The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0202  Friday, 26 August 2011


From:         Lowell Duckert <  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Thursday, 18 Aug 2011 13:32:44 -0400

Subject:      Kalamazoo CFP: "Aglæca: What’s in a Word?"



Oregon Medieval English Literature Society Session for the International Medieval Congress at Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

May 10-13, 2012


Session IV: Aglæca: What’s in a Word?


The term aglæca has received more than its share of critical attention, but there is still some disagreement on what it means in its many manifestations.  In Christ and Satan, GuthalcJulianaThe Phoenix, and The Whale its context in explicitly religious, but this is not necessarily the case in Beowulf (where it occurs most often).  Because the word refers to Sigemund, Beowulf, Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon, understanding its denotation and its connotation(s) has presented scholars with a number of difficulties.


This session invites presenters to (re)consider those difficulties—to consider a single word, aglæca, in new and different ways.  What are we to make of its use in the Old English corpus?  Are there new etymological or linguistic insights to help us find our way?  Do contemporary theories on monsters and/or gender shed light on these issues?  How much should its religious usage outside Beowulf affect our understanding of it in the poem itself?  A variety of approaches are possible: papers may focus on a specific text (not necessarily Beowulf) or on the word across the Old English corpus, they may be largely theoretical or pursue close readings of only a few lines.


Please send queries or abstracts (of no more than 250 words) to Marcus Hensel (  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 15 September 2011 for consideration.  Any papers not included in this session will be forwarded to the Congress Committee for possible inclusion in the General Sessions. 

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