Broken but Wondrous: Finding Hope in Old English Literature

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Mary Kate Hurley, Old English Forum, Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Old English literature is rarely associated with hope – indeed, much of its poetry is littered with the ruins of lost peoples, frozen and desolate landscapes, meditations on the death of warriors, and ponderous reminders that everything in life is merely lent. But Old English is also replete with insouciant riddles, memories of cities in their prime, and even the promise of consolation, through philosophy, Christianity, or even fame.  For this session, we invite papers that consider the place of hope in Old English: how it manifests in language and literature, and how we might escape the elegiac traps of our own nostalgia in studying it.  Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to Mary Kate Hurley (<>) by March 15.