Old English language and literature, Middle English language and literature, medieval historiography, medieval regional culture, philology, digital humanities. A description of my current projects is coming soon.
Reading Networks: Region and Community in Medieval English Literature
A study of the development of the vernacular reading communities of medieval England from approximately 1000 to 1300, with a special emphasis on the “lost” English-language literary communities of the two centuries following the Norman Conquest.
Philology Reborn, with Michael D.C. Drout
This project, which is in its initial conceptual stages, is intended to be an introduction for graduate students to the methods and uses of philology for addressing the critical issues which occupy Old English and Middle English studies today. The initial work will take the form of a series of articles to be published in The Heroic Age.
“Frið and Grið: Laȝamon and the Legal Language of Wulfstan.” In Reading Laȝamon’s Brut: Approaches and Explorations, edited by Rosamund Allen, Jane Roberts, and Carole Weinberg, DQR Studies in Literature 52 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2013), pp. 391-417.
Continues work begun in “Frið and Fredom: Royal Forests and the English Jurisprudence of Laȝamon’s Brut and Its Readers” by examining the extent to which Laȝamon had contact with pre-Conquest legal tradition, particularly in its documentary form. Traces the recurrence of Old English legal terminology in Laȝamon’s Brut, arguing that the ‘legalistic’ features of his writing are part of the same phenomenon as his linguistic archaism. Formulates a theory of how vernacular literary materials were passed down to and adapted by Laȝamon and argues that there was a strong regional component to the transmission of legalistic language developed by Bishop Wulfstan of Worcester. Within the literary of Worcester and its environs, Wulfstan’s legalisms survived in the early Middle English period when they could function as both a rhetorical model for Laȝamon and a potential mirror for the legal concerns of his own time.
“Philological Inquiries 2: Something ‘Old’, Something ‘New’: Material Philology and the Recovery of the Past” (with Michael D.C. Drout), forthcoming in The Heroic Age 13 (2010).
This is the second of a series of columns on philology. Explores the impact of the “New Philology” with its interest in the material of the text on critical practices and the use of older philological methods. Using Christine Franzen’s work on the Tremulous Hand of Worcester, we show that if “material philology” is to be more than just looking at manuscripts, it requires the hard-won knowledge base of the “old” philology, and no ideological critique or shift in emphasis can make those methods any less essential. But, if supported by such traditional philological knowledge, it has the potential to open up new doors in our understanding of vernacular literary culture in the post-Conquest period.
Traces the development of the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudential principle of frið from pre-Conquest usage to its adoption as a term for the royal forest in Laȝamon’s Brut. Argues that vernacular writers continued to use Old English legal terminology after the Norman Conquest as a means of engaging with and commenting on legal issues, even after most official legal discourse had shifted to Latin.
“Philological Inquiries 1: Method and Merovingians” (with Michael D.C. Drout), The Heroic Age 12 (2009).
This is the first of a series of columns on philology. Demonstrates the utility of the approach by discussing Tom Shippey’s examination of the word “Merovingian” in Beowulf. The philological approach is shown to illuminate culture, history and politics and shed new light on an old problem in Beowulf scholarship, the date of composition.
“Service.” In Reading The Lord of the Rings, ed. Robert Eaglestone (London: Continuum, 2006), pp. 138-148.
Argues that The Lord of the Rings reflects upon the history of service and its continued viability as a form of social cooperation. Tolkien explores the strengths and weakness of historical service cultures from Anglo-Saxon to Edwardian England in order to confront the associations between social deference and social exploitation which problematise service cultures in the twentieth century.
“Animal Imagery and Oral Discourse in Havelok’s First Fight.” Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 35 (2004): 311-327.
Examines the poet’s use of Anglo-Scandinavian folk material and popular animal imagery to examine relationships between truth and meaning. The poet’s inconsistent imagery and multiple narrative perspectives evoke the textual variations produced by oral transmission. I argue that the poet consciously adopts this feature of oral discourse in order to draw attention to its fallibility as a conveyor of historical veracity and direct the reader’s attention to its deeper truths about the multiple ways in which humans experience bondage.
The Æðelen of Engle: Constructing Ethnic and Regional Identities in Laȝamon’s Brut.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 16.1 (2004): 95-130.
Examines the depiction of Scandinavians in English texts of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries in order to assess Laȝamon’s perspective on the cultural diversity of post-Conquest England. Laȝamon’s portrayal of the Scandinavian role in British history reveals both a western bias against easterners claims to legal freedoms based on supposed Scandinavian ancestry and a model for the assimilation of foreign cultures based on loyalty to the king.
Argues that the names found in the Havelok legend provide evidence of its origins in the historiographical tradition of East Anglia, a learned and literate enterprise that attempted to establish an identity for the region. Certain elements of the tale were invented by Gaimar in his Estoire des Engleis based on elements in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian historical literature (some of which can be traced in Scandinavian sources). Later adapters of the tale sometimes turning back to Gaimar and sometimes to sources similar to those he had used, in order to enhance its credentials as local history or to show how the Danish presence in East Anglia participated in the development of English social and legal institutions. The popularization of the Havelok story provides a model of the way the ideas of learned historiographers reached and influenced a much broader audience.
“Iron-Clad Evidence in Early Medieval Dialectology: Old English īsern, īsen, and īren.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 98:4 (1997): 371-390.
Explores the three forms of the Old English word for iron using electronic corpus compiled for theDictionary of Old English. Disproves the Oxford English Dictionary’s statement that iren was the poetic form of the word by showing that this theory is based only on the evidence of Beowulf. Evidence from the larger corpus shows that this form arose in the West Midlands in the ninth century, and the dominance ofiren over the more usual poetic form isern provides powerful evidence that the poem was composed or transmitted in a West Mercian dialect.
Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender. For the Broadview Anthology of British Literature (Calgary: Broadview Press), 2007-. Eclogues for January, April, October, November, and December.
Entries for “Laȝamon” and “Havelok” in The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, Siân Echard and Robert Rouse, eds. London: Wiley-Blackwell (forthcoming).
Review of Laura Ashe, Ivana Djordjević and Judith Weiss, eds. The Exploitations of Medieval Romance. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2010. Forthcoming in Philological Quarterly.
Review of Thomas Bredehoft, Early English Metre (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005). Comitatus38 (2007): 195-198.
Entries in The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, ed. Michael D.C. Drout (New York: Routledge, 2006).
“Sigelwara Land,” “Philology: General Works, 1924-1927,” ” King Horn,” “Saxo Grammaticus,” “Iþþlen in Sawles Warde“
Entries in the International Encyclopaedia for the Middle Ages-Online. Brepols Publishers, 2004-2005.
“The Normans in Britain and Ireland” and “The Normans in Britain and Ireland: Post-1154”
Review of Christine Chism, Alliterative Revivals (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002) .Envoi: A Review Journal of Medieval Literature 10.2 (2004 for Fall 2001): 108-121.
Anglo-Saxon Studies in North America. Newsletter of the Teachers of Old English in Britain and
Ireland (TOEBI) (Summer 2004): 6-7.
A Recitation of Piers Plowman. The Chaucer Studio (Recorded the Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference, 6-7 March 2009, in Albuquerque, NM).
A Recitation of Cleanness. The Chaucer Studio (Recorded at the 38th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 9-11 May 2003 in Kalamazoo, MI).
Co-Director, “An Archive of Early Middle English”. Funded by an NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant (2013-2015)
The Lexomics Project, which produces the Lexos text analysis tool (http://lexomics.wheatoncollege.edu/). Funded by an NEH Digital Start-up Grant of (2015-2017)
Designer/Developer, Serendip-o-matic, 2013 DH Awards winner for Best Use of DH or Fun; Charleston Advisor Readers Choice Awards winner for Best New Mobile App, 2014
4Humanities “WhatEvery1Says” Text Mining Project (In progress)
On GitHub: https://github.com/scottkleinman
A selection of slides from past presentations:
- Digital Humanities Projects with Small and Unusual Data: Some Experiences from the Trenches
- Text Analysis with Lexos
- Topic Modelling
- Digital Humanities
- Digital Editing Workshop
List of Presentations:
“Sex, Space, and Sanctuary: Translating Freedom in Laȝamon’s Brut and the South English Legendary’s Life of St Mary of Egypt,” To be presented at the 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2016
“Lexomics Evidence and the Composition of the Early Middle English South English Legendary,” Presented at Digital Britain Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, March 2016
“Digital Humanities Projects with Small and Unusual Data: Some Experiences from the Trenches,” Invited lecture at the UC Irvine Data Sciences and Digital Humanities Symposium, February 2016. The transcript was selected as an Editor’s Choice by Digital Humanities Now (15 March 2016).
“Text Analysis with Lexos,” Workshop on Building and Strengthening Digital Humanities through a Regional Network, San Diego State University, San Diego, October 2015
“Thinking with Computers: Materiality, Digitality, and the Medieval Manuscript,” Invited Lecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, December 2014
“Workshop on Text Analysis with Lexos,” The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp) Southern California, San Diego, CA, October, 2014
“Play as Process and Product: On Making Serendip-o-matic,” Presented at Digital Humanities 2014, Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2014
“An Archive of Early Middle English,” Presented at the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2014
“Learning Laȝamon’s Runan: A Computational Approach,” Presented at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2013
“Topic Modeling for Humanities Research, NEH-funded Workshop,” College Park, MD, November 2012
Leader for Text Mining Workshop, The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp) Southern California, Fullerton, CA, September, 2012
“The State of Early Middle English: A Round Table,” Round Table presentation given at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2012
“Computer-Assisted Analysis of Medieval Texts,” Workshop presentation given at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2012
“The Impact of Lemmatization on Lexomic Hierarchical Clustering of Old English Texts”: Presented at the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2011
“Bodleian, Laud Misc 108, the Archive of Early Middle English, and the challenges of Digital Manuscript Study”: Presented at the MARCO Manuscript Workshop, Knoxville, February, 2011
Leader for Workshops on Server-Side Scripting; (X)HTML, CSS, TEI/XML, and Stylometrics at The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp) Southern California, Orange, CA, January, 2011
“Marking Early Middle English and the Challenges of Laud Misc 108”: Presented at the Third International MARGOT Conference: The Digital Middle Ages: Teaching and Learning, New York, June 2010
“Þon lawen þe stoden a þon ilke dawen’: The Divisions of the Past in Laȝamon’s Brut”: Presented at the 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2010
“Lemmatizing the Old English Corpus”: Presented at the Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference, Tacoma, March 2010
“Digitizing MS Laud Misc 108”: Presented at the 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2009
“Reading Anglo-Saxon Law in Middle English Literature”: Presented at the Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference, Albuquerque, March 2009
“Laȝamon and the Legacy of Wulfstan of Worcester”: Presented at the 6th International Conference on Laȝamon’s Brut, Gregynog, Wales, July 2008
“Teaching Middle English: Where are we now? Where do we need to be?”: Presented at the 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2008
“Law and Arthur: Legal Literature in Laȝamon’s Brut”: Presented at the 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2007
“Sanctifying Space: Locating the England’s Heritage in the South English Legendary”: Presented at the Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference, Salt Lake City, March 2006
“Somerset before Dante: The Boundaries of Regionalism in Early Middle English”: Presented at the Modern Language Association of America Conference, Washington DC, December 2005
“Æfter þan flode: National History and the Encyclopaedic Tradition in Laȝamon’s Brut”: Presented at the Medieval Academy of the Pacific Conference, San Francisco, March 2005
“Frið and Fredom: Vernacular Legality in Laȝamon’s Brut”: Presented at the 5th International Conference on Laȝamon’s Brut, Providence, August 2004
“The Textual Tradition of Havelok the Dane”: Presented at the 39th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2004
“Racial, Ethnic, and Regional Identity in Medieval England”: Session organizer at the 38th and 39th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2003 and 2004
“What’s in a Name? Local History and Romance in Eastern England”: Invited speaker at the University of California, Santa Barbara Fall Colloquium on History, Politics, and Medieval Romance, Santa Barbara, October 2003
“Animal Imagery and Oral Discourse in Havelok the Dane”: Presented at the 38th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2003
“Cultural Identity in Laȝamon’s Brut”: Presented at the California Medieval History Seminar, the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, April 2003
“Reflections on Regionalism in Medieval England”: Presented at the Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference, Portland, OR, March 2003
“Some Reflections on the Construction of Regional Identities”: Invited speaker at the Huntington Early Modern History Seminar, the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, November 2002
“Race and Region in Medieval England”: Presented to the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association, Las Vegas, May 2002
“The Place of the Danes in Laȝamon’s Brut”: Presented to the 36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2001
“All or Nothing: Medieval Literature in the Curriculum”: Presented to the 36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2001
“Havelok the Dane and the Historiography of East Anglia”: Presented to the Medieval Academy of America, Tempe, March 2001
“The Representation of Youth in Fourteenth-Century English Literature”: Presented to the Medieval Association of the Pacific, Victoria, BC, February 2000
“Region and Nation in Medieval England”: Presented to the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 1999
“Peri Didaxeon and Anglo-Saxon Medical Literature of Twelfth-Century England”: Presented to the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, May 1999
“The Motif of Youth in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”: Presented to the Medieval Association of the Midwest: Fourteenth Annual Conference, Canton, OH, September 1998
“Trecherye and Vntrawþe: Local Politics and National Politics in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”: Presented to the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, May 1998
“The Transition from Old English to Middle English: a Case Study”: Presented to the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 1997
“The Construction of Layers of Fantasy and Reality in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”: Presented to The Ways of Creative Mythologies Conference, University of Manchester, June 1997
“Juggling the Evidence and Old English Dialectology: the Old English Word for Iron”: Presented to International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 1996