IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1502: Material Concerns?: Kingship, Succession, and History in Beowulf

Thursday 4 July 2019, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Flinders University, Adelaide
Organiser:Erin Sebo, Department of English, Creative Writing & Australian Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide
Moderator/Chair:Roderick McDonald, Independent Scholar, Sheffield
Paper 1502-aHow to Make a Good Decision in the Late Iron Age: Beowulf, Advice, and Histories
(Language: English)
Erin Sebo, Department of English, Creative Writing & Australian Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide
Erin Sebo, Department of English, Creative Writing & Australian Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide
Erin Sebo, Department of English, Creative Writing & Australian Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Literacy and Orality, Mentalities, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1502-bReading Beowulf as an Anglo-Saxon Book of Kings
(Language: English)
Francis Leneghan, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Francis Leneghan, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Francis Leneghan, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 1502-cHistories as Metaphors of Succession in Beowulf
(Language: English)
Frederick M. Biggs, Department of English, University of Connecticut
Frederick M. Biggs, Department of English, University of Connecticut
Frederick M. Biggs, Department of English, University of Connecticut
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Literacy and Orality, Politics and Diplomacy
Abstract

This session considers Beowulf in its political context, in particular how ideas surrounding kingship, succession, and dynasties interact with the construction of histories. One of the underpinning assumptions of Beowulf scholarship is that the poem is concerned with fulfilling, failing, or conflicting ideals expressed, not only through the actors of the poem itself but also in the depictions of past kings and heroes to whom present protagonists are implicitly compared. This is seen especially vividly in the construction of dynasties and histories. This session interrogates the natures of these ideals and explores the relationship between idealism and and more material concerns.