A Forum for Scholars of Early Medieval England


The Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium aims to foster intellectual exchange among faculty and graduate students whose interests embrace the language, literature, and culture of early medieval England. Currently based in Columbia, New York University, the University of Rhode Island, Rutgers, UC Berkeley, and King's College London, the Colloquium seeks to expand the resources available to Anglo-Saxonists from these universities and other institutions in the area, and also to create a welcoming intellectual community for anyone who is interested in Anglo-Saxon studies.

To join our email list, please send a message to: [email protected]

Core Faculty Committee: Patricia Dailey, Columbia University; Kathleen Davis, University of Rhode Island; Stacy Klein, Rutgers University; Clare Lees, King's College, University of London; Haruko Momma, New York University; Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, UC Berkeley.

Sponsored by: The Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University; The Office of the Dean for the Humanities, FAS, New York University; The Department of English, Rutgers University; University of Rhode Island; The Department of English, UC Berkeley.

CURRENT COURSES OF INTEREST in Consortium Universities (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

PAST COURSES OF INTEREST in Consortium Universities

ASSC Graduate Student Bios


The following events have been scheduled for the 2010-2011 academic year. Further details will be added in due course. To learn about past events with ASSC, from Fall 2004 to Spring 2011 click here.

Fall 2011

Oct 25
Andrew Rabin (University of Louisville)

"Holy Bodies, Legal Matters:
Theorizing Law and Gender in an Early Medieval Saint's Life"

at Rutgers University
6:00 pm, Murray Hall, 302

Nov 2
Nicholas Sparks (University of Cambridge)

"The Theft and Dismemberment of Ancient Codices: Two Case Studies

at Columbia University
2:40-3:55pm, Hamilton Hall, 503

This is the story of the theft and mutilation of two medieval English manuscripts. The first a copy of Ælfric's Grammar and Glossary from Exeter, now MS Hh.1.10 in Cambridge University Library. The second, the Codex Amiatinus, the best, oldest, and only complete surviving Latin Bible from before the time of Charlemagne. How did these books come into being? What clues might dismemberment provide? Neither manuscript bears any obvious indications of its provenance nor of circumstances of their dismemberment; however, these companion pieces allow us to think about books and their production as historical processes conditioned by time, space, and materials. They are not lifeless objects, but artifacts with stories to tell, often with cultural, political, social, and economic significance.

Nov 7
Carol Braun Pasternack (UC Santa Barbara) two events:

"Bloodlines: Purity, Warfare and the Procreative Family in Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica"

at Columbia University
Butler 523
4:30 pm, Reception to follow

Email for rsvp and readings: [email protected]
Nov 8

"Remaking Sex: The Holy Family and the Rest of Us in 'The Advent Lyrics'"

Workshop at Rutgers University
Murray Hall, 207
4:30-7:30 pm

For readings, please contact [email protected]

Spring 2012

Feb 24 & 25
Friday & Saturday
Eighth Annual ASSC Graduate Student Conference


UC Berkeley

Conference Website: http://graduatemedievalists.org/assc.html

For full schedule see Conference Poster

All talks to be held in 300 Wheeler Hall

Friday, 24 February

5:00 Keynote - “We Philologists” Jan Ziolkowski
Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin, Department of Classics, Harvard University
Director of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Reception to follow in 330 Wheeler Hall

Saturday, 25 February

9:30 Light breakfast & registration

10:15 Opening Remarks

10:30 Session I: Words, Words, Words: Lexical Approaches to Old English

Dave Wilton, University of Toronto
“You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means: Fæhð in Beowulf”

David Pedersen, Fordham University
“Wyrd in the Old English Poem Solomon and Saturn II”

Leonard Neidorf, Harvard University
“Beow in Beowulf: New Evidence for an Old Emendation”

Respondent: Jacob Hobson, UC Berkeley

12:00 Lunch – 330 Wheeler Hall

1:30 Session II: Where Did the Middle Ages Go? The Modern Reception of Anglo-Saxon England

Peter Buchanan, University of Toronto
“Caedmon and the Gift of Song in Black Mountain Poetics”

Joseph Livingstone, New York University
“‘Like solid rocks’: Language, Nature and the Nature of Language”

Annie Abrams, New York University
“‘Mutilated Remains’: Longfellow’s Historicized Anglo-Saxons

Respondent: Marcos Garcia, UC Berkeley

3:00 Coffee break – 330 Wheeler Hall

3:30 Session III: The Form of the Content: Formal Approaches to Old English Literature

Kathryn Jagger, University College London
“Words for Learning in Alfred’s Preface to the Pastoral Care: Philology and the History of Intellectualism in West Saxon Literature”

Leslie Carpenter, Fordham University
“A New English Verse Form: Poems of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle"

Emile Young, New York University
“Runes, Wisdom, and Textual Transmission”

Respondent: Jennifer Lorden, UC Berkeley

5:00 Banquet – 330 Wheeler Hall – please RSVP by 16 February if planning to attend

March 2
Catherine Sanok (University of Michigan)

Workshop: "Rethinking Community in the Middle Ages"
at Columbia University with Patricia Dailey (Columbia)
conference room, 602 Philosophy Hall, 10 am to 1pm, lunch following

This workshop pairs medieval texts (the South English Legendary and Ælfric's Colloquy in the faculty-led discussion) with and against theoretical work on community (Jean-Luc Nancy, Maurice Blanchot, Saskia Sassen, Arjun Appadurai). To what extent does critical theory help us question and model how we think about constellations of and identifications with community in the Middle Ages? What are the limits of theoretical models --- as well as of those of medieval texts? The workshop will involve presentations and discussions led by faculty, followed by student-led presentations and discussion. Students are welcome to present on texts of their choosing.

Presenters: Brigit McGuire (CU), Anna Kelner (CC), Erik Wade (Rutgers), Mary Kate Hurley (CU).

Co-sponsored by the Medieval Guild

March 23
Seth Lerer (UC San Diego)

"Authenticity and Aesthetics: George Hickes and the Idea of Anglo-Saxon Poetry"

at New York University
13-19 University Place, Room 222
2:00 pm, Reception to follow

Co-sponsored by The Medieval and Renaissance Center, NYU, Distinguished Lecture Series, together with the Department of English, NYU, and in collaboration with the Medieval Forum

April 13
Jay Gates (John Jay College)

"Cleaving to God: Sovereignty and the Legal Individual in Cnut's Laws"

at Columbia University
10am-12pm 408A Philosophy, Lunch following

The dialogue surrounding "political theology" examines the intersections of the common foundations of politics and religion and the mobilization of groups. Carl Schmitt focused on the political use of myth to legitimate the sovereign. Pushing against such legitimation, Walter Benjamin examined how rulers exploit a narrative of the past to justify their rule in the present. And it was out of this dialogue that Ernst Kantorowicz developed his The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology. However, what has been largely absent from all such discussions is the role of the individual. Following the change in the laws drafted by Wulfstan for Æthelred and Cnut regarding mutilation, I show that Cnut’s negotiation for legitimacy required a practical understanding of the active subject that can interact with the law. It established mutual personal obligations between sovereign and subject intended to hold the society together, bind all within a Christian political theology, and through a series of mechanisms, maintain every subject as unexceptional, within society and law.

April 27

"How Best to Study Old English Language and Literature (and Why)"

at New York University
13-19 University Place
Workshop from 12:45-2:45 pm in Room 222
Reception to follow in Room 229

Panelists: Fred C. Robinson (Yale University; A Guide to Old English), Peter S. Baker (University of Virginia, Introduction to Old English), Robert Hasenfratz (University of Connecticut, Reading Old English), Michael Matto (Adelphi University, The Word Exchange)

Discussants: Martin L. Chase (Fordham, faculty), Heide Estes (Monmouth, faculty), Stacy Klein (Rutgers, faculty), Mo Pareles (NYU, Ph.D. candidate), Christine Venderbosch (Yale, Ph.D. candidate), Audrey Walton (Columbia, Ph.D. candidate), Erica Weaver (Columbia, undergraduate), Eric Weiskott (Yale, Ph.D. candidate), E. Gordon Whatley (Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center, Faculty), Evan Wilson (NYU, undergraduate)