Early medieval English language and literature
Although the ultimate theme of “The Seven Sleepers” can be located in its medieval Christian doctrine—the bodily resurrection is real, and therefore it is in the afterworld where one finally, really “lives,” with shining body and soul together—I would like to argue that, in the Old English version’s emphasis on the highly individualized emotion…[Read more]
Through an analysis of Tony Kushner’s 2001 play “Homebody/Kabul” and the Old English “Ruin” poem, this essay explores the tension, anxiety, and isolation inherent in the aesthetic and philosophical enterprises of measuring the distance that separates myth from real being (a project that takes place, I would argue, against Levinas, not just o…[Read more]
An overview of the “state of the field” of critical post/humanist studies that also argues for the important intervention of premodern studies into contemporary post/humanist studies, and which serves as the Introduction (with chapter summaries) to “Fragments for a History of a Vanishing Humanism,” eds. Myra Seaman and Eileen A. Joy (Ohio State…[Read more]
This is an Accepted Manuscript, for an article forthcoming in Antiquity (2019), and remains subject to pre-publication type-editing and proofing. Please cite as James M. Harland, ‘Memories of Migration? So-called “Anglo-Saxon” Burial Costume of the 5th Century AD,’ Antiquity 93 (2019). A link to the final publication at Cambridge University Press…[Read more]
The Leiden University Old English ColloQuest is a digital, dynamic edition that adapts to each individual learner to offer an appropriate level of challenge. In particular, the type and frequency of the glosses are determined by diagnostic questions, which allows for effective adaptation to the learning needs of an individual user. As such, each…[Read more]
In this article, I suggest Beowulf should be read as a mirror of princes for elderly kings.
A short article about the Nachleben of the Romans and classical antiquity in Anglo-Saxon England.
This article discusses the development of the spelling for the name of Cnut the Great, Viking king of England from 1016 to 1035, from to . The origin of this disyllabic spelling is uncertain and has been attributed to taboo deflection, the simplification of the consonant cluster /kn/ in English and even a pope’s inability to pronounce the name C…[Read more]
This note calls attention to a precursor of the Latin text of Durham Proverb 7 in the ninth-century Collectanea Pseudo-Bedae and, in doing so, sheds some light on the unresolved relationship between the Old English and Latin versions of the Durham Proverbs in general and Durham Proverb 7 in particular.
This note established that an Old English confessional prayer in BL Vespasian D.xx is a close analogue to the Latin text in the Book of Cerne (Cambridge University Library MS L1.1.10). These two text and two other Old English prayers in BL MS Tiberius C.i and the Old English Handbook for the Use of a Confessor may have sprung from a common, Latin…[Read more]
In this chapter, I discuss the use of Anglo-Saxon literature and culture in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Although there were many handwritten, often informal catalogues of Sir Robert Cotton’s manuscripts and books during his lifetime and in the years afterwards, the desire for an official printed catalogue which could be circulated in the public realm did not really bear fruit until the late 1600s. And when two versions finally did appear — the…[Read more]
This essay is an attempt to think about melancholy as a shared creative endeavor, as a trans-corporeal blue (and blues) ecology that would bind humans, nonhumans, and stormy weather together in what Tim Ingold has called a meshwork. In this enmeshment of the “strange strangers” of Timothy Morton’s dark ecology, “[t]he only way out is down” a…[Read more]
This special issue of the “Journal of Narrative Theory” represents one of the BABEL Working Group’s first forays into a collaborative and “baggy” humanistic scholarship between medieval studies, more contemporary humanistic studies, and the sciences, with the objective of interrogating together the open terms, “human,” “humanity,” “humanism,”…[Read more]
This essay considers Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophy of hospitality in relation to the “isolated and heroic being that the state produces by its virile virtues,” through an analysis of female Chechen suicide terrorists in contemporary Russia and the figure of Grendel in the Old English poem “Beowulf,” in order to raise some questions about the relat…[Read more]
In a talk he gave in 1995 at a conference at Georgetown University, “Cultural Frictions: Medieval Cultural Studies in Post-Modern Contexts,” Paul Strohm asserted that “postmodernism is preoccupied with history, endlessly obsessed with history, and with the nature of the claims the past exerts upon us; it might almost be called a way of thinking…[Read more]
The essays collected in this volume demonstrate that, when certain medieval and contemporary cultural texts are placed alongside each other — such as a fourteenth-century penitential handbook and the reality television show “Survivor,” or early fifteenth-century Lancastrian statecraft (Henry IV) and the stagecraft of George W. Bush’s presidential…[Read more]
This essay offers a consideration of Levinas’s philosophy of hospitality in relation to the terroristic figure of Grendel in the Old English poem “Beowulf,” in order to raise some questions about the vexed connections between ethics, violence and sovereignty, as well as between ethics and politics, both in the early Middle Ages and in our own t…[Read more]
“Liquid Beowulf” serves as the Introduction to “The Postmodern Beowulf: A Critical Casebook” (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2006), and makes an argument for the Old English poem as a richly inter- and cross-temporal cultural response to historical traumas that still haunt our present moment and which also poses always important (and…[Read more]
Eileen Joy deposited Burn After Reading: Volume 1. Miniature Manifestos for a Post/medieval Studies + Volume 2: The Future We Want: A Collaboration in the group Anglo-Saxon / Old English on Humanities Commons 1 year ago
The essays, manifestos, rants, screeds, pleas, soliloquies, telegrams, broadsides, eulogies, songs, harangues, confessions, laments, and acts of poetic terrorism in these two volumes — which collectively form an academic “rave” — were culled, with some later additions, from roundtable sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies…[Read more]
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