SPIN lecture 2014: Tom Shippey
The 2014 SPIN lecture was given on Tuesday 25 November by Professor T.A. Shippey.
Tom Shippey, emeritus Professor of Humanities at St. Louis University, is famous among the wider public as the world’s foremost specialist on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and its background in Germanic and Comparative Philology. In the scholarly community, Shippey’s best-known work is on the 19th-century intellectual history of Germanic and Mythological Studies; among his publications in that field are a documentary reception study of Beowulf (Beowulf: The Critical Heritage, with Andreas Haarder) and The Shadow-walkers: Jacob Grimm's Mythology of the Monstrous. He was editor of Studies in Medievalism from 2003 to 2007.
Title and abstract of the lecture: “The Development of Mythography: Contests for Control”
The rediscovery of Old Norse or Eddic mythology from the 16th century on had powerful ripple-effects, reinforced in the 19th century by the effects of the new science of comparative philology: the search for competing national or ethnic mythologies, the collection of “survivor-genres” such as fairy-tale and lay or ballad, the translation into new artistic forms from drama to comic-book. But how was mythology to be interpreted? Many theories evolved, of which those of Jacob Grimm and J.G. Frazer were only the most influential intellectually, and those of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien the most prominent artistically. This lecture surveys some part of this large and largely unexplored field, noting a general movement away from the first narrowly nationalistic intentions.
Date: Tuesday 25 November
Time: 16.00-17.00, followed by drinks
Place: Singelkerk (Singel 452, opposite Spui and Aula) Amsterdam