Spring 2009

Feb 5

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (George Washington University)

“The Weight of the Past”

Reception at 6.00 pm
Lecture at 6.30 pm

13 University Place, Room 222
at New York University

Co-sponsored with the NYU English Medieval Forum

Feb 20

Fifth Annual Graduate Student Conference

at the University of Connecticut


9:45-10:30 Breakfast
UConn Student Union room 304 C

10:30-12:00 Session 1: Material Spaces, Places of Value

Jeremy DeAngelo (University of Connecticut):
“Things of Real Value: The Dragon, the Hoard, and Society”
Joseph Ackley (New York University)
“Once Feminine, Now Masculine: Treasured Spaces in the Encomium Emmae Reginae
Michael Bintley (University College London)
“Buildings, Burrows, and Barrows: Wood and Stone in the Landscapes of Beowulf
Respondent: Andrew Pfrenger (University of Connecticut)

12:00-1:00 Poetry Reading: Lytton Smith
UConn Co-op

1:00-2:00 Lunch
UConn Student Union room 304 B

2:15-3:45 Session 2: Travellers in the Landscape

Lytton Smith (Columbia University):
“‘Þu mid rihte rædan scealdest’ (“you ought, by right, to read”): The Interpretation of Travelers in Beowulf
Christopher Riedel (Boston College):
“Manipulating Miracles: Instructing Pilgrims with St Swithun”
Respondent: Jordan Zweck (Yale University)

4:00-5:30 Session 3: Spaces of Individuality and Collectivity

Daniel Remein (New York University):
“Where Wisps of Being Mingle: Theorizing The Space of the Wræclast in Christ and Satan
Mary Kate Hurley (Columbia University):
Beowulf‘s Collectivities”
Mo Pareles (New York University):
“The Devil Inside: Mapping Self-Mutilation and Exorcism in the Old English Gospel of Mark”
Respondent: Britt Rothauser (University of Connecticut)

6:30 Dinner at the house of Robert Hasenfratz

Click here for Conference Registration form

April 20

Stephen Harris (University of Massachussets)

“Did the Anglo-Saxons Understand Beauty?”

Seamus Heaney obliquely observed of North Germanic poetry its tendency to “trust the feel of what nubbed treasure/ your hands have known.” With few exceptions, the poetic vocabulary of Old English shies from explicit abstraction. There is no mention of the True or the Good, let alone of physical beauty–descriptions of people and landscapes are exceedingly rare, for example. As a consequence, post-Enlightenment critics trying to recover an Anglo-Saxon Weltanschauung are faced with methodological difficulties that become increasingly pronounced as we come to search for literary reflexes of identity, ethnicity, gender, and so forth. What form did their abstract world take? How was it manifested in material form? How did their poetry relate to ideas of the Beautiful—if it did at all? And if we are to answer such questions, what would our answers look like? In this talk, I discuss Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and Anglo-Saxon ideas of the Beautiful and how one might go about looking for Beauty in Old English poetry.

6.00 PM Lecture
302 Murray Hall
at Rutgers University

April 21

Workshops at Columbia University

Workshop One: “Beautiful Materialities”
401 Hamilton Hall
1 pm to 2.30 pm

Workshop Two: “Community”
501 International Affairs Building (SIPA) 
4.10 pm to 5.30 pm