Anglo-Saxon Women - A Florilegium

Anglo-Saxon Women - A Florilegium

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Irina Dumitrescu, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Institut für Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie
Vom - Bis
30.09.2016 -
Irina Dumitrescu


Co-editors: Emily Butler (John Carroll University), Irina Dumitrescu (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn), Hilary E. Fox (Wayne State University)

Project email:

Abbess Hild. Empress Helen. Mary of Egypt. Juliana. Bugga. King Alfred’s mother. Grendel’s mother. The Welsh slave of Riddle 12. The nuns of Barking. The lamenting wife. Prudentius’ virtues and vices. The African woman picking up gold in Exodus. The Geatish woman with a dark vision of the future in Beowulf. What might it mean to tell the stories of Anglo-Saxon women -- historical, fictional, allegorical -- together?

This project confronts the frequent marginalization and erasure of women by contemporary scholarship from the historical record, and shows, by means of brief essays, what can be gained by focusing on female figures in the past. For example, an examination of the roles and rights of women in Anglo-Saxon England undermines narratives of societal progress. This is especially true in areas such as education or property rights, where women often had greater agency in the Anglo-Saxon period than in later periods. The lives and careers of the women featured in this collection also illustrate the complexity of Anglo-Saxon authorship and the roles of female audiences in male authorship, sanctity, and heroism.

We seek contributors for a collection of short, interpretive pieces (600-800 words) on a range of women in Anglo-Saxon England. These women include not only those long-recognized and studied, but those who occupy the background of texts--mothers, daughters, brothel-keepers--and who may not even have a name. The goal is the compilation of a florilegium of women from across the textual and material record that will reveal the obvious and obscure roles women played in Anglo-Saxon culture and their often over-looked, yet palpably felt, presence in their texts. We hope that this florilegium will be a resource for teachers to use in the classroom and for students to use while selecting research topics. We also hope that it will be a pleasure to read, both for Anglo-Saxonists and for those curious about the field.

By September 30, 2016, email the following to
– A list of 3-4 women on whom you would like to write, in order of preference
– A short academic biography or vita (no more than 1 page)
– Indication of willingness and ability to write more than one entry, if necessary

Article assignments will be made on a first-come, first priority basis.

The list of potential entries can be found at
If any woman or female figure does not appear on this list, please feel free to include them, along with the text in which they appear, in your list of choices.
Guidelines for micro-essays are available at Drafts will be due 31 January 2017.



Irina Dumitrescu

Regina-Pacis-Weg 5
53113 Bonn
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