Anglo-Saxonism and the Construction of Social Identity / Edition 1by John D. Niles
Pub. Date: 10/28/1997
Publisher: University Press of Florida
"Teaches us the extent to which the discipline of Anglo-Saxon studies is a construct motivated variously by political, economic, cultural, gender-based, and racialist impulses. Thus it also teaches us both humility before the limits upon our supposed 'disinterestedness' and optimism, if chastened, in our collegial ability to reform and improve our disciplinary
"Teaches us the extent to which the discipline of Anglo-Saxon studies is a construct motivated variously by political, economic, cultural, gender-based, and racialist impulses. Thus it also teaches us both humility before the limits upon our supposed 'disinterestedness' and optimism, if chastened, in our collegial ability to reform and improve our disciplinary investments."--R. Allen Shoaf, University of Florida
Contributors to this volume explore Anglo-Saxonism as a set of beliefs and cultural practices that posits a unity among English-speakers based on their common racial, linguistic, and institutional descent from the people of Anglo-Saxon England. Value has often been set on such heritage, for Anglo-Saxonism asserts the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon people and sees their institutions as models of good government, commercial prosperity, and piety.
In an examination of Anglo-Saxonism in a variety of forms and in several different periods of English and American literary history, the authors investigate how the Anglo-Saxons themselves thought about the origins of national and racial identity. By linking current theoretical studies to the early manifestations of Anglo-Saxonism, they seek to contribute to the "new medievalisms"--theoretically aware, institutionally focused, and interdisciplinary medieval studies--that are transforming the academy.
Introduction: Anglo-Saxonism and Medievalism, by Allen J. Frantzen and John D. Niles
1. Bede and Bawdy Bale: Gregory the Great, Angels, and the "Angli," by Allen J. Frantzen
2. Anglo-Saxonism in the Old English Laws, by Mary P. Richards
3. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Poems and the Making of the English Nation, by Janet Thormann
4. Received Wisdom: The Reception History of Alfred's Preface to the Pastoral Care, by Suzanne C. Hagedorn
5. Nineteenth-Century Scandinavia and the Birth of Anglo-Saxon Studies, by Robert E. Bjork
6. Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Anglo-Saxonism: The Question of Language, by J.R. Hall
7. Byrhtnoth in Dixie: The Emergence of Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Postbellum South, by Gregory A. VanHoosier-Carey
8. Historical Novels to Teach Anglo-Saxonism to Young Edwardians, by Velma Bourgeois Richmond
9. Appropriations: A Concept of Culture, by John D. Niles
Allen J. Frantzen is professor of English at Loyola University, Chicago, and author of The Literature of Penance in Anglo-Saxon England (1983), King Alfred (1986), and Desire for Origins: New Language, Old English, and Teaching the Tradition (1990).
John D. Niles is professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Beowulf: The Poem and Its Tradition (1983) and co-editor of A Beowulf Handbook (1997).
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