. 1979. The Canon’s Yeoman’s Breath: Emanations of a Metaphor. English Studies 60(4): 380–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Turkle, S. 2015. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age. New York: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  22. Watkins, M. 2007. The Role of the Teacher in Contemporary Pedagogic Practice. British Journal of Sociology of Education 28(6): 767–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Weil, E. 1991. An Alchemical Freedom Flight: Linking the Manciple’s Tale to the Second Nun’s and Canon’s Yeoman’s Tales. Medieval Perspectives 6: 162–70.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesCollege of the OzarksPoint LookoutUSA
  2. 2.Department of EducationMissouri Western State UniversitySt. JosephUSA

Personalised recommendations