IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 801: Anglo-Saxons on Display: Functionality, Legibility, Ideology

Tuesday 11 July 2006, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Renée R. Trilling, Department of English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Moderator/Chair:Christopher Abram, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University College London
Paper 801-aHeorot as Museum: Structures of Display in Beowulf
(Language: English)
Jacqueline Stodnick, Department of English, University of Texas, Arlington
Index terms: Anthropology, Art History - General, Language and Literature - Old English, Mentalities
Paper 801-bByrhtferth's Pedagogy: The Languages and Structure of the Enchiridion
(Language: English)
Rebecca L. Stephenson, Department of English, University of Louisiana, Monroe
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Old English, Religious Life, Rhetoric
Paper 801-cPolitical Theology: Structural Hierarchies in Wulfstan's Institutes of Polity
(Language: English)
Renée R. Trilling, Department of English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Political Thought, Rhetoric
Abstract

This session will explore the thematics of display in three roughly contemporaneous Anglo-Saxon texts: Beowulf, Byrhtferth’s Enchiridion, and Wulfstan’s Institutes of Polity. Each allows a different approach to the question of display. How does the display of epistemological objects, such as Grendel’s arm in the hall of Heorot, generate certain types of readings? What role does the bilingual format of a didactic text play in authorizing vernacular explanations of the monastic rule? Does experimentation with layout reveal a certain ideology about the relationships between secular and ecclesiastical authorities? In particular, how do these texts offer insight into Anglo-Saxon notions of display and its consequences?