IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 701: Reassessing Early Medieval Charms

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:National Centre for English Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield
Organiser:Alaric Hall, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki
Moderator/Chair:Jonathan Roper, School of English, University of Leeds
Paper 701-aAntiquarian Charms?: Charm Traditions and the Uses of the Past
(Language: English)
Philip A. Shaw, School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics, University of Sheffield
Index terms: Anthropology, Folk Studies, Language and Literature - German, Medicine
Paper 701-bCharms and their Manuscript Context: Legal Practice
(Language: English)
Rebecca Fisher, School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics, University of Sheffield
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Law, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Medicine
Paper 701-cThe Early 20th-Century Construction of the Anglo-Saxon Charm, and the Anglo-Saxon Construction of the Early 20th Century
(Language: English)
Alaric Hall, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki
Index terms: Anthropology, Language and Literature - Old English, Medicine, Mentalities
Abstract

Phil Shaw’s paper explores the ways in which charms such as the Merseburg Charms utilise images of the past, considering how far a sense of the past has a role to play in the shaping of charm traditions in use, and in the development of written records of such traditions. Alaric Hall’s, in turn, considers the early 20th-century reception of Anglo-Saxon charms, and how these were linked to those of the early 20th-century present. Rachel Fisher explores a family of theft charms, examining examples recorded in legal manuscripts and considering the significance of manuscript context in understanding how the charms were used. She compares the charms to other texts, including charters.