IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 801: Texts of Regulation and Instruction from the Medieval Northwest

Tuesday 15 July 2003, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Melanie Heyworth, Royal Holloway, University of London
Moderator/Chair:Judy Quinn, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Paper 801-bGoverning Morals and Moral Regulation in the Old English Penitentials
(Language: English)
Melanie Heyworth, Royal Holloway, University of London
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Social History
Paper 801-cGrammatical Instruction in Medieval Iceland: Some Observations Based on the Grammatical Treatises
(Language: English)
Tarrin Wills, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Sydney
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Literacy and Orality

This session will examine forms of regulative and instructive discourse from Anglo-Saxon England and northwest Scandinavia. In the first two papers, homilies, Saint’s Lives and penitentials in Old English are analysed as ‘regulative’, and their function as instruments of social control considered. It will be argued that written documents of this type could be used to mediate normative discourses on gender and agency to particular social groups in the late Anglo-Saxon period. The third paper will examine the manuscript context and language of Old Icelandic grammars, and discuss how they might have been used in ecclesiastical and secular contexts.