New Materalism, Old English (Lab)

Harbour Centre 2200
Organizer: Jacqueline Fay (University of Texas at Arlington)

This lab will explore the potential for Anglo-Saxon studies of the material turn, or the widereaching recognition that matter has agency that interacts with, disrupts, engages and is engaged by the discursive and ideational realm of texts and representations. In what ways can we, as scholars of early medieval Britain, absorb a theoretical model developed largely in response to the chemically-laden, industrialized, capitalist contemporary world? What can we take away from this model that is useful for understanding early medieval texts and lives, and how can we extract it without dissolving the integrity of the theory itself? And how do we talk back to, or get into, the material conversation more generally?

Each participant will present a brief overview of an ongoing scholarly project that engages with these issues, with the remainder of the time dedicated to open discussion and workshopping.

Jacqueline Fay (University of Texas at Arlington), “Following Worm Tracks in Anglo-Saxon England”

Heather Maring (Arizona State University), “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Medieval Studies”

Renée R. Trilling (University of Illinois), “Mind and Matter in Anglo-Saxon Medical Texts”