Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley

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Home Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium
Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium

The University of California, Berkeley is now a member of the Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium (ASSC), a forum for scholars of Early Medieval England.

For more information and upcoming events, please visit

The Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium aims to foster intellectual exchange among faculty and graduate students whose interests embrace the language, literature, and culture of early medieval England. Currently based in Columbia, New York University, the University of Rhode Island,  Rutgers, Kings College London, and UC Berkeley, the Colloquium seeks to expand the resources available to Anglo-Saxonists from these universities and other institutions in the area, and also to create a welcoming intellectual community for anyone who is interested in Anglo-Saxon studies.

ASSC Events at Berkeley:


Spring 2012:

The Eighth Annual ASSC Graduate Student Conference

University California, Berkeley

24 - 25 February 2012

***Please remember to register by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you plan to attend***


Conference Program

All talks to be held in 300 Wheeler Hall

Friday, 24 February

5:00 Keynote - “We Philologists”
Jan Ziolkowski
Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin, Department of Classics, Harvard University
Director of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Reception to follow in 330 Wheeler Hall

Saturday, 25 February

9:30 Light breakfast & registration

10:15 Opening Remarks

10:30 Session I:
Words, Words, Words: Lexical Approaches to Old English

- Dave Wilton, University of Toronto,
“You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means: Fæhð in Beowulf

- David Pedersen, Fordham University,
Wyrd in the Old English Poem Solomon and Saturn II

- Leonard Neidorf, Harvard University,
Beow in Beowulf: New Evidence for an Old Emendation

Respondent: Jacob Hobson, UC Berkeley

12:00 Lunch – 330 Wheeler Hall

1:30 Session II:
Where Did the Middle Ages Go? The Modern Reception of Anglo-Saxon England

Peter Buchanan, University of Toronto,
“Caedmon and the Gift of Song in Black Mountain Poetics”

Josephine Livingstone, New York University,
“‘Like solid rocks’: Language, Nature and the Nature of Language”

Annie Abrams, New York University,
“‘Mutilated Remains’: Longfellow’s Historicized Anglo-Saxons

Respondent: Marcos Garcia, UC Berkeley

3:00 Coffee break – 330 Wheeler Hall

3:30 Session III:
The Form of the Content: Formal Approaches to Old English Literature

Kathryn Jagger, University College London,
“Words for Learning in Alfred’s Preface to the Pastoral Care: Philology and the History of Intellectualism in West Saxon Literature”

Leslie Carpenter, Fordham University,
“A New English Verse Form: Poems of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Emile Young, New York University,
“Runes, Wisdom, and Textual Transmission”

Respondent: Jennifer Lorden, UC Berkeley

5:00 Banquet – 330 Wheeler Hall – please RSVP by 16 February if planning to attend


This conference has been generously sponsored by: The UC Berkeley Department of English, College of Letters and Sciences, Program in Medieval Studies, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, Center for British Studies, Student Opportunity Funds, Graduate Assembly, Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley, and the Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium.

Organized by: Marcos Garcia,
Jacob Hobson, Jennifer Lorden, R. D. Perry, and Benjamin A. Saltzman

Fall 2010:


"Mind, Soul, and In between: Mapping the Human Spirit in the Early Middle Ages."

Leslie Lockett (The Ohio State University), Emily Thornbury (English), and Frank Bezner (Classics) will lead a wide ranging seminar on theories of mind and soul in Old English and Latin texts.

Date: 8 October 2010, 10 a.m.—3 p.m.. Wheeler Hall 306

Pre-circulated materials will be available to participants via b-Space. Please RSVP for access ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Luncheon will be served. There are a limited number of places for the seminar. Please sign-up early to ensure your place.


Past Events:

Spring 2010

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April 1st at 5:00, 300 Wheeler Hall

 "Ascetic Arts: Literary Studies and Monastic Discipline in Early Medieval England," a lecture by Christopher A. (Drew) Jones (Dept. of English, Ohio State University)

What did the study and composition of poetry have to do with Christian ascetic movements in the earlier Middle Ages? This lecture reexamines  the place of literary studies and other subjects of the arts-curriculum in monasteries of the ninth and tenth centuries, when traditional practices of monastic schooling confronted increasingly rigorous definitions of what it meant to be a monk. Although the focus of the talk will be on early English and Frankish institutions, the topic has implications touching the wider history of pedagogy, literary theory, and western spirituality. 





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GMB News

CFP: “The Material Middle Ages”


The UC Berkeley Program in Medieval Studies invites submissions for an interdisciplinary graduate student conference:

“The Material Middle Ages”

February 28 and March 1, 2014

Save the Date: Material Middle Ages

Please save the date for the 2014 UC Berkeley Medieval Studies Conference, "The Material Middle Ages" to be held on February 28 and March 1, 2014.



A dose of medieval . . .

‘Talis,’ inquiens, ‘mihi uidetur, rex, uita hominum praesens in terris, ad conparationem eius, quod nobis incertum est, temporis, quale cum te residente ad caenam cum ducibus ac ministris tuis tempore brumali, accenso quidem foco in medio, et calido effecto caenaculo, furentibus autem foris per omnia turbinibus hiemalium pluuiarum uel niuium, adueniens unus passeium domum citissime peruolauerit; qui cum per unum ostium ingrediens, mox per aliud exierit. Ipso quidem tempore, quo intus est, hiemis tempestate non tangitur, sed tamen paruissimo spatio serenitatis ad momentum excurso, mox de hieme in hiemem regrediens, tuis oculis elabitur. Ita haec uita hominum ad modicum apparet; quid autem sequatur, quidue praecesserit, prorsus ignoramus. Unde si haec noua doctrina certius aliquid attulit, merito esse sequenda uidetur.’

One of King Edwin's advisers describes a sparrow flying through the hall.

Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, II.13


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