Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Coming Soon: Paperback Edition of Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture

Been meaning to post on this for a while: 

Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture
Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture

Paperback edition:

Published: 08-24-2017 Format: Paperback Edition: 1st Extent: 368 ISBN: 9781350021617 Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations Dimensions: 7 1/2" x 9 3/4" List price: $44.95

(Also available in hardcover [published in 2015]:

(Also available as an e-book)

About Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture

With contributions from 29 leading international scholars, this is the first single-volume guide to the appropriation of medieval texts in contemporary culture.

Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture covers a comprehensive range of media, including literature, film, TV, comic book adaptations, electronic media, performances, and commercial merchandise and tourism. Its lively chapters range from Spamalot to the RSC, Beowulf to Merlin, computer games to internet memes, opera to Young Adult fiction and contemporary poetry, and much more.

Also included is a companion website at aimed at general readers, academics, and students interested in the burgeoning field of medieval afterlives, complete with:

- Further reading/weblinks
- 'My favourite' guides to contemporary medieval appropriations
- Images and interviews
- Guide to library archives and manuscript collections
- Guide to heritage collection

Table of contents

Introduction: Living Medieval
Gail Ashton

I: True to Life: in the performance

1.Spamalot: Lovingly Ripping Off / Ripping On the Establishment
Jeff Massey and Brian Cogan

2. Medievalisms in Contemporary Opera
Robert Sturges

3. Medieval religious plays in England: afterlives and new lives through performance
Margaret Rogerson

4. Staging Chaucer: Mike Poulton and the Royal Shakespeare Company's Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
Sarah Peverley

5. You Can't Do This to Disney! Popular Medievalisms in the Classroom
Meriem Pagès

6. Medieval Times: Tournaments and Jousting in Twenty-first Century North America
Elizabeth Emery

II: To Turn You On: the pleasures of texts- film, TV, gaming

7. From Anglo-Saxon to Angelina: Adapting Beowulf for Film
Stewart Brookes

8. Contemporary Neomedieval Digital Gaming: An Overview of Genres
Daniel T. Kline

9. Survey of 21st 'Medieval' Film
Lesley Coote

10. 'Camelot must come before all else': Fantasy and family in the BBC Merlin
Philippa Semper

11. Electronic Tolkien: Characterization in Film and Video Games
Carol L. Robinson

12. Chaucer in a (Television) Box: The BBC Canterbury Tales (2003)
Kathleen Coyne Kelly

III: More Than This: reimagings and reappropriations

13. Global Chaucers
Candace Barrington and Jonathan Hsy

14. Silence in the Library?-Medievalist Poetry Shout-Out
Gail Ashton

15. Coming of Age in the Middle Ages: The Quest for Identity in Medieval Novels for Young Adults
Angela Jane Weisl

16. Australian Medievalism: Time and Paradox
Louise D'Arcens

17. Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe as Contemporary Cult Figures
Fiona Tolhurst

18. Conjuring the Ghosts of Camelot: Tintagel and the Medievalism of Heritage Tourism
Laurie A. Finke and Susan Aronstein

IV: Avalon: icons and artefacts

19. Medievalism and Heroism in Arthurian Literature for Young People
Ann F. Howey

20. New Age and Neopagan Medievalisms
Karolyn Kinane

21. 21st-Century Templar
Cory James Rushton

22. Malory's Afterlives in Contemporary Culture
Raluca L. Radulescu

23. 'We Are Robin Hood': The Outlaw Tradition in Contemporary Popular Culture
Rob Gossedge

24. Harry Potter and Medievalism
Renée Ward

V: The Space Between: new media and fandom

25. Social Networking, Participatory Culture, and the Fandom World of Harry Potter
Amanda K. Allen

26. 'Nightcrawler's Inferno' and other Hellish Tales: Comics Adaptations of Dante
Jason Tondro

27. From Camelot to Kaamelott: The Arthurian Legend in British, American and French Comics
Daniel Nastali

28. Afterlives of Medieval Manuscripts
Wendy Scase

29. Medieval Memes
Maggie M. Williams and Lauren C. Razzore

Notes on Contributors

Select Bibliography


Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture

Link to CFP on Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives (9/15/17; Kalamazoo 2018)

The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture is sponsoring a session for next year's International Congress on Medieval Studies on the topic of "Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives", Please submit proposals and required information by 15 September 2017. Complete details can be accessed at

Michael Torregrossa

CFP International Association for Robin Hood Studies for Kalamazoo 2018 (9/1/17)

The International Association for Robin Hood Studies has also posted their calls for papers for the 2018 Medieval Congress. Session details are as follows:

 1. Multicultural, Multimedia Outlaws (Session of Papers)

The outlaw figure is a universal cross-cultural phenomenon. This session solicits papers that analyze adaptations of narratives about outlaws, whether literary or historical, male or female, from any period (medieval through contemporary), in any medium (ballad, saga, drama, novel, young adult fiction, films, television, comic books, opera, music, to name a few) from any location (Britain, Europe, America(s), Australia, Asia, ranging from the Merry Men to Icelandic outlaws, Ned Kelly, Pancho Villa, and Moll Flanders.

Please send 300-word abstracts, a brief bios, and completed Participant Information Forms to Lorraine Kochanske Stock ( by September 1, 2017.

  2. Oral Tactics of Medieval Outlaw Literature (Session of Papers)

This formal session of papers explores the modes of writing and of performance (and their interconnectedness) that exist within medieval outlaw tales. From the The Outlaw’s Song of Trailbaston to the late-medieval rhymes, plays, games, and “talkings” of Robin Hood, medieval outlaw tales are, like the medieval lyric, ad hoc, improvisatory, and situational works or literature. This session, inspired by Ingrid Nelson’s recent study Lyric Tactics, explores the ways in which the religious, societal, political, and manuscript contexts inform the genre, form, vernacular language, semantics, and voice of a medieval outlaw tale.

Please send 300-word abstracts, a brief bios, and completed Participant Information Forms to Lesley Coote ( and Alexander L. Kaufman ( by September 1, 2017.

Here is a link to the ICMS’s Participant Information Form:

CFP Tales Afer Tolkien Society for Kalamazoo 2018

The Tales After Tolkien Society have announced their sessions for next year's International Congress on Medieval Studies. Sessions are as follows:

I. Reclaiming the Dead and the Undead
A paper session, the panel seeks to interrogate appropriations of medieval concepts of un/death in contemporary media, attending to how the medieval corporeal/spiritual divide is reinscribed and transgressed by the appropriations. In brief, it means to look at how recent ideas of un/death correspond with medieval antecedents and what that correspondence suggests.

II. Medievalism in Metal
A roundtable, the panel seeks to investigate medieval referentiality--acoustic, iconographic, thematic, and otherwise--in metal music and among metal bands. (The session will likely need to make use of a/v equipment.)

Send submissions to

Further information is on their website at

Saturday, February 25, 2017

ALA 2017 Update 2/25

It is with sadness that I report that the organizers have rejected our panel proposal on "The Medieval in American Popular Culture at Home and Abroad: Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant" (details at for the upcoming meeting of the American Literature Association.

Hopefully, we can celebrate this milestone of medievalism at some other venue this year.

Michael Torregrossa

Friday, February 10, 2017

CFP 500-Year Commemoration of Martin Luther's 95 Theses Conference (3/1/2017)

500-Year Commemoration of Martin Luther's 95 Theses

Event: 10/31/2017 - 11/03/2017
Abstract: 03/01/2017

Location: Berrien Springs, Michigan
Organization: Andrews University

The Andrews University Departments of History & Political Science and Religion & Biblical Languages in collaboration with the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists’ Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research proudly announces its upcoming conference to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. We welcome all scholarly paper or session proposals for the conference to be held at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, from October 31 to November 3, 2017.

The program committee welcomes scholarly proposals from all disciplines, time periods, and locales—with the common thread relating to Martin Luther, Protestantism, and/or the Reformation. Roundtable discussions that foster audience involvement are welcome as well. Please provide a 250-word abstract and cv by March 1, 2017 to:

Dr. Stephanie Carpenter
Department of History & Political Science
Buller Hall 126
8488 E Campus Circle Drive
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0010

Contact Email:

CFP The First Hamlet, Special Issue of Critical Survey (3/15/2017)

The First Hamlet: A Special Issue of Critical Survey

Event: 09/01/2017
Abstract: 03/15/2017

Location: Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Organization: Critical Survey

Call for Papers:
The First Hamlet
A Special Issue of Critical Survey
Guest Editor: Terri Bourus, Indiana University Indianapolis(IUPUI)

The 1603 edition of Hamlet, the first surviving text of Shakespeare’s most famous play, was, for most of the twentieth century, dismissed as a ‘bad quarto’, the most conspicuous inhabitant of the ghetto of ‘memorial reconstruction’. This theory was widely proclaimed as a ‘fact’, which had been proven by the scientific methods of the New Bibliography. It was also widely accepted as a ‘fact’ that references to a play called ‘Hamlet’ in 1589, 1594, and 1596 referred to an earlier, lost tragedy, probably written by Thomas Kyd.

These ‘facts’ began to unravel in the 1990s when the whole theory of memorial reconstruction was challenged by Laurie Maguire, Paul Werstine, and others. In 2014, two monographs on the 1603 edition (the ‘first quarto’, or ‘Q1’) were published, almost simultaneously: Young Shakespeare’s Young Hamlet: Print, Piracy, and Performance (by Terri Bourus) and Hamlet After Q1: An Uncanny History of the Shakespeare Text (by Zachary Lesser). In different ways, both books challenged the orthodox editorial and critical dismissal of Q1. In 2015, the third edition of the Norton Shakespeare included, in addition to the canonical Hamlet (based on the Second Quarto, conflated with additions from the Folio), an edited text of the 1603 edition. In February 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a 5200-word article by Ron Rosenbaum on the controversy surrounding Shakespeare's 'Badass Quarto' (the title of a production of Q1 in Washington D.C.).

In 2017 Critical Survey will publish a special issue on ‘The First Hamlet’, guest-edited by Terri Bourus. We invite papers of 4000-7000 words, addressing issues surrounding the first quarto, or the ‘lost Hamlet’, or both, from a variety of perspectives: critical, theatrical, historical, pedagogical, and bibliographical. We are interested in the history of criticism, the history of the book, and the history of performance, in data-mining and statistical analysis, in the experiments of directors and actors, the experience of teachers, the analysis of verse and prose. Whatever the subject, essays should be clear, concise, and accessible.

Informal inquiries about possibilities for essays, as well as proposals for book reviews, performance reviews, and review essays, are welcome and encouraged. Please direct all correspondence to the guest editor, Terri Bourus at

Submissions should be sent to the above email address by 15 March 2017 as Microsoft Word documents. Two (anonymous) hard copies for peer review, should also be sent, along with a separate cover letter, to the mailing address for Critical Survey:

Critical Survey
English Literature Group
School of Humanities
University of Hertfordwhite
De Havilland Campus
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB
United Kingdom

A style guide and additional submission information is available online:

Contact Email:

Blog Updates 2/10/17

I've been catching up on posting some calls for papers this week.

Please send any notices of interest to the Association to

Michael Torregrossa,

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Kalamazoo 2017 Program Update 2/2

Sorry for the typo:

The program for this year's International Congress on Medieval Studies is now live at

The Association stands by the congress and, especially, the Medieval Academy of America in its encouragement (at that we must "learn from – rather than ignore – the past we work to illuminate".

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ALA Session Proposal

I am pleased to announce that the association was able to assemble a complete panel for the upcoming meeting of the American Literature Association. The details of our session follow. I will update further once I receive news of its ultimate fate.

Michael Torregrossa
Founder, The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

The Medieval in American Popular Culture at Home and Abroad: Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Organizer and Chair: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

1.     “ ‘My White Knight’: American Medievalism 1890-1920 and the Power of Whiteness,” Faye Ringel, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

2.      “Tilting Down the List, Tilting Down the Ages: The Revival of Jousting at the Turn of the 21st Century,” Karli Grazman, University of Connecticut

3.     “Medieval Marvels and Marvel Superheroes,” Rex Barnes, Columbia University

4.    American Medievalism in Post-Soviet Fairy-Tale Films,” Kate Koppy, Marymount University

Audio-visual equipment required: projector and screen

The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture seeks to facilitate the spread of information about the representations of the medieval in contemporary popular culture. In commemoration of the eightieth anniversary of the Prince Valiant comic strip, this session explores both how Americans have received the medieval and how American-made medievalisms have influenced new works across the globe. First, Faye Ringel explores some uses that Americans made of the medieval at the turn of the twentieth century, works that might have influenced the creation of the comic. Then, Karli Grazman directs our attention to Americans’ continued interest in the medieval through our recreation of the jousting tournament, a prominent event featured in the strip. Next, Rex Barnes turns our attention towards a different group of comic book heroes and suggests a medieval background for the superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Finally, Kate Koppy highlights how the medievalisms of the Walt Disney Studio, perhaps one of the country’s foremost producers of medievalesque texts, have (like Prince Valiant) in turn inspired new works of medievalism in Russia. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

SMART Fall 2016

Another recent issue of this exemplary journal. Back issues can be purchased at


Fall 2016 (Volume 23, Issue 2)

QUEER PEDAGOGY (feature collection guest edited by Graham N. Drake)
  • GRAHAM N. DRAKE Introduction to Queer Pedagogy (A Roundtable)
  • MICHELLE M. SAUER Queer Pedagogy, Medieval Literature, and Chaucer
  • SUSANNAH MARY CHEWNING Queer Pedagogy in the Two-Year College
  • LISA WESTON Queer Pedagogy, Medieval Literature, and the Writing of Difference

ELIZABETH WILLIAMSEN Foreign Territory: Teaching the Middle Ages through Travel Writing

JANE BEAL Reading in a Roundtable, Socratic Dialogue, and Other Strategies for Teaching Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

HILLARY M. NUNN and LAUREN A. SCARPA Student Encounters with Suicide in Julius Caesar

GAEL GROSSMAN Student Food Schema of the Medieval Diet Based on Self-Selected Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

CHRISTINA FRANCIS The Usefulness of Eli Stone to Teaching Medieval Narrative

HELEN DAMICO Book Review: Old English Liturgical Verse: A Student Edition, edited by Sarah Larratt Keefer

BRIGITTE ROUSSEL Book Review: Women and Writing c. 1340–c. 1650: The Domestication of Print Culture, edited by Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Phillipa Hardman

JENNY REBECCA RYTTING Book Review: Women in Late Medieval and Reformation Europe 1200–1550, by Helen M. Jewell

SUSAN KENDRICK Book Review: Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance, edited by Scott L. Newstock and Ayanna Thompson

RICHARD KAY Book Review: Bede and the End of Time, by Peter Darby

AILEEN A. FENG Book Review: Short History of the Renaissance, by Lisa Kaborycha

GLENN DAVIS Book Review: Old English Reader, edited by Murray McGillivray

STEPHEN F. EVANS Book Review: Sex Acts in Early Modern Italy: Practice, Performance, Perversion, Punishment, edited by Allison Levy

SMART Spring 2016

Sorry to have not posted this sooner. Back issues of the journal can be purchased at


Spring 2016 (Volume 23, Issue 1)

BETSY CHUNKO-DOMINGUEZ and EDWARD TRIPLETT Digital Humanities and Medieval Studies: The Plan of St. Gall as a Case Study on Shifting Pedagogical Concerns

ALAN S. AMBRISCO Battling Monstrosity in Beowulf and Grendel (2005): Using a Film Adaptation to Teach Beowulf

KATHERINE GUBBELS Queer Approaches to Teaching Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

CAROL JAMISON J. K. Rowling’s Own Book of Chivalry: Incorporating the Harry Potter Series in an Arthurian Literature Course

JULIA FINCH Medieval Manuscripts, Digital Users, and the University Classroom

YVONNE SEALE Imagining Medieval Europe in the College Classroom

KATHLEEN FORNI Ackroyd’s Deviant Chaucer: Translation and Target Cultures

ALISON A. BAKER Opposing Forces: Understanding Classical Gods in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

JOEL ROSENTHAL Teaching The Medieval History Survey: All of Europe!!

NANCY VAN DEUSEN Book Review: The Renaissance Reform of Medieval Music Theory: Guido of Arezzo between Myth and History, by Stefano Mengozzi

MARTHA W. DRIVER Book Review: Women in England in the Middle Ages, by Jennifer Ward

ANNETTE LEZOTTE Book Review: Renaissance Art Reconsidered: An Anthology of Primary Sources, edited by Carol M. Richardson, Kim W. Woods, and Michael W. Franklin

BRIGITTE ROUSSEL Book Review: The Medieval Sea, by Susan Rose

NANCY VAN DEUSEN Book Review: Gregorian Chant, by David Hiley

ANNETTE LEZOTTE Book Review: Merchants, Princes and Painters: Silk Fabrics in Italian and Northern Paintings 1300–1550, by Lisa Monnas

MARY OLSON Book Review: A Gentle Introduction to Old English, by Murray McGillivray

LESLEY A. COOTE Book Review: British Outlaws of Literature and History: Essays on Medieval and Early Modern Figures from Robin Hood to Twm Shon Catty, edited by Alexander L. Kaufman

CFP Studies in Medievalim 2017

Came across the following today:


By blatantly concentrating on constructs, medievalism studies may seem to avoid the problems of defining an authentic Middle Ages. But what do such studies presume about that middle ages or any other? About the studies’ medievalist subjects? About the medievalist subjects’ constructs of the Middle Ages? When it comes to authenticity, how do medievalism studies relate to the Middle Ages? To medievalism? To (other) postmedievalism? To neomedievalism? Studies in Medievalism, a peer-reviewed print and on-line publication, is seeking 3,000-word (including notes) essays on these questions, as well as 6,000 to 12,000-word (including notes) articles on any postmedieval responses to the Middle Ages. Please send all submissions in English and Word to Karl Fugelso ( by August 1, 2017. For a style sheet, please download the STYLE SHEET here.

Further details at

Friday, January 6, 2017

Call for Papers: Medieval in American Popular Culture: Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant

The Medieval in American Popular Culture:
Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant
             The comic strip Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur was launched in 1937 and continues to be produced to this day. Begun by illustrator Hal Foster and now under the direction of writer Mark Schultz and artist Thomas Yeates, Prince Valiant celebrates its eightieth anniversary in 2017. This is a significant achievement for a work of popular medievalism. In recognition of this milestone, the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture seeks papers that explore the appeal (either in the United States or abroad) of the strip and its characters and/or the significance of other works of American medievalism both in the past and in the world today. The session is being submitted for consideration at the 2017 meeting of the American Literature Association to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, from 25-28 May 2017.
            We are especially interested in proposals that respond to one of more of the following questions:
·         Why is the medieval popular in the United States, a nation with no physical connections to the medieval past?
·         What is the continued appeal of the medieval to Americans?
·         Do Americans do different things with medieval material compared to their contemporaries around the globe?
·         How have Americans’ view of the medieval changed over time?
·         Why do some forms of American-made medievalism endure while others are forgotten?
·         How well do American-made medievalisms translate into other media and/or cultural settings?

Please submit proposals to the organizers at no later than 28 January 2017. Please use “Medieval in American Popular Culture” as your subject line. A complete proposal should include the following: your complete contact information, a clear and useful title of your paper, an abstract of your paper (approximately 250 to 600 words), a brief biographical statement explaining your academic status and authority to speak about your proposed topic, and a note on any audio/visual requirements.
Final papers should be delivered between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on the number of presenters. Potential presenters are reminded that the rules of the conference allow individuals to present only one paper at the annual meeting.

Further details on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can found at
Additional information about the conference and the American Literature Association can be found at

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kalamazoo 2017 Advance Notice

Please check out our blog, Medieval Studies on Screen, for details on our call for papers for next year's International Congress on Medieval Studies. The session is devoted to animated representations of the medieval and is offered in memory of the late Michael N. Salda, author of Arthurian Animation: A Study of Cartoon Camelots on Film and Television.

Details at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

CFP Conference on Medievalism in Contemporary Popular Culture (7/31/2016; France 11/25-26/2016)

Came across this on the Medieval Academy News blog:

Call for Papers – “Getting Medieval”: Medievalism in Contemporary Popular Culture
Posted on June 13, 2016 by Chris

This conference, organized at the Jean-François Champollion National University Institute (“Champollion University”) in the historic episcopal city of Albi, France – site of the thirteenth-century Albigensian Crusades – will take place on 25-26 November 2016.  Please send proposals of 100-250 words for 20-minute papers (in English or French) to along with a brief CV before 31 July 2016 for full consideration.

Cette journée d’étude aura lieu les 25 et 26 novembre 2016 à l’Institut National Universitaire Jean-François Champollion dans la ville épiscopale d’Albi dans le Tarn.  Les propositions de communications (250-500 mots, en anglais ou français) sont à envoyer accompagné d’un court CV à avant le 31 juillet 2016.


Today’s “pop” culture is rich with allusions to the Middle Ages, not only in literature and visual arts – as it always has been in past centuries (e.g., the pre-Raphaelites or Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, etc.) – but also in graphic novels and comics, on the big screen and the little one, not to mention the computer screens of electronic gamers as well as amusement parks, festivals and fairs.

But how much of what is presented in a medieval context – either as actual “remakes” of old accounts or simply loosely employing a medieval setting or theme – accurately reflects the Middle Ages, and to what extent do these medieval constructs change or distort the reality of the age? When changed, to what extent is the epoch romanticised as, for example, an idealized Camelot where “the rain may never fall till after sundown?” To what extent is it vilified, making the expression “to get medieval on [somebody]” suggest a horrific vengeance? How do these constructs inform our understanding of the Middle Ages, and how important is it (if at all) to be entirely accurate? Finally, to what extent do such alterations update the texts or tales, keeping them alive and evolving, and why is it a perennial favourite, replayed year after year, decade after decade, indeed, century after century?

This conference hopes to respond to some of these questions by opening a dialogue between various disciplines: literature, history, historical linguistics, visual arts, cinema, theatre, television, etc., in order to study the enduring popularity of medieval themes and the ways in which medieval tales and texts are transmitted, preserved, distorted, renewed and built upon in the creation of new, decidedly modern popular culture in Europe, North America and the world of the 21st century.

This conference hopes to explore ways in which medieval texts, tales and traditions are used (or abused!) and used to fashion entirely new works that ultimately form part of contemporary pop culture in its own right, not only in the modern age, but in ages past. It might also address ways in which authors from the Renaissance until now (e.g., Spenser, Shakespeare, Yeats, etc.) have contributed to our modern conception of the Middle Ages, both myth and reality.

Some aspects to consider might include the importance of accuracy in portrayals purportedly based on actual texts (such as the Vikings series, or various remakes of Beowulf), and to what extent is liberal treatment acceptable, even to be encouraged?  To what extent is received wisdom, often quite dubious, employed in original works with a medieval feeling or theme, though not necessarily a medieval setting like Game of Thrones or Harry Potter?

In addition to the works listed above, the conference is open to any proposition addressing the use of medieval works or themes in any aspect of popular culture in any subsequent age, leading to its entrenched place in the pop culture of today – not only in fiction and art, but in any form of entertainment or representation.  Finally, the value of both medieval literature and culture, as well as popular culture, and the interdependence of both, is to be explored.


La culture populaire d’aujourd’hui est riche en allusions au Moyen Age, non seulement dans la littérature et les arts visuels – comme elle l’a toujours été dans les siècles passés (par exemple, les préraphaélites ou Connecticut Yankee dans la cour du roi Arthur de Twain, Idylles du roi de Tennyson, ou le Hobbit et le Seigneur des Anneaux de Tolkien, etc.) – mais aussi dans les romans graphiques et dans les bandes dessinées, sur le petit comme sur le grand écran, ainsi que sur les écrans d’ordinateur des amateurs de jeux vidéos, les parcs d’attractions, les festivals et les foires.

Mais combien de ces références dont le contexte est médiéval – présentées comme de nouvelles versions de vieux récits ou tout simplement utilisant de manière plus libre un cadre ou un thème médiéval – reflètent fidèlement le Moyen Age ? Et de quelle manière et dans quelle mesure ces références médiévales modifient-elle ou déforment-elle la réalité de cette époque ? A quel point cette époque est-elle romancée comme, par exemple, dans un Camelot idéalisé où «la pluie ne peut  tomber qu’après le coucher du soleil »? Dans quelle mesure est-elle, comme l’atteste l’expression « Jouer à la flamme bien moyenâgeuse » qui implique la menace d’une vengeance féroce, diabolisée, vilipendée? Dans quelle mesure et à quel point ces constructions, ces références, influencent-elles sur notre compréhension du Moyen Age? Est-il donc important d’être exact ? Enfin, dans quelle mesure ces modifications mettent-elles à jour les textes et les récits en leur permettant de rester en vie et en constante évolution ? Et pourquoi le Moyen Age est-il l’éternel sujet favori, exploité année après année, décennie après décennie, siècle après siècle?

Cette journée d’étude va tenter de répondre à ces questions en ouvrant le dialogue par le biais de différentes disciplines : histoire, littérature, linguistique diachronique, arts visuels, cinéma, théâtre, télévision, mais aussi via les jeux vidéos et les parcs d’attraction, etc. Il s’agira d’étudier la popularité durable des thèmes médiévaux et la manière dont les récits et les textes médiévaux sont transmis, conservés, déformés, renouvelés et utilisés pour construire la nouvelle culture populaire résolument moderne, de l’Europe, de l’Amérique du Nord et du monde du 21ème siècle.

Il est important de considérer l’importance de la précision dans les représentations prétendument basées sur des textes réels, comme par exemple la série Vikings, ou les divers remakes de Beowulf. Et, dans quelle mesure ce libre traitement est-il acceptable, ou même à encourager? Dans quelle mesure les idées reçues, souvent douteuses, sont-elles employées dans des œuvres originales au contexte médiéval, mais pas forcément dans un cadre véritablement médiéval comme Game of Thrones ou Harry Potter?

Outre les ouvrages mentionnés ci-dessus, la conférence est ouverte à toute proposition portant sur l’utilisation des œuvres ou des thèmes médiévaux dans tous les aspects de la culture populaire actuelle ou antérieure, les conduisant à une place ancrée dans la culture populaire moderne – non seulement dans la fiction et l’art, mais dans toute forme de divertissement ou de représentation. Enfin, la valeur de la littérature et de la culture médiévales, de la culture populaire, ainsi que leur interdépendance, sera étudiée.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Announcing the The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

I am pleased to announce that effective 1 March 2016, the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages is now the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture under the direction of founder Michael A. Torregrossa. I believe that the new name better reflects our purpose as an organization as it has evolved since 2004.

Changes to the sites will begin today and should be completed this spring. Some links may no longer work in the interim. I apologize for any issues as we reconfigure our presence on the web.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Founder and Blog-Editor, The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kalamazoo 2016

The program for this year's International Congress on Medieval Studies is now available at Details on our sponsored session can be found on the Medieval Studies on Screen site at

SMART Fall 2015

The latest number of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching arrived recently in the mail. The focus of Vol. 22, No. 2 is on teaching Old English. Full contents from SMART's website ( follow:

Fall 2015 (Volume 22, Issue 2)
OLD ENGLISH ACROSS THE CURRICULUM—CONTEXTS AND PEDAGOGIES (featured collection guest edited by Haruko Momma and Heide Estes)


HARUKO MOMMA and HEIDE ESTES  Old English across the Curriculum—Contexts and Pedagogies
Part 1:  Historical Old English

FRED C. ROBINSON  Why Study Old English?
CARLA MARÍA THOMAS  Blurring the Lines: Early Middle English in the Old English Classroom
HEIDE ESTES  Teaching Old English in History of the English Language
Part 2:  Old English through Different Media

PETER S. BAKER  On Writing Old English
ERIC WEISKOTT  A Plea for Pronunciation
MARTIN CHASE  Teaching Old English Codicology and Palaeography from the Beginning
Part 3:  Interactive Old English

ERICA WEAVER  Attending to Poems: Learning from Latin Pedagogy
BOB HASENFRATZ  Paradigm Bashing Challenges to Teaching and Learning Old English in the Twenty-First Century
NIENKE C. VENDERBOSCH  The Language Bank as a Tool for Active Learning
MARTIN FOYS  Hwæt sprycst þu?: Performing Ælfric’s Colloquy
Part 4:  Old English in/and Translation

STACY S. KLEIN  Anglo-Saxon Pedagogy and the “Circle of Shame”
MICHAEL MATTO  Remainders: Reading an Old English Poem through Multiple Translations
MO PARELES  Teaching Graduate Students to Teach Old English


PETER S. BAKER  Hærrig Wand Bygeþ [Harry Buys a Wand]
BOB HASENFRATZ  A Frequency List of Old English Vocabulary in a “Canonical” Corpus
JAY PAUL GATES  Reading Pronouns: An Entry to Medieval Textual Culture

TOM SHIPPEY  Book Reviews: Viking Language 1: Learn Old Norse, Runes and Icelandic Sagas, by Jesse L. Byock; and Viking Language 2: The Reader, by L. Jesse Byock

STEPHEN F. EVANS  Book Review: Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze, edited by Vin Nardizzi, Stephen Guy-Bray, and Will Stockton

WILLIAM F. HODAPP  Book Review: The Cambridge Companion to Boethius, edited by John Marenbon

Monday, July 20, 2015

CFP Science Fiction in the Middle Ages and the Middle Ages in Science Fiction (9/30/15; NeMLA 2016)

Science Fiction in the Middle Ages and the Middle Ages in Science Fiction (Panel)
NeMLA's 47th annual convention, March 17 to 20, 2016 in Hartford, CT
Primary Area / Secondary Area: British / Comparative Literature
Chair(s): Timothy Miller (Sarah Lawrence College)
Proposals by September 30, 2015.

Medieval European literature played a defining role in the development of modern fantasy fiction, and genre fantasy has already received a great deal of critical attention in the academic study of medievalism. By comparison, the complex relationship of genre science fiction to the Middle Ages has been sorely understudied, and this session will include papers that consider either or both of the topics in its title, that is, on the one hand, the appearance or influence of "the medieval," broadly conceived, in modern science fiction. Such papers might examine how certain works of SF (re)construct the medieval: fruitful examples would include a text like Frank Herbert's Dune, where neo-feudalism prevails; time travel novels in which contemporary characters return to an imagined Middle Ages; SF narratives written by medievalists (such as C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy); or space operas that follow romance or folkloric formulae. Alternatively, papers in search of "science fiction in the Middle Ages" might apply to medieval texts concepts central to the academic study of science fiction -- Darko Suvin's "cognitive estrangement," Fredric Jameson's theory of utopia, and so on -- or examine any set of medieval discourses, impulses, or individual works that might be productively understood as some kind of equivalent to contemporary SF. Examples here might include dream visions in which the narrator traverses the celestial spheres, tales of impossible gadgets, or narratives of alchemical success or folly. Finally, papers that argue from a perspective denying the compatibility of the medieval worldview and the rationalist-empiricist discourse of science fiction would also be welcome. This session will advance our understanding of the place of (proto-)science in medieval fictions, but also attempt to account for the frequent reappearance of the medieval in the distinctly modern science fiction genre, which often takes pride in its modernity and defines itself against pre-Enlightenment epistemologies.

This session will explore the reception and reconstruction of the Middle Ages in contemporary science fiction narrative, but also invites reconsiderations of the appearance of proto-scientific discourses in medieval literature itself, in search of possible connections between these phenomena. Accordingly, individual papers may address modern and/or medieval texts: neo-medieval science fiction masterworks such as Frank Herbert's Dune, where neo-feudalism prevails; time travel novels in which contemporary characters return to an imagined Middle Ages; SF narratives written by medievalists (such as C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy); space operas that follow romance or folkloric formulae; or any medieval text with natural-scientific ambitions of its own (dream visions, marvel tales, alchemical ruminations, bestiaries, and more). By bringing SF theory and medievalizing science fiction in dialogue with the science and fiction of the Middle Ages, this session will advance our understanding of the place of (proto-)science in medieval literature, while also perhaps shedding light on the unexpectedly frequent reappearance of the medieval in the distinctively modern genre of science fiction genre, which so often takes pride in its modernity and defines itself against pre-Enlightenment epistemologies.

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