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Publications

Forthcoming. ‘Genre, Prayers and the Anglo-Saxon Charms', in Frog and Kaarina Koski (eds.), Genre – Text – Interpretation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Folklore and Beyond (University of Helsinki). Pp. 1-25 (10,000 words).

Charms and prayers exist side by side in manuscripts, so why have the editors of these texts always separated them into opposing genres? This essay assesses the methodologies used by previous editors, recommending that charms and prayers be distinguished as different formal types of text which can nevertheless coexist within the same genre. Evidence contained in the manuscript context of these texts supports this recommendation, demonstrating the interpretations of these texts should take account of the values of their readers and users, not those of the modern-day scholar.

2012. ‘The Anglo-Saxon Charms: Texts in Context', Approaching Methodology: A Special Issue of Retrospective Methods Newsletter 4 (2012). pp 108 - 126 (6500 words).(PDF Document)
Accessing the Anglo-Saxon charms in modern Britain is most often done through the classic editions of the charms. These seminal editions– published in the early twentieth century – described the charms as pagan, magical texts that are not part of Anglo-Saxon religious or Christian culture. This interpretation arose directly from the approach used by the editors, who lifted the charms out of their manuscripts and read them through the lens of their own scholarly and cultural ideologies. In this article I propose that a more accurate picture of the Anglo-Saxon experience of charming can be generated by replacing the charms into their manuscript context, and reading them as part of coherent collections. This context-based approach captures information about recording, transmission and performance that is lost through the applying anachronistic standards to the texts.

2013. ‘The Anglo-Saxon Charms: Texts in Context', Approaching Methodology: Second revised edition, Humaniora 368 (Finnish Society of Science and Letters). Pp. 221 – 249. (10,000 words).(PDF Document)

Beo ðe þinnum and læt me be minum: Two Theft Charms, and Other Responses to Theft in Anglo-Saxon England’’, Freond Ic Gemete Wið, ed. Michaela Hejná, Helena Filipová, and Helena Znojemská (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), pp. 53 - 69 (5000 words).
How did the theft charms actually work? This article explores how the theft charms manipulated social relationships in order to secure their efficacy.
Review: Murray McGillivray, Gentle Introduction to Old English and Old English Reader in Peer English 7 (2012). Pp. 1-6 (1800 words).

Contributions to Routledge Annotated Bibliography of English Studies (2010-12)
I have produced several reviews/summaries for ABES of books and articles:
Lindy Brady, ‘Echoes of Britons on a Fenland Frontier in the Old English Andreas’
Thomas D. Hill, ‘The Cross as Psychopomp: The Dream of the Rood, lines 135-44’
Stefan Jurasinski, ‘Caring for the Dead in The Fortunes of Men’
Yvette Kisor, ‘Numerical composition and Beowulf: a reconsideration’
Francis Leneghan, ‘The Poetic Purpose of the Offa-Digression in Beowulf’
Joseph E. Marshall, ‘Goldgyfan or Goldwlance: A Christian Apology for Beowulf and Treasure’
Dana M. Oswald, Monsters, Gender and Sexuality in Medieval English Literature
Martha Rust, ‘"It's A Magical World": The Page In Comics And Medieval Manuscripts’
Laszlo Sandor Chardonnens and Rosanne Hebing, ‘Two Charms In A Late Medieval English Manuscript At Nijmegen University Library’
Emily Thornbury, ‘Strange Hybrids: Ælfric,Vergil And The Lynx In Anglo-Saxon England’
Eric Weiskott, ‘Three Beowulf Cruces: Healgamen, Fremu and Sigemunde’
Mark Williams, Fiery Shapes

‘Writing Charms: The Transmission and Performance of Charms in Anglo-Saxon England: Thesis Summary’, Retrospective Methods Network Newsletter, May 2011. Pp. 79-83 (2500 words).(PDF Document)