IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 501: The 'Other' Manuscript, I: Reading and (Re-)Writing Bodleian Library MS Junius 11

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre of Late Antique & Medieval Studies, King's College London
Organiser:Carl Kears, Department of English, King's College London
Moderator/Chair:Carl Kears, Department of English, King's College London
Paper 501-aReading MS Junius 11 Now
(Language: English)
Jill Fitzgerald, Department of English, United States Naval Academy, Maryland
Carl Kears, Department of English, King's College London
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 501-bReading Genesis into Context
(Language: English)
Daniel Anlezark, Medieval & Early Modern Centre, University of Sydney
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 501-cReading the Most Sacred Space: Ecocriticism, Eden, and MS Junius 11
(Language: English)
Jodi Grimes, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Dallas Baptist University, Texas
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Old English
Abstract

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 11 is one of the four major compilations of Old English poetry and the only one of these to have a planned cycle of illustrations to accompany its verse. While this is an important artifact for our understandings of manuscript production, early medieval vernacular poetry, book history, and Anglo-Saxon conceptions of chronology and apocalypse, Junius 11 – with its blank spaces left for illuminations, with the seemingly piecemeal nature of the latter stages of its compilation – receives considerably less critical attention than the other surviving collections of Old English poetry. This session will reassess the critical history and issues associated with Junius 11. In doing so, we will ask what kinds of reading and acts of written criticism the manuscript demands of us and examine how the narratives within it represent interpretation, inscription, and branches of knowledge.

Where does Junius 11 scholarship go from here? Is this truly an ‘epic of Redemption’, as J. R. Hall’s famous study once argued, or are there other ways of thinking about the narrative of a manuscript that begins in pre-historical strife and ends in hell?