Session Title

Languages in Contact: Multilingual Medieval Britain

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Standing Committee on Medieval Studies, Harvard Univ.

Organizer Name

Joseph Shack; Hannah Weaver

Organizer Affiliation

Harvard Univ.; Harvard Univ.

Presider Name

Joseph Shack

Paper Title 1

Overlay Landscapes in Beowulf: Pagan and Christian, English and Irish

Presenter 1 Name

Joey McMullen

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Centenary Univ.

Paper Title 2

Obscure Names: Reimagining Origins in the Lais of Marie de France

Presenter 2 Name

Emily Dalton

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Princeton Univ.

Paper Title 3

What "Trilingual England" Misses

Presenter 3 Name

Thomas O'Donnell

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Fordham Univ.

Start Date

10-5-2019 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 2345

Description

Since the 1990s, scholarly inquiry into multilingual medieval Britain has bloomed. Volumes such as Elizabeth Tyler’s edited volume Conceptualizing Multilingualism in England, c. 800-c. 1250 (2011), Judith Jefferson and Ad Putter’s edited volume Multilingualism in Medieval Britain (c. 1066-1520): Sources and Analysis (2013), and the recent festschrift for Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, The French of Medieval England (2017), to cite but a few, have ignited a lively conversation about the limits of thinking of medieval Britain in monolingual terms. In the classroom, undergraduate readers like the Broadview Anthology have reflected this attention to polyglot literature by including Celtic-language texts such as the Mabinogion and Fled Bricrend alongside Marie de France’s Lais and selections from Chaucer. It is nevertheless rare that scholars working on the Celtic languages of England and those working on the French of England come together to learn from each others’ discoveries about the plurality of insular vernaculars across the medieval period. Indeed, despite fascinating conversations taking place about Celtic topics and the French of England, no session at the extremely rich and varied 53rd Congress offered the occasion for this sort of cross-pollination between the two groups of scholars. The panel proposed for the 54th Congress would begin to remedy this gap by selecting four speakers working on Welsh, Irish, English and French texts created in Britain. Joseph Shack

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May 10th, 3:30 PM

Languages in Contact: Multilingual Medieval Britain

Schneider 2345

Since the 1990s, scholarly inquiry into multilingual medieval Britain has bloomed. Volumes such as Elizabeth Tyler’s edited volume Conceptualizing Multilingualism in England, c. 800-c. 1250 (2011), Judith Jefferson and Ad Putter’s edited volume Multilingualism in Medieval Britain (c. 1066-1520): Sources and Analysis (2013), and the recent festschrift for Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, The French of Medieval England (2017), to cite but a few, have ignited a lively conversation about the limits of thinking of medieval Britain in monolingual terms. In the classroom, undergraduate readers like the Broadview Anthology have reflected this attention to polyglot literature by including Celtic-language texts such as the Mabinogion and Fled Bricrend alongside Marie de France’s Lais and selections from Chaucer. It is nevertheless rare that scholars working on the Celtic languages of England and those working on the French of England come together to learn from each others’ discoveries about the plurality of insular vernaculars across the medieval period. Indeed, despite fascinating conversations taking place about Celtic topics and the French of England, no session at the extremely rich and varied 53rd Congress offered the occasion for this sort of cross-pollination between the two groups of scholars. The panel proposed for the 54th Congress would begin to remedy this gap by selecting four speakers working on Welsh, Irish, English and French texts created in Britain. Joseph Shack