This session focuses on Old English poetry datable to between c. 950 and 1150. Many of these poems are embedded in late annals in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; most of them were snubbed by being excluded from volume 6 of the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records. As a result, late Old English poems as a group are severely understudied. Indeed, because Old English verse is written out in unlineated text blocks in manuscript, and because most theories of Old English meter are based on putatively pre-950 poems like Beowulf, scholars disagree about the exact number of extant late Old English poems. As recently as 2007, Thomas Bredehoft could identifyan entirely new, never-before-discussed poem. This session explores what the study of short, late, and (often) topical Old English poems might contribute to critical conceptions of Anglo-Saxon literary culture and early English literary history.
Possible paper topics include: metrical form; manuscript contexts and textual transmission; historical allusions; authorship and audience; problems of definition between verse and prose; and transitions to Middle English language and literary cultures.
Submit abstracts by e-mail to email@example.com no later than September 15, 2015.