Print This Post Email This Post

The Abstract, Wednesday 30th October

Continuing on the theme of ‘After’, The Abstract will re-convene this Wednesday for two fantastic papers from Philip Aherne and Rebecca Hardie on the influence of Coleridge on American philosophy and re-reading the anonymous texts of early-medieval translation practice. Join us from 6pm in VWB 7.01 for Philip and Becky’s presentations, drinks and snacks as usual, and a a pub trip afterwards to continue the discussion we begin during the session.

We have enjoyed two brilliant sessions so far this term and we very much look forward to seeing you on Wednesday for our next installment. Here are Philip and Becky’s abstracts as a teaser:

Philip Aherne – American Philosophy after Coleridge

Coleridge had a profound impact on the intellectual landscape of nineteenth-century America. His penultimate prose work, Aids to Reflection was published and edited by James Marsh, who became president of the University of Vermont and wrote an important and interpretative preface to accompany Coleridge’s work in 1829. From there it had a formative influence on both the American Transcendentalists, the beginnings of Liberal Protestant Theology and Pragmatism (especially John Dewey). In this paper I shall trace how this influence operated. The paper has four parts: firstly, I shall consider the differences between Coleridge’s reception in America to that in Britain; secondly, I shall discuss how and why his philosophy was so popular in the university cultures of Vermont, Harvard and Yale where it was most successful; thirdly, Coleridge’s impact on the nature of religious experience and the ability to know God will be analysed; lastly, Coleridge’s role in university reform and liberal education will be surveyed.

Rebecca Hardie – After the Author: The anonymous scholar of early medieval translation practices

It is a truism that the past teaches us about the present as surely as the present informs us of the past. But while this rhetorically enticing truism is often invoked by the Anglo-Saxon scholar as the ethical premise of their work, the symbiotic relationship between past and present is seldom convincingly demonstrated. In Anglo-Saxon studies, Old English voices of the prose corpus have long been marginalised, partly on account of their anonymity (in the sense that these texts circulated without named authors, and also conveyed spiritual truths through which the individual might transcend their earthly self and attain spiritual communion). I would like to begin by redressing this marginalisation, by showing that the anonymity of several Vercelli Homilies requires the scholar to focus on the text itself, thus fulfilling one of Foucault’s major objectives in his discussion of the author and author-function. On this basis, I offer an ethical reading of the homilies, which listens to their reflection upon current author-centric academic traditions, and their implicit advocacy of the virtual library, open-source circulation and the anonymous scholar.

This entry was posted in The Abstract and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Follow StetJournal on Twitter