Following Jonson’s notorious assessment that Spenser “writ no language,” histories of Spenser’s poetry have tended to emphasize the singularity of his stylistic project. This panel asks, instead, to what communities—however marginal, imaginary, odd, or disconcerting—did Spenser’s language belong? What kinds of communities does his style construct and who else might belong? Possible topics include, but are not limited to: inkhorn terms; trades and professions; class; archaisms; vocabulary; specialized lexicons; imitators; rivalries; the university; affectation; ciphers and secret languages; the vernacular; cults and sects. We seek papers that read representations of specialized language communities within the poetry and/or papers that situate that poetry in relation to historical language communities. We are interested in communities that were, may be, and will never be and the kinds of language practices that constitute them.
Please submit the following materials to J.K. Barret (email@example.com) by May 25 to be considered for inclusion: paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); 3-5 keywords; and a one-page abbreviated curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Please note that RSA is very strict about word count: the system will not accept entries that go beyond the maximum limit.