Scholarly Connections: Professor-Student Team and the Links Between Medieval Poem, Political Commentary

November 25th, 2013 by 

English Professor James Kee brought a lifetime of interest and experience when he spent part of the summer assisting English major Chase Padusniak ‘15 with his summer research project, titled “The Will to Charity: The Movement of the Will in Piers Plowman and the Works of George Grant.” The project was part of the College’s Summer Research Program.

Padusniak took Kee’s Readings in Medieval Literature class during his freshman year, alongside political philosophy courses in which he was introduced to the 20th century works of Canadian philosopher and political commentator George Grant. After noticing strong resemblances in the works of Grant with the long medieval poem “Piers Plowman” which he studied in Kee’s class, Padusniak devoted his summer to writing a thesis that explored the link between the two. “Looking at Piers Plowman and the works of George Grant was not just pleasurable,” Padusniak says, “but really touched on universal truth in two different historical contexts. The project was really aimed at seeing the unity in what seems a mountain difference.”

To help him with his undertaking, Padusniak also enlisted the aid of Matthew Dinan, visiting assistant professor of political science. Both Dinan and Kee were more than happy to provide the necessary assistance.

A 33-year veteran of the English department, Kee has a long history with “Piers Plowman.” Written and rewritten by English poet William Langland over a 20-year span in the late 14th century, the poem is an allegory in the form of a dream vision that focuses on the search to lead a true Christian life.

Kee, who wrote his doctorate dissertation on the poem and has returned to it countless times in the years since, says he still remains “impressed by the integrity of Langland’s poetic vision.” Langland wrote at the tail end of a century that began with Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, and Kee believes the two stand as fitting bookends for the philosophical and theological shifts that occurred in the interim. He admits the difficulty level is high for modern readers to descend into the work, but says this makes Padusniak’s independent study all the more impressive. While they both share the same infectious enthusiasm discussing “Piers,” Kee makes it explicitly clear that this was Padusniak’s ballgame from the start, and he was happy to simply provide some relief pitching.

“I didn’t see assisting in Chase’s project as work,” says Kee. “It was a real joy and pleasure to return back to the poem again alongside a fresh set of eyes. This is a work that allows for continual study, and seeing Chase’s work on it is just evidence that it will continue to prove so for many years to come.”

Related Information:

| More
Tags

Comments are closed.

01/23/17 Latin American Artists Showcase Contemporary Work at Holy Cross’ Cantor Art Gallery
01/23/17 Sō Percussion Explores Gun Violence Through Multigenre Performance
01/20/17 English Professor to Premiere Off-Broadway Production
01/19/17 Political Perspective: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss Washington, D.C. March and Obama’s Presidency
See All
See All
Featured Videos

See video
Video: Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins ’63 Honored as Helmerich Distinguished Author, Reads Poetry on NPR

Watch Video >
See video
Video, Photo Gallery: Holy Cross Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross History Professor Featured in PBS Pearl Harbor Documentary

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Two-Time Heisman Candidate Gordie Lockbaum ’88 Featured by ESPN in ‘30 for 30 Short’

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross Students are ‘More Engaged’

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Take a Look at Campus Life After the Sun Sets

Watch Video >
See video
Photo Gallery, Video: Class of 2020 Receives A Holy Cross Welcome on Move-In Day

Watch Video >
See video
VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Talks Holy Cross in Web Exclusive

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Total Giving to Holy Cross Breaks Record With $46.7 Million Raised

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Spring Blooms on Holy Cross Campus

Watch Video >
More

Women's Forum Weekly Meeting
5/11/2017

See More >


MSO Advocate Program (Event canceled)
5/11/2017

See More >


AAC Luncheon
5/10/2017

See More >


Athletics
5/10/2017

See More >


Dean's Spring Address
5/9/2017

See More >


Dean's Address
5/9/2017

See More >


Summer Internship Send Off Meeting
5/9/2017

See More >


Summer Internship Send Off Meeting
5/8/2017

See More >


Cinco de Mayo
5/5/2017

See More >


Women's Forum Weekly Meeting
5/4/2017

See More >


Real Estate Club Meeting
5/4/2017
Edith Stein Hall 118C
Edith Stein Hall 118C: The main goal of the Real Estate Club will be to expose HC students to a broad... See More >


Summer Internship Send Off Meeting
5/4/2017

See More >


Dance Concert
5/3/2017
O'Kane Hall Fewick Theater
O'Kane Hall Fewick Theater: Our annual spring dance concert showcases vibrant work by the students in... See More >


Sexual Misconduct Policy Training
5/3/2017
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519: Open to Campus Community OnlySee More >


Athletics
5/3/2017

See More >


The Agency Club Meetings
5/2/2017
Edith Stein Hall 118B
Edith Stein Hall 118B: The purpose of The Agency is to educate students who are interested in learning... See More >


Sales Club Meeting (Event canceled)
5/2/2017

See More >


Finance Club Meeting
5/2/2017

See More >


HCEG Club Meeting
5/2/2017

See More >

More Holy Cross in the News

01/19/17

Political Perspective: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss Washington, D.C. March and Obama’s Presidency

Telegram & Gazette

On the eve of the transfer of presidential power, Selina Gallo-Cruz, assistant professor of sociology, discusses the motivation behind Saturday’s March in Washington. And...

01/04/17

Holy Cross Young Alum Named Worcester Magazine’s “Person of the Year”

Worcester Magazine

Worcester Magazine has named Che Anderson ’11, project manager for the city of Worcester, as its “Person of the Year.” Anderson, who has immersed himself in Worcester...

12/22/16

Video: Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins ’63 Honored as Helmerich Distinguished Author, Reads Poetry on NPR

NPR, Tulsa World

The Tulsa Library Trust presented Billy Collins ’63, former U.S. Poet Laureate, with the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Dec. 2 in recognition of...