Session Title

Anglo-Saxon Childhood, Adolescence, and Education

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Georg-August-Univ. Göttingen

Organizer Name

Winfried Rudolf

Organizer Affiliation

Georg-August-Univ. Göttingen

Presider Name

Ardis Butterfield

Presider Affiliation

Yale Univ.

Paper Title 1

The Art of Foster-Parenting in Old English Literature

Presenter 1 Name

Susan Irvine

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. College London

Paper Title 2

Children and Childhood in Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum

Presenter 2 Name

Andreas Lemke

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Georg-August-Univ. Göttingen

Paper Title 3

Anglo-Saxon Preaching on Children

Presenter 3 Name

Winfried Rudolf

Start Date

11-5-2013 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1325

Description

'Medieval art until about the twelfth century did not know childhood or did not attempt to portray it.' This statement by Phillipe Ariès (1962) has dominated scholarship on medieval infancy and adolescence for some decades, finding some counteraction only in recent years, and with restriction to certain areas of medieval Europe. While archeaological evidence has been surveyed in some detail (e.g. Crawford, 1999), this session aims at foregrounding the role of children and teenagers in Anglo-Saxon literature, and especially those texts which are not necessarily known as straightforwardly canonical. We attempt to present new evidence which demonstrates as much Anglo-Saxon interest in the creation and development of human life in its early stages as is usually indentified in notions of transience and death in Old English literature. The aim is to reach a more refined understanding of the triad of infantia – pueritia – adolescentia, concepts which were not unequivocally understood by medieval authors and scholars themselves. Uniting historical, legal, liturgical and educational writings as well as palaeographical evidence, this session hopes to open up a new debate on the social history of Anglo-Saxon children, their literary roles, their vulnerability and protection, liability and education.

Winfried Rudolf

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May 11th, 3:30 PM

Anglo-Saxon Childhood, Adolescence, and Education

Schneider 1325

'Medieval art until about the twelfth century did not know childhood or did not attempt to portray it.' This statement by Phillipe Ariès (1962) has dominated scholarship on medieval infancy and adolescence for some decades, finding some counteraction only in recent years, and with restriction to certain areas of medieval Europe. While archeaological evidence has been surveyed in some detail (e.g. Crawford, 1999), this session aims at foregrounding the role of children and teenagers in Anglo-Saxon literature, and especially those texts which are not necessarily known as straightforwardly canonical. We attempt to present new evidence which demonstrates as much Anglo-Saxon interest in the creation and development of human life in its early stages as is usually indentified in notions of transience and death in Old English literature. The aim is to reach a more refined understanding of the triad of infantia – pueritia – adolescentia, concepts which were not unequivocally understood by medieval authors and scholars themselves. Uniting historical, legal, liturgical and educational writings as well as palaeographical evidence, this session hopes to open up a new debate on the social history of Anglo-Saxon children, their literary roles, their vulnerability and protection, liability and education.

Winfried Rudolf