Seminar Lit/ Cult Theory: Fall 2018
LMC 4200-F / Special Topics LMC 8803
In this seminar, we want to explore the world-wide existence of medievalism, a cultural phenomenon that encompasses all creative and critical receptions, reimaginations, and reenactments of medieval culture in postmedieval times. Specifically, we want to investigate the causes for the continued fascination with medieval culture, from European colonialism and Western’ economic, military, and cultural influence through the transformations and adaptations of ‘real’ and ‘invented ‘ medieval ideas, tropes, and memes in countries, regions, and cultures in which there never was a ‘middle age’, strictly speaking. This is a cultural studies seminar for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, and thus it unites scholarship on art, class, culture, fashion, film, gender, literature, media, music, politics, race, and technology to help us debate how cultural practices and ideas about the ‘medieval’ travel through time and space. Our goal is to answer complex questions at the intersection of various academic disciplines, theories, and cultural and linguistic traditions. Our travels will be local-to-global, beginning in Atlanta, and then on from ‘palm to pine’. We may ask, for example: why Unite the Right demonstrators in Charlottesville, NC, wielded medievalist shields; why Putin’s Russia celebrates its medieval heritage; or why the reception of Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, or David Benioff & D.B. Weiss’ Game of Thrones is quite different in the Middle East than in Britain, Australia, or the U.S.
The class will provide a unique opportunity for original research and the public presentation of that research during the annual meeting of the Georgia Medievalist Group, on Saturday, November 3, here at Georgia Tech. The class ill also involve a good number of guest specialists from different areas of expertise who will join us from all over the world (in person or virtually) in our search for answers about diverse global medievalisms. Undergraduate students will be required to do at least one presentation and produce an expertly edited research paper of 15 pages (or equivalent work); graduate students will be required to do additional readings in cultural studies and medievalism, do at least one presentation, and produce a publishable paper of 21 pages (or equivalent work).
If you are interested, here is some information on the topics we might touch: Elizabeth Emery and Richard Utz, eds., Medievalism: K v Critical Terms (online: GT library); David Matthews, Medievalism. A Critical History (online: GT Library);Medieval!J Speaking; Studies in Medievalism (online: GT Library) and Postmedieval (online: GT Library); and The Public Medievalist. Other resources ill include the Cambridge Companion to Medievalism, ed. Louise D’Arcens, and Tison Pugh & Angela Jane Weisl, Medievalisms: Making the Past in the Presence, and Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages. A reference section with multiple resources from our library holdings will be provided. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .edu.