A much belated notice that our sponsored session on professionalism and Medievalism Studies was rejected by the organizers of the 2020 International Congress on Medieval Studies. The session was designed following many conversations at this year's conference with medieval(ism)ists that felt out of place in the field of Medieval Studies and were seeking support and mentoring.
The full proposal follows:
Proposed session #1 title: Can We Be More Than the Middle Ages? The Place of Medievalism Studies within Medieval Studies (Roundtable)
Proposed session #1 format: Roundtable
Importance #1: Medievalisms are the lifeblood of our field. They create interest in the Middle Ages and keep its legacies alive despite our distances from the era in time and space, but does our fascination with this material come at a cost, one few are willing to pay? Can medievalists, of all levels, successfully integrate popular representations of the medieval into their research and careers, or must Medievalism Studies remain an outlier, a guilty pleasure rather than an appropriate option to further the field? Through this roundtable, we seek to explore the answers to these and similar questions.
Method #1: The academic study of medievalism has been viewed as a legitimate avenue of inquiry for just over forty years, and scholarship on medieval-themed art, comics, drama, fiction, film, games, and television programming has grown considerably over time. However, the phenomenal success of Medievalism Studies can be more a curse than a blessing. Medieval Studies and its more traditional sub-disciplines are not always as welcoming of this material as they appear, and we wonder whether the pursuit of medievalisms is a worthwhile endeavor or something capable of causing stigma or even harm to fall upon the researcher.
Keywords #1: Medievalism, Inclusion
The official response is that our session "was rejected because its content was duplicated by other medievalism proposals that were more strongly conceptualized. The Committee believes that the subject the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain proposed can be addressed by papers submitted to other sessions."
We remain convinced that our session proposal was unique and necessary, and, with the aid our sibling group, the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture, will seek to place it elsewhere in the hopes of initiating this much needed conversation and produce some answers for those that see themselves as affected.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions or comments.
Founder, Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain
Founder, Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture