Dating Beowulf

Studies in intimacy

Edited by Daniel C. Remein and Erica Weaver

Dating Beowulf

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3643-5
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: December 2019
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Middle Ages (449-1066), Literary studies: ancient & classical, Medieval Literature, Literature
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


Featuring essays from some of the most prominent voices in early medieval studies, Dating Beowulf playfully redeploys the word 'dating', which usually heralds some of the most divisive critical impasses in the field, to provocatively phrase a set of new relationships with an Old English poem. The volume argues for the relevance of the early Middle Ages to affect studies and vice-versa, offering a riposte to antifeminist discourse and opening avenues for future work by specialists in the history of emotions, literary theorists, students of Old English literature and medieval scholars alike. To this end, the essays embody a range of critical approaches from queer theory to animal studies and ecocriticism to actor-network theory.


'...the collection offers an opportunity to see the poem anew, from unexpected angles and in sometimes surprising contexts. At the same time, it models a kind of intellectual enterprise that welcomes new readers and encourages them to pay attention to where, how, and why they feel their own investments in the poem.'
Modern Philology

'One of the great delights of this book is how frequently contributors refer to other chapters and how many thematic clusters emerge. What really unites the collection is not a single definition of intimacy, but an attitude toward or orientation to the field of early medieval studies, one driven by a spirit of playfulness, openness, and accessibility. The fourteen essays sparkle with brilliant writing and a sense of shared joy in reading and writing about Beowulf.'


1 Getting intimate - Daniel C. Remein and Erica Weaver
Part I: Beowulf in public
2 Community, joy, and the intimacy of narrative in Beowulf - Benjamin A. Saltzman
3 Beowulf and the intimacy of large parties - Roberta Frank
4 Beowulf as Wayland's work: thinking, feeling, making - James Paz
Part II: Beowulf at home
5 Beowulf and babies - Donna Beth Ellard
6 At home in the fens with the Grendelkin - Christopher Abram
Part III: Beowulf outside
7 Elemental intimacies: agency in the Finnsburg episode - Mary Kate Hurley
8 What the raven told the eagle: animal language and the return of loss in Beowulf - Mo Pareles
Part IV: Beowulf's contact list
9 Men into monsters: troubling race, ethnicity, and masculinity in Beowulf - Catalin Taranu
10 Sad men in Beowulf - Robin Norris
11 Differing intimacies: Beowulf translations by Seamus Heaney and Thomas Meyer - David Hadbawnik
Part V: Beowulf in bed
12 Beowulf and Andreas: intimate relations - Irina Dumitrescu
13 Beowulf, Bryher, and the Blitz: a queer history - Peter Buchanan
14 Dating Wiglaf: emotional connections to the young hero in Beowulf - Mary Dockray-Miller


Daniel C. Remein is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston
Erica Weaver is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles

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