Then/Now: Modern Medievalisms

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2:00 pm, Hagen Room (Elvehjem 150): Workshop - 5:00 pm, Elvehjem L140: Public lecture
@ 2:00 pm

Professor Chris Jones (English, University of Utah)

2:00 pm, Hagen Room (Elvehjem 150): Workshop for graduate students and faculty: “Carter Revard and Old English Riddles: an indigenous poet remaking “Anglo-Saxon”

5:00 pm, Elvehjem L140: Public lecture: “Anglo-Saxons, Brexit, the New English Nationalism and White Supremacy”

Anglo-Saxonism (the reception of “Anglo-Saxon” culture in the postmedieval period) and its various attendant ideologies is well understood by scholars in its manifestations from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries. What is less well understood, or even acknowledged, is that “Anglo-Saxon” tropes are currently inhabiting contemporary English nationalism in the twenty-first century with potentially far-reaching cultural and political consequences. Twin parallel discourses of Anglo-Saxonism have emerged and gained currency in the UK in recent decades: one a putatively historical neutral language of political sovereignty and ethnic distinctiveness mobilized by the right-wing British political elite as part of an argument for leaving the EU as “natural”; the other the rise in the use of neo-Old English (often grammatically incorrect) by self-taught online groups of radical and exclusionary English nationalists and hate-inspired communities of the alt-right. Jones’s recent research collects and deconstructs examples of the new Anglo-Saxonism from both these sources, demonstrating the often dangerous political work that is still being done by age-old tropes.

Co-sponsored by the Anonymous Fund, the Jay and Ruth Halls Visiting Scholar Fund, and the Departments of English and History.