The Oxford Handbook of Chaucer by Suzanne Conklin Akbari (Professor of Medieval Studies)
As the 'father' of the English literary canon, one of a very few writers to appear in every 'great books' syllabus, Chaucer is seen as an author whose works are fundamentally timeless: an author who, like Shakespeare, exemplifies the almost magical power of poetry to appeal to each generation of readers. Every age remakes its own Chaucer, developing new understandings of how his poetry intersects with contemporary ways of seeing the world, and the place of the subject who lives in it. This Handbook comprises a series of essays by established scholars and emerging voices that address Chaucer's poetry in the context of several disciplines, including late medieval philosophy and science, Mediterranean Studies, comparative literature, vernacular theology, and popular devotion. The volume paints the field in broad strokes and sections include Biography and Circumstances of Daily Life; Chaucer in the European Frame; Philosophy and Science in the Universities; Christian Doctrine and Religious Heterodoxy; and the Chaucerian Afterlife. Taken as a whole, The Oxford Handbook of Chaucer offers a snapshot of the current state of the field, and a bold suggestion of the trajectories along which Chaucer studies are likely to develop in the future.