About Me

Justin and the Exeter Book

Justin Larsen examining Exeter Dean Chapter MS 3501, also known as the Exeter Book.

Hi! My name is Justin Larsen, and this site is entirely my fault.

I'm a graduate student and doctoral candidate in the Medieval Studies program in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of New Mexico. For the majority of my time here I served as a Teaching Assistant and instructor of record for classes ranging from basic college composition to upper-division surveys of medieval literature, and for much of that time I also served as a Graduate Assistant for the English Department and the Feminist Research Institute. This year, however, I have been given the opportunity to focus on my own scholarship through the generous support of the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship program with the goal of completing the degree by July of 2018.

My research centers on the intersection of textual and material culture in the Old English manuscript known as the Exeter Book. One of four surviving books of poetry from pre-conquest England, the Exeter Book is both the largest and the most eclectic of these codices, including subject matter from saints' lives to elegies to riddles, some of which are rather ribald. As such, it is the best single manuscript for a study on the ways in which material objects are used in early English poetry. My dissertation also recognizes the fact that the manuscript is itself a work of material culture, and the final chapter looks at the object itself and its long existence as a part of Exeter's cultural history.

In my increasingly rare spare time, I enjoy cooking, keeping up with trends in technology and web development, reading hard sci-fi novels and digital humanities blogs, playing all sorts of games, and hanging out with my two cats, Æþeling and Athena.

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