Saturday, 4 October 2014

New Publication: "The Goddess Frig: Reassessing an Anglo-Saxon Deity" in Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural

Apologies for posting again so soon after my previous post (and on a rather similar topic to boot), but I've just come upon some news that – for myself at least – is tremendously exciting. The Pennsylvania State University Press have recently published the latest edition of Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural (vol. 3, no. 2), which is devoted to the theme of “Old Gods and Ancient Ones”. As those familiar with me and my work can testify, I have a great fascination for the deities of the past and the manner in which they have been received, interpreted, and venerated once again by people in the present. As such, after reading the journal's initial call for papers I submitted a piece for consideration – “The Goddess Frig: Reassessing an Anglo-Saxon Deity” – which I'm pleased to say was scrutinised by two peer-reviewers, deemed worthy of publication, and is now available for others to read! Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the paper critically examines what we know about this Early Medieval deity, and (more importantly) what we think we know about her. As I put it in the paper's abstract:

This article critically examines the evidence for the existence of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Frig, exploring toponyms, day names, Old English textual sources, archaeology, and comparisons with continental Germanic mythologies. Challenging previous assertions that she was the consort of the god Woden and was associated with love and motherhood, it furthermore contends that this scholarly misinterpretation of the deity has had wider repercussions, affecting the way that contemporary Pagans interpret this particular divinity. Ultimately, it argues that far less can be said about Frig with any certainty than has been previously supposed, suggesting that a case can even be made that she had never existed as a deity in Anglo-Saxon England at all.

For me, the particular importance of this work is twofold. First, I think it is one of my two best publications, in terms of how it is written and its potential impact and influence. Second, it represents my first research-based publication within the fields of Anglo-Saxon and Early Medieval Studies, an area that I am now devoting increasing amounts of time to as a result of my doctoral studies in Early Medieval archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (which I started last week!). I'm afraid that the publishers aren't handing out free copies, but for those interested individuals with institutional access, you can download a PDF from either ProjectMuse or JSTOR.

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