The Anglo-Saxon Period: Histories and Metahistory

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The Anglo-Saxon Period: Histories and Metahistory

November 12 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The Anglo-Saxon Period: Histories and Metahistory

Lecture by Professor John Hines FSA

*Professor Hines was invited by the Society to deliver this lecture.

Conspicuous events of recent months have proved how powerfully perceptions of the past can become controversial, and be deployed in direct political action. That is not solely a matter of monuments representing individuals or groups with reprehensible associations but can also spread to names reminiscent of such figures and events. Last year, the field of Anglo-Saxon Studies experienced a convulsion driven by claims that the history and legacy of the field was imbued in serious racism and misogyny (and more), while even the use of that name provided material sustaining far right white supremacist movements.

The storm has abated to a degree, and while it is impossible to say that this presentation will not risk contributing to ongoing turbulence, it is not unduly optimistic to take the view that the presentation of an informed and temperate view of key factual aspects will be of greater value as a reference point for a balanced and constructive approach. Identity politics are at the centre of this whirlpool, and the topic of identity amongst the population of the area of Britain that emerged over the period of the 5th–11th centuries AD as the kingdom of England has been subject to seriously erroneous claims.

One lecture cannot be exhaustive, but this talk will be able to present and explain central aspects of the perception and presentation of identity in England during the period, including the development and adoption of an explicit notion of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’. Discussion of evidence from the period itself will be balanced with an outline of varied and politically/ideologically loaded images of this period in historical discourse of the later Middle Ages and Modern Period.

Please note that due to COVID 19 restrictions we are unsure if this event will be held at Burlington House or just live streamed. Moving forward all our lectures will be live streamed so booking is recommended to recieve the live stream link. If attendance at Burlington House is feasible it will be limited and allocated through the booking link below. 

Attendance by Live Stream:

  • Registration is essential.
  • Open to anyone to join, Fellows and Non-Fellows.
  • Once you have registered we will be in touch regarding how you can join via Zoom video-calling.
  • The event will also be live-streamed to YouTube here, so you can watch along if you prefer
  • Places through zoom will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The event will begin at 17.00, GMT.
  • You will recieve an email with the link to join the day before the lecture.
  • Attendees’ cameras and microphones will be off throughout.

Attending Burlington House:

  • Registration is essential.
  • Those attending in person will be subject to temperature checks and will have to wear masks in the Meeting Room.
  • There will be no refreshments.
  • There will be no access to the Library or Fellows Room.
  • Admittance to the event is only 20minutes prior.
  • Fellows can not bring guests.

If you have any questions please contact our Communications Manager on [email protected]

Get tickets online


November 12
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:


Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London, W1J 0BE United Kingdom
020 7479 7080


Society of Antiquaries of London
020 7479 7080