Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Friday, April 10, 2015

#DevilDiss 10 April Anglo-Saxon Thoughts

This week I finished the conference version of "The Popular and Folkloric Origins of the Emerging Anglo-Saxon Devil" and redid the conference presentation slides.
I sent it off to my professor for feedback, but some interesting things came up in our Anglo-Saxon Evil seminar this week that made me think about how to address, situate my work:
  • Am I concerned with answering how the Anglo-Saxons viewed the devil OR
  • Do I want to focus on how the Anglo-Saxon devil can be read now?
And the answer I came up with is, both. As someone who takes a folkloric approach to literature, and is deeply invested in historicizing, and examining how literature can reflect a particular historical and cultural moment as well as anxieties, desires, and fears, I think the only answer is both.

That being said, we also had a conversation about the more historical, often more conservative (read no theory) approach of Anglo-Saxonists. My work is deeply rooted in close readings at a vocabulary level- so my conference paper (above) which I'm expanding into an article, which will eventually get put into survey chapters of #DevilDiss, focuses n identifying and then discussing the relevance, of all the words used to describe the devil.

Today I'm reading through articles and scholarship for expanding the conference paper into an article and have run into a couple of issues. The first is that there is little scholarship that focuses on the devil in Old English poetry. The other is how to expand a paper that focuses on close reading without it feeling like filler? If I want to use a psychoanalytical + historicist approach am I writing a piece that outside of my #DevilDiss won't be read or accepted? At this stage, does that matter?

My approach certainly comes with traps. I run the risk of not being taken seriously, not having my work recognized or accepted, and not being able to publish my work on Anglo-Saxon texts.
It's the more general issue I have to explain the next year with going on the market, and partly is answered with how I hashtag my work- it's the #DevilDiss. That's my focus- on the character of the devil across time periods and genres. So I can work in medieval or early modern or Milton because of my focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment