How does Beowulf work as a poem? Who made up Beowulf, and what makes it up? We’ll aim to reply to such queries, learning Beowulf through studying its manuscript context and its literary and historical milieux. Topics emphasized include the poem’s genre; its sources, analogues, and afterlives; its place in theories of performance; its aesthetics; and its troubled relationship to our times and to “deep time”. We’ll read Beowulf in our now, as much as in the poem’s then. Tune up your harp, sharpen your wits, and get set to explore a startling and crucial text.