The Battle of Maldon: A Student Doodle Edition

Dutch Anglo-Saxonist

For a bonus question on one of my Old English literature exams, my students used their artistic talents to draw scenes from The Battle of Maldon. Together, these doodles cover almost the entire poem and document how well (or how badly) my students remembered the poem.

Drawings have long since been used for the purpose of teaching (for an example from the Anglo-Saxon period see Teaching the Passion to the Anglo-Saxons: An early medieval comic strip in the St Augustine Gospels). On occasion, I use my own drawings to spice up my lectures (such as my Anglo-Saxon Anecdotes) or explain complicated bits of Anglo-Saxon literature (e.g., The Freoðuwebbe and the Freswael: A Comic Strip Reconstruction of the Finnsburg Fragment and Episode). For last year’s third-year Old English literature exam, I decided to turn the tables on my students. I had them each draw a scene from the Old English poem The…

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The walking dead – bringing 1500 year-old graves to life

Australian National Maritime Museum


This is part of a series by Curator Dr Stephen Gapps who received an Endeavour Executive Fellowship from April to July 2016. Stephen is based at the Swedish History Museum and the National Maritime Museum (including the Vasa Museum) in Stockholm, Sweden. He is working on several Viking Age and other maritime history and archaeology related projects

Recently, the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm was taken over by the walking dead for a weekend. Well, it seemed like there were a bunch of ‘viking zombies’ wandering the museum. Vendel zombies in fact – from the period just before the Viking Age, around 550 to 790 AD. A group of historical reenactors were there to give a seminar on their work in recreating historical artefacts, and what they had found out about them in the process.

The thing is, these reenactors have reproduced the individual grave goods of a person…

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“How to Become a Prolific Academic Writer”

Katrine Smiet

 Or: How to Become a Model Neoliberal Academic Subject.

If you’ve met me recently, online or offline, you’ll know that I’m in the middle of finishing my PhD dissertation. That’s to say: I’m in the middle of finishing a manuscript, a book, the largest piece of writing I’ve ever written. Some 90.000 words, excluding bibliography.

So it should not come as a surprise that writing and everything related to it have been on my mind these past months. How to reduce procrastination time and be more effective in my time management? How to overcome writer’s blocks and deal with the anxiety that comes with trying to finish up a project like this? How to edit your own text and how to be satisfied with what you’ve written?

Because I’m nerdy like that, I also love reading, thinking, talking and even writing about writing. Yeah, that’s some ‘meta’ stuff! The genre of…

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CFP: Monsters and Monstrosity in 21st-Century Film and Television

Telling Tales

Monsters and Monstrosity in 21st-Century Film and Television

Cristina Artenie (Universitas Press) and Ashley Szanter (Weber State University)

Starting from the premise that monsters/monstrosity allow for the (dis)placement of anxieties that contemporary social mores do not otherwise sanction in the public space, editors Artenie and Szanter seek original essays for an edited collection on manifestations of monsters and monstrosity in all facets of popular culture and entertainment with an emphasis on film and television. Within the last years, there has been an explosion of movies and television shows that incorporate monstrous characters such as the vampire, zombie, werewolf, revenant, witches, and ghosts. While monsters continue to remain strong in the human conscious, the recent proliferation of monstrous characters includes new and innovative interpretations that not only attract mainstream audiences but transform traditional folklore and mythologies. This collection aims to analyze the new forms taken by monsters in film and television…

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Grendel’s (M)Others: Alteridad, monstruosidad, feminidad y heroicidad en Beowulf en dos palabras

 Grendel’s (M)Others: Alteridad, monstruosidad, feminidad y heroicidad en Beowulf en dos palabras.

La elección del nombre de este blog no es casual (aunque sí es cierto que hacía falta un título para este blog) ni arbitraria, ya que con la presencia de estas palabras y de los paréntesis podemos invocar la presencia/ausencia de los temas sobre los que ha habido más debate en los estudios de Beowulf y los que han suscitado mayor controversia y que abarcan desde la alteridad y relación entre monstruo y héroe, a la maternidad y retrato de una feminidad que ha sido considerada por la crítica hasta hace relativamente poco tiempo como elemento extraño a la comunidad guerrera.

En estas dos palabras (“Mothers” y “Others”) tenemos un juego que visibiliza las inquietudes principales que se recogen en los trabajos en este blog, y el especial énfasis y enfoque que se da al monstruo.

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