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.

04/28/17 Spring Weekend is Coming: CAB to Host Series of Events for Spring Weekend 2017
04/28/17 Elizabeth Amaro Gonzalez ’17 Presents at Harvard Medical School’s New England Science Symposium
04/28/17 Religious Studies Professor and Catholic Scholar Asks ‘Is the death penalty un-Christian?’
04/28/17 Sociology Professor Earns Prestigious Fellowship to Support Alzheimer’s Research
See All

Politics Between the Religious and Secular: A Conversation with Saba Mahmood (Event canceled)
5/1/2017
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
In a conversation with students, Saba Mahmood, professor of anthropology...
See More >>


Prof. Sheehy - BIOL 114 Poster Session
5/1/2017
Biochemistry
Smith Laboratories SPILLANE
Open to the Public
See More >>


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


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


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


Prof. Sheehy - BIOL 114 Poster Session
5/3/2017
Biochemistry
Smith Laboratories SPILLANE
Open to the Public
See More >>


Sexual Misconduct Policy Training
5/3/2017
Office of Administration & Finance
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Calling All Foodies! C&S Wholesale Grocers Info Table
5/3/2017
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Outdoor Oval
Meet an alumnus and learn about the company responsible for...
See More >>


C&S Wholesale Grocers Info Table
5/3/2017
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Meet an alumnus and learn about the company responsible for...
See More >>


Prof. Sheehy - BIOL 114 Poster Session
5/3/2017
Biochemistry
Smith Laboratories SPILLANE
Open to the Public
See More >>


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


2-Step Verification For Google Information Session
5/4/2017
Information Security
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 410 - Computer Lab
Breaches of the DNC and Yahoo! show that good passwords...
See More >>


Citation Frustration Station -HC Libraries
5/5/2017
Holy Cross Libraries
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
The Holy Cross Librarians will be offering drop-in help formatting...
See More >>


Citation Frustration Station -HC Libraries
5/5/2017
Holy Cross Libraries
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
The Holy Cross Librarians will be offering drop-in help formatting...
See More >>


Fullbridge Final Day Presentations
5/24/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Smith Laboratories 154
Please join us on the last day of the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program where...
See More >>


Sexual Misconduct Policy Training
6/7/2017
Office of Administration & Finance
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>

See All