Special Issue "Philology + : The Renewal of Anglo-Saxon Literary and Cultural Studies"

Rebecca Shen's picture
Call for Papers
December 31, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Literature

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue of humanities will spotlight innovative scholarship that uses improved or augmented philological methods to address literary, cultural, historical or political questions in Anglo-Saxon studies.

Although the discipline of Philology was never entirely abandoned by Anglo-Saxonists, the entanglement of supposedly objective philological knowledge with nationalist politics, and the humanities’ general turn towards more abstract theory in the final third of the twentieth century, combined, ironically, with the success of many long-term philological projects—dictionaries, grammars, editions, translations—reduced the visibility of approaches that are substantially focused on the detailed, technical analysis of formal features of texts such as vocabulary, dialect, syntax, orthography, and meter.

But during this time when Philology may have seemed less central to Old English studies, scholars were quietly rebuilding the discipline: tempering the more extreme claims to certainty, updating Philology to take account of modern Linguistics, completing and then revising the major projects, and weeding out the prejudices, conjectures and desires that had been misidentified as facts. In recent years, this intellectual renewal has combined with innovations in digital methods, increased cross-disciplinary communication, and vastly improved access to electronic manuscript images, textual corpora, and scholarly archives. Contemporary scholars can now do things that early philologists only dreamed of, opening up whole new channels of knowledge from the past and enabling research that crosses cultural, linguistic, temporal, and disciplinary boundaries in ways that have never before been possible. We are witnessing the beginnings of discipline’s rebirth.

The focus of this special issue will be research that participates in this philological renewal of Anglo-Saxon studies, particularly papers that demonstrate ways of using digital tools and electronic resources to identify new questions or to revisit old ones. Reconsideration of the work of early philologists that leads to the recovery and improvement of forgotten insights is also very welcome.

Prof. Michael D. C. Drout
Guest Editor


Manuscript Submission Information


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



  • Anglo-Saxon literature
  • Anglo-Saxon culture
  • Old English language
  • Old English literature
  • Philology
  • digital humanities
  • methodology
  • manuscripts
  • medieval studies
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