Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Manuscript Context for Early Anglo-Saxon, Caroline, and Germanic Verse

Kalamazoo 2016 #Kzoo2016

Manuscript Context for Early Anglo-Saxon, Caroline, and Germanic Verse
While there are exemplary surveys of the early insular manuscript
tradition by J.J.G. Alexander, Michelle Brown and Richard Gameson, for
example, such works focus heavily on the illumination and codicology of
sacred books and not on how vernacular production got started. This is
even more evident in the paucity of secondary literature on how
vernacular poetic texts first came to be inscribed (with the exception,
perhaps, of work on Cædmon's Hymn), how they were distinguished from
prose, and what continental exemplars they may well have used.

Therefore, this session seeks papers considering the manuscript context
and all associated matters of paleography and codicology for the
earliest poetic texts recorded (pre-950) in Old English, Anglo-Latin,
Caroline Latin, Old Saxon, and Old High German.

How much influence does the layout of Caroline and Anglo-Latin poems
have in determining the inscription of vernacular poems? Are vernacular
poems initially derivative in their layout, or low-status, compared to
their Latin cousins?

As we know that manuscripts of early Germanic verse texts, in particular
the Old Saxon Heliand, were available in England from the late
ninth-century forward and that Anglo-Saxon scribes and scholars on the
continent were likely to have seen such works in Caroline centres of
learning, were they formative for later English books such as the Junius
and Exeter codices of Old English poetry?

What factors and exemplars determine the manuscript layout of verse
texts in such instances as marginal and flyleaf recordings of poems that
clearly appear secondary to the prose texts they complement?

Papers are particularly welcome to investigate strategies of layout for
unusual poems such as acrostics and incomplete poems, and the evolution
of the use of punctuation to mark poems and aid in recitation. The
session also solicits consideration of how modern printing affects - or
rather, shapes - the reception of these early medieval verses.

Last, the session in particular solicits reappraisals of Katherine
O’Brien O’Keeffe’s landmark book, Visible Song: Transformational
Literacy in Old English Verse, now past its 25th anniversary.

Please contact by September 15th:

Bruce Gilchrist
Saint Lawrence College

790, rue Nérée-Tremblay
Québec, QC // Canada // G1V 4K2

No comments: