WMU News

Cornell scholar examines the medieval city

Nov. 10, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The relationship between a late-medieval city's social and economic structures and William Langland's classic poem, "Piers Plowman," will be the focus of the annual Cornelius Loew Lecture in Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University Thursday, Nov. 16.

Dr. Andrew Galloway, associate professor of English and medieval studies at Cornell University, will deliver a presentation on "'Piers Plowman' and Urban Culture in Medieval England" at 4 p.m. in Walwood Hall Commons on WMU's East campus. A reception will follow.

Sponsored by WMU's Medieval Institute, the Loew Lecture is a free, annual presentation honoring the late Dr. Cornelius Loew, WMU professor emeritus of religion and former vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The series began in 1986 and each year brings a noted scholar of medieval studies to campus to present a lecture.

Galloway is the editor of The Yearbook of Langland Studies and a fellow at Cornell's Society for the Humanities. He is currently working on a number of projects involving late-medieval writers and the city and is collaborating with four other scholars on a full annotation of "Piers Plowman."

During his presentation, Galloway will present various views of the late-medieval city and the city's relation to the poem. Galloway refutes popular arguments about the poem, asserting that Langland deals directly and allegorically with the social structures, legal pressures and economic strategies that late-14th century London presented and offers theological elaboration of those issues.

For more information, contact Dr. Thomas H. Seiler, interim director of the Medieval Institute, at (616) 387-8754.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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