On May 2 the French Department held a celebration in honor of Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Hult's career, with special invited speakers who were former students.
Mary Franklin-Brown (Christ’s College, University of Cambridge) presented “The Architecture of Song,” in which she examined two sets of architectural remains—the Chertsey tile and the ducal hall built for Richard Cœur de Lion in Poitiers—in the light of lyric form and Pythagorean harmony.
Spencer Strub (Princeton University) spoke on “‘Lancelot’s Shame’ and the Philology of Emotion," resituating David Hult’s 1988 “Lancelot's Shame” as a pioneering essay in the history of emotions anticipating later lexical-cultural studies.
R. D. Perry (University of Denver) presented a talk entitled “Charles d’Orléans’s Auto-Allegoresis," reading Charles d’Orléans’s English poetry in conversation with his French works in order to understand it as an experiment in the allegoresis of the writing self.
Lukas Ovrom (Emory University) presented "Learning from Mistakes," recalling the first project he worked on under David Hult's direction, a study of reworking and scribal error in the manuscript tradition of the Old French Death of King Arthur, which led him to ask, To what extent were the things that we now label "errors" apparent to readers of the past? And in what sense are modern readers in a better position to differentiate between choice and accident in a medieval manuscript culture?
Finally, Noah Guynn (UC Davis) offered a moving personal tribute, “Honoring David Hult, Mentor and Friend.”
Thank you, David, for your brilliant scholarship and your devotion to your students, the French Department, and the profession.