Awesome is away (and her cat appears to be stuck under her computer), I’m not seeing the Bocera until next semester, and everyone else has dissapeared for exams/ on their way to Leeds. I’ll try taking this to Old English Reading Group tomorrow, but I shall also put it up here and hope some nice person sees their way clear to telling me if this is an acceptable-looking paper proposal. (The conference in question is entitled ‘Welcoming the Stranger’). It’s nearly a hundred words short of the word limit, but so were the abstracts for last year’s conference.

Legislating for the stranger: Archbishop Wulfstan and King Cnut

Archbishop Wulfstan of York stands out early 11th century England as a lawmaker, homilist and one of the few stable political figures in a period of invasions and great social upheaval. From the time of Æthelred, Wulfstan’s laws and homiletic works show that he was developing a theoretical basis for the ideal Christian society, but it was under the invader Cnut that he found the stability to begin shaping that society. The manuscript Cotton Nero A.i, compiled under Wulfstan’s direction, provided both a sourcebook for Wulfstan as he worked on the great Cnut Codes of 1018, and the resources he needed to hand in order to instruct Cnut and his court about the laws and traditions of Christian England. This paper will examine the relationship between Wulfstan and the stranger on the English throne, and the process by which Wulfstan cast the invader in the role of Christian king over the English, with particular reference to the texts in Cotton Nero A.i.


7 Responses to “Well…”

  1. B. Hawk Says:

    This abstract certainly has my interest. It gives a good idea of the work you’ve done and the way you’re examining an interesting intersection of paleography, literature, and history for a very definite thesis. A penchant of my own in medieval studies generally, I particularly like the seeming interdiscilinarity of the project. It reads like a good abstract–and has me looking forward (hoping you’ll post about it!) to know more about the argument itself.

  2. JLJ Says:

    I like! I’d love to hear this paper.

  3. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    This may sound a little harsh, but it’s intended to help. You have buried your point right at the end. Don’t spend so much time setting Wulfstan up; you can do it, if you have to (and you should) in a sentence. Then tell them what you’ve got. At the moment Wulfstan is the star, and then the manuscript, but what should be the star is your brainy theory that explains how Wulfstan used Cnut to make the world make sense in a time of considerable upheaval, and how this manuscript unlocks it. Hard sell! You have something to say, we all agree on this, so make it sing out more. At the moment you have a proposal they shouldn’t refuse, but which could get put aside; make it one they can’t refuse!

  4. highlyeccentric Says:

    Bugger. You’re right, of course, but I just sent the thing in, based on general approval from OERG. Ah, well, I shall know better next time… AEMA is apparently not a difficult conference to get accepted to, but ANZEMEMS will be a notch more difficult.

    Thanks Jonathan!

  5. Good news and next bleg: « The Naked Philologist Says:

    […] things from the blogospherehighlyeccentric on Anachronism, Ahoy!highlyeccentric on Well…Jonathan Jarrett on Anachronism, Ahoy!Jonathan Jarrett on […]

  6. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    With a sympathetic reader, I imagine you’ll be fine anyway. OERG?

  7. highlyeccentric Says:

    Old English Reading Group 🙂

    And ‘sympathetic’ is probably more like ‘actually quite desperate to fill the programme’- I got an email this morning saying I’m in!

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