Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins

Biography

Ph.D. in English Literature (w/ Certificate in Germanic Philology), Indiana University (2019)

M.A. in English Literature, Indiana University (2015)

B.A. in Linguistics and Anthropology, Miami University (Ohio) (2011) 

Stephen Hopkins is Assistant Professor of Old English and Linguistics. He teaches a wide range of courses that cover the languages and literatures of the early medieval period, especially courses on Beowulf and Old English literature, Vikings: Myths and Sagas, Celtic legends, and more. He also teaches courses in linguistics and the History of the English Language. His work has appeared in places like Philological Quarterly, the Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium, and Notes & Queries. His first monograph project provides a history of hell as it appears in Old Irish, Old English, Middle Welsh, and Old Norse apocryphal texts before Dante. He also serves on the editorial board of NASSCAL's e-Clavis dictionary of apocrypha: https://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christian-apocrypha/ .

Research Interests

Early Medieval English Literature (Old English); Old Norse Literature; Middle Welsh Literature; Old/Middle Irish Literature; Late Antiquity; Biblical Apocrypha; Religious Literature; Intellectual History; History of Emotions; Linguistics & Philology; Lexicography; the fiction of Tolkien and Lewis

Recent Research Activities

“Of Scopas and Scribes: Reshaping Oral-Formulaic Theory in Old English Literary Studies,” in Weathered Words: Formulaic Language and Verbal Art, ed. Frog and William Lamb (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2022): 49-79.

“A New Revelation: the Middle Welsh Erythraean Sibyl,” North American Journal of Celtic Studies 5 (2021): 30-48.

“The Legend of the Holy Rood,” ed. and trans., in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, v. II, ed. Tony Burke and Brent Landau (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2020), 145-159.

“An Old English Prose Fragment of Christ’s Letter to Abgar in the Lilly Library,” Notes and Queries 66 (2019): 173-176.

“Snared by the Beasts of Battle: Fear as Hermeneutic Guide in the Old English Exodus,” Philological Quarterly 97.1 (2018): 1-25.

“Heaven and Hell in the Garden of Eden: the Transmissions of the Ystoria Adda in Wales,” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 37 (2017): 105-123.

“The Manuscript of M.R. James’s ‘The Ash-Tree,’” (with Patrick J. Murphy and Frederick Porcheddu) Notes and Queries 61 (2014): 583-585.


Selected Publications

Articles/Essays

  • “A New Revelation: the Middle Welsh Erythraean Sibyl,” North American Journal of Celtic Studies 5 (2021): 30-48.
  • “An Old English Prose Fragment of Christ’s Letter to Abgar in the Lilly Library,” Notes and Queries 66 (2019): 173-176.
  • “Heaven and Hell in the Garden of Eden: the Transmissions of the Ystoria Adda in Wales,” Proceedings of the
    Harvard Celtic Colloquium 37 (2017): 105-123.
  • “Snared by the Beasts of Battle: Fear as Hermeneutic Guide in the Old English Exodus,” Philological Quarterly
    97.1 (2018): 1-25.
  • “The Manuscript of M.R. James’s ‘The Ash-Tree,’” Notes and Queries 61 (2014): 583-585. 

Book Sections/Chapters

  • “Of Scopas and Scribes: Reshaping Oral-Formulaic Theory in Old English Literary Studies,” in Weathered Words: Formulaic Language and Verbal Art, ed. Frog and William Lamb (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2022): 49-79.
  • “The Legend of the Holy Rood,” ed. and trans., in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, v. II,
    ed. Tony Burke and Brent Landau (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2020): 145-159.

Awards

ER 1 SEED Funding Grant, 2022-23

Lorraine Kochanske Stock Endowment for Innovation in Medieval Studies (SEMA, 2021)

Silver Telly Award, "Best Online Educational Videos" for Vikings: Myths and Sagas course videos, 2020

Mellon Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2018-2019

McRobbie Fellowship, IU, 2018-2019

American Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship for Manuscript work in Copenhagen, 2017

Courses

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11271 ENG6801 Texts & Technology in History Face to Face (P) Tu 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
10976 LIN4105 History of English Language Web-Based (W) Unavailable

If someone came up to you and said “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” would you know what they meant? How about, “I kan nat geeste ‘rum, ram, ruf,’ by lettre”? How’s this: “Þæt wæs god cyning”? Believe it or not, these are all plain English sentences; the thing is, they come from different times in the language’s history. The first is a Bible verse (Hebrews 13:2) from the King James Version, written about 1610. The middle one comes from a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, from about 1400; two centuries makes quite a difference, no? The last is from Beowulf, a thirteen-hundred-year-old poem in Old English. It looks like a foreign language. What happened to English? How did we go from Beowulf’s “god cyning” (good king) to today’s “keeping it 100”? This course will introduce basic linguistic concepts while we explore the answers to these questions and more. We will journey through the history of the language, learning about its linguistic nuts and bolts, as well as how language and culture interact with each other in the past and present by sampling literature from each era. Topics to be covered: what is grammatical gender? Is English harder or easier than other languages? Why did our pronouns change (then and now)? Why is spelling such a mess? Why do words die? Where do new words come from? Is “bad English” really a thing?

A constant lesson in this course is this: language is always changing. It’s our job as educated speakers to try to keep up. To that end, our class will journey together through the various stages of the language via readings from Seth Lerer’s Inventing English and Smith’s and Kim’s This Language, A River, supplemented with additional readings and videos posted on our course website. The latter book provides a linguistic-based understanding of how language works and what makes English tick. The former provides us with glimpses at English in historical periods, helping us figure out how language and culture shape each other. Words can shape the world, but the reverse is true, too. By the end of the semester, you will have a good grip on how our language got where it is now, but you will also understand why people have the attitudes toward language use that they do.

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81458 LIN3010 Principles of Linguistics Face to Face (P) Tu,Th 03:00 PM - 04:15 PM Unavailable

Odds are, if you’re reading this syllabus, you know at least one language. You know how to use it fairly well, too. But do you know why you use it the way you use it? Have you ever tried to learn another one? Have you ever made up a word? How original are your thoughts and utterances? How does your brain know what it all means? And if language is always changing, then how can there be a right or a wrong way to say anything? This course will introduce us to the basics of linguistics, the scientific study of language. Over the course of the semester, we will answer the above questions as we learn about fundamental characteristics of language and the way our minds make sense of it. As part of that process, we will learn the fundamentals of standard English grammar, but we will also learn about linguistic relativity. We will learn how to describe English, its words and sentences within larger discourses. We will also examine the larger forces that drive language change (political, social, cultural, historical). As budding linguists, we will learn about phonology, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, speech act theory, and language variation.

93362 LIT3931 Topics in World Literature Web-Based (W) Unavailable

"Celtic Myths and Legends"

This course is a "pre-1865" literary history class.

In this course, we will read a broad survey of representative medieval Celtic prose and poetic texts, surveying the vibrant tradition of prose sagas and native legends, while also acknowledging the peripheral situation of Celtic speakers during (and well after) the Middle Ages. We will encounter staples of the medieval Irish and Welsh traditions, including prose texts like The Mabinogi, excerpts from the Táin Bó Cúailnge, and Irish lives of saints. The survey will introduce students to standard medieval literary genres and forms, and will also draw upon Post-Colonial criticism to emphasize the military, cultural, and economic ways in which Ireland and Wales were marginalized by neighboring colonial powers. Students will finish the course with a thoughtful independent research paper, taking a Post-Colonial approach to the Celtic text of their choice.

No courses found for Summer 2022.

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11355 ENG6801 Texts & Technology in History Video Tu 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
11043 LIN4105 History of the English Lang Web-Based (W) Unavailable
PR: Grade of "C” (2.0) or better required in ENC 1102 or C.I.

Study of the English language and its development from the Old English language to Modern English.
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81744 ENL3451 Topics in British Literature Web-Based (W) Unavailable
PR: Grade of C (2.0) or better required in ENC 1102 or C.I.

"Vikings: Myths and Sagas"

This course provides an introduction to Old Norse mythology and cosmology, as well as their adaptation into later prose sagas. We will begin with Prose and Poetic Eddas, examining their tales and the ways in which their literary forms change their style and presentation; we will also learn the basic historical and cultural contexts necessary to appreciate these bodies of myth and legend before moving on to consider the ways in which the conversion to Christianity (in the summer of 999) changed Iceland’s literary landscape. Yet even within this new faith, the pagan myths survived and thrived. In the back half of the course, we will focus on texts composed well within the Christian era to investigate the various ways in which Christian Icelanders reckoned with the pagan past of their ancestors in verse and prose. Critically-engaged secondary readings to be supplied by the instructor.
81629 LIN4105 History of the English Lang Web-Based (W) Unavailable

PR: Grade of "C” (2.0) or better required in ENC 1102 or C.I.

Study of the English language and its development from the Old English language to Modern English.

Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50659 LIT3931 Topics in World Literature Web-Based (W) A Unavailable
In this course, we will read a broad survey of representative medieval Celtic prose and poetic texts, surveying the vibrant tradition of prose sagas and native legends, while also acknowledging the peripheral situation of Celtic speakers during (and well after) the Middle Ages. We will encounter staples of the medieval Irish and Welsh traditions, including prose texts like The Mabinogi, the Táin Bó Cúailnge, and the Irish lives of saints. The survey will introduce students to standard medieval literary genres and forms, and will also draw upon Post-Colonial criticism to emphasize the military, cultural, and economic ways in which Ireland and Wales were marginalized by neighboring powers. Students will finish the course with a thoughtful independent research paper, taking a Post-Colonial approach to the Celtic text of their choice.

Updated: Sep 10, 2022