Mark Sherman Presents “Political Theology and Romance Topography: What Spenser Really Did to the Franklin’s Tale”

Mark Sherman Presents “Political Theology and Romance Topography: What Spenser Really Did to the Franklin’s Tale”

The Department of English and Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Bristol (UK) organized a conference that ran from 11 to 13 July of this year called Dan Geffrey with the New Poete: Reading and Rereading Chaucer and Spenser, which sought to reexamine the network of relations between Elizabethan allegorist Edmund Spenser and his 14th-Century predecessor Geoffrey Chaucer.  Mark Sherman, RISD Professor of Literary Arts & Studies participated in the conference, presenting a paper on Chaucer’s Franklin’s Tale and the central books of The Faerie Queene titled, “Political Theology and Romance Topography: What Spenser Really Did to the Franklin’s Tale,” proposing that Chaucer’s mediation of classical narratives—particularly Virgil’s Aeneid—and his metaphorization of geo-physical space provided Spenser a model for a critical counter-discourse to the prophetic, imperial rhetoric of Britain.