New Online Course: The Middle Ages and the Modern World: Facts and Fiction

The Middle Ages and the Modern World

2015 brought a lot of interesting opportunities for our Five-Minute Medievalist, Danièle Cybulskie, including the chance to use her expertise to create a new, fully online course on medievalism in collaboration with Conestoga College.

Disney’s Medievalized Ecologies in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty

Dwarves' cottage from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

As I explore how Disney medievalized nature, I also explore how Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, in a small but significant way, participated in mid-twentieth-century discourses on the environment.

Historical Re-enactments: The Production and Design of Viking Festival Experiences

Viking and Slavic Festival in Volin - photo by Jakub T. Jankiewicz / Flickr

The main idea behind this study is to look into Viking festivals’ contents, characteristics and its concept development. Together with that we test out the Experience design model effectiveness for using in the event studies. I

From the Middle Ages to Modernity: The Intersecting Supernatural Worlds of Melusine and Today’s Popular Culture

(Illustration to folio CXLI of L'Histoire de la Belle Mélusine published by Steinschaber in 1478 , depicting the scene of Remondin’s discovery of his wife’s animal-human hybrid form. The wall has been removed so that the reader, who knows she takes this form once a week, may see what is going on inside. Note that Mélusine is dressed as a noble lady and clearly has both human and animal body parts.)

This work contains many elements common to supernatural tales of its time-shape-shifting, magic fountains and marriages between humans and fairies – yet it is also surprisingly relevant to our own age, whose popular culture is saturated with modem myths and vampire love-stories.

Call for Papers: International Society of Medievalism Annual Conference

Call for Papers

The next annual conference of the International Society of Medievalism will take place at Bamberg University and is scheduled to take place 18-20 July 2016.

Crucifix, calvary, and cross: materiality and spirituality in Great War landscapes

Canadian war graves near Ypres, Belgium.

First World War landscapes are a complex layering of commemorative materialities and spirituality, in which the past is recycled and memory perpetuated in the present.

Knights, Rulers, Pilgrims and Writers: Female Characters in Medieval Children’s Books

British Library, Harley MS 4431, f. 290r

Female characters in modern children’s literature have been shown to be represented in a stereotypical manner, but gender in historical fiction for children has received little scholarly attention.

The new knighthood: Terrorism and the medieval

Oslo city centre, shortly after Breivik's car bomb detonated. Photo by N. Andersen / Wikipedia

Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik describes himself as a member of a neomedieval, underground paramilitary group known as the Knights Templar.

American Medievalism: Medieval Reenactment as Historical Interpretation in the United States

Kathryn Michel/Briatiz D'Andrade at Pennsic

This thesis will examine how the Middle Ages are historically interpreted and portrayed in the United States.

A clerk ther was of Rowan County also…. What the Kim Davis Case Tells Us About America’s Long Middle Ages

Mug shot of Kim Davis

Have you ever thought about the relationship between the words “clerk” and “clergy”?

Arthur Pendragon, Eco-Warrior

Arthur Uther Pendragon standing outside of the Stonehenge monument fence - Photo by Chris Brown / Wikipedia

This essay explores the environmental agendas and ambitions that motivate John Timothy Rothwell, ‘a mad biker chieftain wielding an axe,’ who, claiming to be a ‘post-Thatcher’ King Arthur,

Secret Gestures and Silent Revelations: The Disclosure of Secrets in Selected Arthurian Illuminated Manuscripts and Arthurian Films

excalibur film

This paper explores visual language and iconic systems central to the representation of the Arthurian cycle in thirteenth and fifteenth century Gothic illuminated manuscripts and in two Arthurian films; its focus is the theme of courtly love and crucial revelations of the secret or hidden.

The Medieval Cathedral: From Spiritual Site to National Super-Signifier

Cologne Cathedral - Photo by globetrotter_rodrigo / Flickr

Although the cathedrals were often mutilated, emptied of their relics, treasures, and clergy, their close association with national glory and the sense of fascination that association had brought about kept them from being closed or destroyed entirely.

The Knights of the Front: Medieval History’s Influence on Great War Propaganda

Joan of Arc WWI

The article makes the argument that the realities of the First World War shattered the chivalrous and romantic ideals of war so completely that the concepts and images were no longer appropriate for use as propaganda.

The Diverse Pedagogies of Medievalism

Diverse Pedagogies of Medievalism

This roundtable explored some of the many pedagogies of medievalism in the modern academy. To what purposes is medievalism taught, and how? Using what texts and in what contexts?

Can We Talk About Religion, Please? Medievalism’s Eschewal of Religion, and Why it Matters

Photo by Geraint Rowland / Flickr

With this essai I would like to advocate for a reconsideration of religion as an essential topic for medievalism studies.

When Reality Becomes Fantasy: How Video Games are Hijacking the Middle Ages

Skyrim Nord Warrior. (www.comicvine.com)

“The Middle Ages is a space where White Supremecy is legitimised. The maintenance of white privilege. The gamer community use ‘historical facts’ to legitimise this kind of literacy.’

Through the Looking Glass Darkly: Medievalism, Satanism, and the Dark Illumination of the Self in the Aesthetics of Black Metal

The basement of Helvete, showing graffiti from the early 1990s - Photo by Marieke Kuijjer

The upside-down world of Satanic black metal is uncanny, both familiar in its use of inverted tropes and schemes and yet completely ‘other’ to those on the outside looking in, including Christians and consumers of mainstream popular culture.

Beowulf and the Comic Book: Contemporary Readings

Beowulf dragon slayer

This paper explores the appropriation of the Old English poem by modern popular culture in such a distinctive 20th-century art-form as the comic book, which proves that a heroic, legendary story already old for the Anglo-Saxons —it was set in geardagum, ‘the ancient days’— still elicits the interest of the audience in the modern world.

Primetime Paganism: Popular-Culture Representations of Europhilic Polytheism in Game of Thrones and Vikings

vikings_season 3

This article provides a critical examination of the politico-religious content of the highly successful television series Game of Thrones and Vikings.

From Runes to Ruins: Documentary looks at rediscovering the Anglo-Saxon past

tom rowsell from runes to ruins

In his latest film, From Runes to Ruins, Tom Rowsell examines how people in England are reclaiming their Anglo-Saxon heritage, including its religion.

Genre Medievalisms: Geek Goes Chic!

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in HBO's, 'Game of Thrones'. Photo courtesy of blastr.com (TV Guide)

Is Cersei a collection of bad medieval stereotypes? Have nerds gone mainstream? Were American cowboys a modern retelling of the medieval knight? Put down that comic, put away your bag of dice, and indulge your inner nerd.

Reinventing the Hero: Gardner’s Grendel and the Shifting Face of Beowulf in Popular Culture

John Gardner Grendel

In twentieth- and twenty-first century Anglophone culture, the impact of Beowulfiana — what we call that amorphous mass of materials that have accumulated around the poem — has been widespread yet subtle.

’I’m gonna git Medieval on your ass’: Pulp Fiction for the 90s – the 1190s

Pulp Fiction medieval

We feel confident in asserting that there are any number of telling informative analogies between Pulp Fiction and medieval chivalric literature, particularly Arthurian romance.

Medieval Baltimore: Using American Medievalism to Teach about the European Middle Ages

Baltimore - photo by Tony Brooks / Flickr

The article describes the experience of teaching undergraduate college students the history of Medieval Europe through individual research projects using the city of Baltimore (USA), its buildings, monuments, museums, and the professional medievalists working and residing in the area.

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