IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1020: Englishness and the Sea, I: Writings in Old English

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Sebastian Sobecki, Department of English, McGill University, Québec
Moderator/Chair:Clare A. Lees, Department of English Language & Literature, King's College London
Paper 1020-aUnstable Spaces: Imagining Sea Tides in Early Medieval England
(Language: English)
Catherine A. M. Clarke, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Research (MEMO) / Department of English, Swansea University
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 1020-bNe me herestræta | ofer cald wæter cuðe sindon (Andreas 200b-201): Treading the Sea Roads in Old English Accounts of Migrations and Sea Journeys
(Language: English)
Fabienne Michelet, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Old English, Mentalities
Paper 1020-cEndless Resistance: The Everchanging Sea in the Exeter Book Riddles
(Language: English)
Jennifer Neville, Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - Old English, Mentalities, Theology

Geographically and culturally, the sea ‘defines’ Britain as well as a large part of England. But whilst Prospero’s elemental mastery over water and his subjugation of Caliban express an insular understanding of Englishness that embraces both land and sea, many premodern texts appear to resist such integrative readings. For the most part, today’s scholarly literature is content with making assumptions about the sea’s cultural role. These two sessions, concerned with writings before and after the Norman Conquest, explore the sea’s contribution to changing models of Englishness and their at times unfixed insularity.