Keynote speakers

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Tarren Andrews

Yale University (USA)

Tarren Andrews is a Bitterroot Salish scholar and documented descendant of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She is currently Assistant Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies in the program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University where she is at work on her first book project. This forthcoming book brings Indigenous studies questions and methods to Old English law and literature with the aim of understanding how Anglophone settler colonial ideologies developed in the early medieval North Atlantic, long before the first contacts between Europe and North America.

Tarren will talk about translation as a form of play that can re-write the legacies of and open up new relevances for medieval studies. This will be in part a continuation of her Beowulf by All translation project (available Open Access), but also an engagement with some Indigenous poets who play on Old English poetics.

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Wallace Cleaves

University of California, Riverside (USA)

Wallace Cleaves is Associate Dean and Director of the University Writing Program at UC Riverside, where he is also Director of the California Center for Native Nations. His work, teaching, and research centre around the fields of composition, medieval literature, and Indigenous methodologies. He is a member of the Gabrieleno/Tongva Native American tribe, the Indigenous peoples of the Los Angeles area, and is the co-founder and president of the Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Conservancy which received the first land return for the Tongva people. He is co-author of the 13th edition of St. Martin’s Guide to Writing.

Wallace will talk on the lingering importance and influence of the legacy of the Middle Ages on the colonial project of settling the western United States, with particular attention to the locus of California where multiple medievalisms still critically inform settler colonial practice.

He will also discuss the alternative narratives and epistemologies with attention to continued and still developing relations between Indigenous communities in the Pacific that reflect a radically different and global view of the medieval period. He will tie that discussion to the problem of defunding medieval studies and expand on the work he undertook in his article “Decolonization is not Convenient,” discussing the importance of medieval studies in relation the project of decolonization.

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Natasha Hodgson

Nottingham Trent University (UK)

Natasha Hodgson is Associate Professor in History and Director of the Centre Research in History, Heritage and Memory Studies (CRHHMS) at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Her research and teaching focus mainly on the medieval period, with a special interest in the crusades, gender, and social and cultural history. She worked on major AHRC projects such as the Hull Electronic Domesday (now and PASE (the Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England). She is the author of Women, Crusading and the Holy Land in Historical Narrative (Boydell, 2017), co-editor of Crusading and Masculinities (2019) and most recently edited Miracles, Political Authority and Violence in Medieval and Early Modern History (2021) for Routledge. She is an editor of the journal Nottingham Medieval Studies and the Routledge series’ Themes in Medieval and Early Modern History and Advances in Crusade Studies.

Natasha will address the contextual challenges facing medieval studies, drawing on her experience in HE in the UK, but also globally, considering the powerful influences of medievalism, and the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the medieval past especially in the context of the crusades, and in histories of medieval women and gender.

To help meet those challenges, she will also discuss some collaborative initiatives which she is working on, for example the Teaching Medieval Women project which reaches out to UK Secondary Schools, and collaborations with Heritage Science and Digital Humanities which help to underscore opportunities for interdisciplinary and cutting-edge applications of medieval studies. She will reflect on the sustainability of the field moving forward, and how we can influence policy to reposition the field as innovative rather than traditional while also broadening the skill set of a future generation to ensure sustainable medieval futures.