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  • Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 5:15pm to 7:15pm

Location: Zoom

Where are the joys of the hall? And who are we without them? In this talk, I show that the Old English poems known as the "exile elegies" navigate the profound loss of community with a formal model that is, surprisingly, shared across contemporaneous texts ranging from riddles to land charters to charms. In pre-Conquest England, the relational self is dynamic, written as a constellation of unstable “landmarks” – from shed antlers to lost lords—which must be revisited when knowledge of the self is challenged or changed. Recognizing this formal model challenges critical histories of modern identity, as we see early English texts insist upon mapping new landscapes of the self by reinscribing the boundaries where the subject encounters the world.

 For Zoom info, please contact Emily Steiner.