Event Title

“The Whole Vexed Question”: Seamus Heaney, Old English, and Language Troubles

Presenter Information

Una Creedon-Carey, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A254

Start Date

4-24-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 5:30 PM

Abtract

As an Irish poet writing during the 20th century, Seamus Heaney is constantly aware of the politics and problems of operating in the English language. My project locates Heaney in a context of writers and theorists who are similarly interested in the politics of language-ownership and the logistics of communication and expression in a major language. I argue that Heaney’s North presents a unique solution to these common language questions, and that the poet’s focus on etymologies and language history makes his escape into linguistic nonaffiliation more feasible than other, more abstract attempts at a borderless, liberated language.

Notes

Session 3, Panel 17 - From Whence the Word: Studies of Sound and Etymology
Moderator: Marcelo Vinces, Director of Center for Learning, Education and Research in the Sciences (CLEAR)

Link to full text thesis at OhioLINK ETD Center:
http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=oberlin1432295982

Major

English

Advisor(s)

Natasha Tessone, English

Project Mentor(s)

Natasha Tessone, English

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:30 PM

“The Whole Vexed Question”: Seamus Heaney, Old English, and Language Troubles

Science Center, A254

As an Irish poet writing during the 20th century, Seamus Heaney is constantly aware of the politics and problems of operating in the English language. My project locates Heaney in a context of writers and theorists who are similarly interested in the politics of language-ownership and the logistics of communication and expression in a major language. I argue that Heaney’s North presents a unique solution to these common language questions, and that the poet’s focus on etymologies and language history makes his escape into linguistic nonaffiliation more feasible than other, more abstract attempts at a borderless, liberated language.