Summer Solstice 2024: Panelists

This June, Jodrell Bank hosts an inspiring day of panels, lectures and workshops in celebration of revered local writer Alan Garner.

Read more about each event below and book tickets today!

PANEL 1: ARCHAEOTECTURE, chaired by Professor Teresa Anderson with Professor Clive Ruggles and Professor Bob Cywinski

10:45 – 11:45, Wolfson Auditorium

This panel explores the interdisciplinary conversations which Garner’s work inspires: can we see a path between ancient cosmologies and those proposed by cutting-edge researchers? How do scientific discovery, fiction and other creative modes advance our sense of place in the universe?

Professor Teresa Anderson MBE

Teresa Anderson is Founder and Director of The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement and is professor of Cultural and Creative Industries in the School of Arts Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester. She has a BSc in Physics, a PhD in Electrical Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Fine Art. In 2016, Teresa, together with Tim O’Brien, co-founded the bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank, which brings together science, music, art and culture to celebrate human creativity and break down the barriers between these sectors.

Professor Bob Cywinski

Bob is a retired physicist who has held Professorships across the UK. The majority of his research has focused upon the application of beams of subatomic particles to the study of the structural, magnetic and superconducting properties of materials. His interest in archaeology and in applying neutron techniques to the characterisation of archaeological artefacts has led to a long friendship and collaboration with Alan and Griselda Garner and the Blackden Trust.

Professor Clive Ruggles

Clive, who is Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester, has spent a lifetime investigating ancient people’s perceptions of the sky and the uses they make of what they see there. His latest book “Stonehenge—Sighting the Sun” (with Amanda Chadburn) is due to be published in May, and he has ongoing research projects in Hawai‘i and Peru. He was the co-discoverer of the 2200-year-old monumental solar observatory at Chankillo in Peru which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.


Film by Al Kenny

A film exploring the parallel archives of Jodrell Bank and Alan Garner’s creative work, investigating common themes of deep time, folklore, and the resonance of landscape.

Al Kenny

Al Kenny is a freelance videographer who has worked with a variety of creative and conservation organisations including The Alan Garner Partnership; The Newt Conservation Partnership; Caught by the River Festival; Oxford Storytelling Festival; Blackwells Bookshops; Unbound Publishing.

PANEL 2: ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE IMAGINATION OF PLACE chaired by Melanie Giles, with Tim Campbell-Green, Richard Morris & Rose Ferraby

14:45 – 15:45, Wolfson Auditorium

Alan Garner’s work often draws upon the past, weaving archaeological knowledge, finds and folklore into his writing. In this session, a variety of of archaeologists share insights into their relationships with this author and discuss how his work has shaped their own practice and understanding.

Professor Melanie Giles

Melanie Giles is a Professor of European Prehistory at the University of Manchester, specialising in the Iron Age, burial and depositional rites (publications include Bog Bodies, Grave Goods), material culture, art and technology (A forged glamour: landscape, material culture and identity in the Iron Age). She is also interested in the relationship between archaeology and folklore and has worked with The Blackden Trust to develop and deliver their archaeology education programme since 2007.

Tim Campbell-Green

Tim Campbell-Green is the archaeologist for The Blackden Trust: the home of author Alan Garner, where he works exploring and explaining the 10,000 years of human occupation at the site. A strong advocate for public engagement in heritage, he can often be found lecturing and blogging to that effect. Research interests include: material culture; ceramics; folklore; magical household protection, and personal ritual.

Professor Richard Morris

Richard Morris is an archaeologist and historian who grew up in north Worcestershire and began his career working on excavations under York Minster. He is emeritus professor of archaeology at the University of Huddersfield. Faith (Churches in the Landscape, Evensong), place (Yorkshire), cultural memory (Time’s Anvil), battlefield archaeology, aviation and its people are among the themes in his writing. He was the founding chairman of The Blackden Trust.

Rose Ferraby

Rose Ferraby is an independent archaeologist and artist, renowned for both her fieldwork and research, as well as her artistic practice. Her work often explores the relationship between people and landscape through time. She is interested in how to tell different stories about the past; how to inspire people and create ways in which they can imagine past and future worlds. She does this through a range of work, from projects with museums and heritage organisations, writing and presenting for radio, illustrating and designing books.

PANEL 3: PLACE ACROSS TIME, chaired by Professor John Mcauliffe with Elizabeth Garner and David Matthews

16:15 – 17:15, Wolfson Auditorium

Drawing on Alan Garner’s fiction and its depiction of place across time, medieval scholar David Matthews, novelist Elizabeth Garner and poet John McAuliffe will discuss the different ways in which historical and mythological time intersect in imaginative fictions, poetry and actual landscapes.

Professor John Mcauliffe

John Mcauliffe is Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester and Associate Publisher at Carcanet.
Alongside teaching at the University’s Centre for New writing, he directs the University of Manchester’s Creative Manchester research platform, which convenes and develops interdisciplinary research and civic partnerships in the areas of creative industries, creative health and civic futures.

Professor David Matthews

David Matthews is Professor of Medieval Studies and Medievalism Studies in the Department of English, University of Manchester. His most recent book is Medievalism: A Critical History (Brewer, 2015) and he currently works on the afterlife of medieval literature in the sixteenth century.

Elizabeth Garner

Elizabeth grew up in Cheshire, surrounded by folklore and folk tales. She is an award-winning author of two novels: Nightdancing and The Ingenious Edgar Jones, both of which are underpinned by myth and folklore. Her collection of rewritten Folk Tales: Lost & Found was published in September 2022. She now lives in Oxford where she teaches creative writing at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and works as a freelance fiction editor. She is also the Arts Trustee at The Blackden Trust.

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