Saturday, March 2, 2013

Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture (New Book)

Out late last year from Palgrave Macmillan:

Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture
The New Middle Ages
Edited By Gail Ashton and Daniel T. Kline

Palgrave Macmillan, December 2012
ISBN: 978-0-230-33734-3, ISBN10: 0-230-33734-1,
5.500 x 8.500 inches, 258 pages,
Hardcover $85.00

Drawing from an eclectic mix of scholars from the US, UK, and Australia,Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture examines the persistence of medieval themes, characters, and situations in a variety of media from reality television to Virginia Woolf, Arthurian film to Disney animation, Shrek to historical fantasy. Each essay demonstrates that the Middle Ages are not relegated to a static past but continue to fashion a vital presence in contemporary popular culture, changing our assumptions about the flow of history and the creation of the present.
Contents (from WorldCat):
The YouTube prioress : anti-semitism and twenty-first century participatory culture / Candace Barrington --
Animated conversations in Nottingham : Disney's Robin Hood (1973) / Andrew Lynch --
Virginia Woolf's middle ages / Steve Ellis --
Dario Fo's Mistero Buffo and the left-modernist reclamation of medieval popular culture / Louise D'Arcens --
Acephalic history : a Bataillian reading of Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Daniel T. Kline --
Medievalism and periodization in Frozen river and The second shepherds' play : environment, class, miracle / Robert S. Sturges --
Time travel, pulp fictions, and changing attitudes toward the Middle Ages : why you can't get Renaissance on somebody's ass / Steve Guthrie --
H.P. Lovecraft's "unnamable" Middle Ages / Brantley L. Bryant --
Confession, contrition, and the rhetoric of tears : medievalism and reality television / Angela Jane Weisl --
Robin Hood, frenched / Richard Utz --
Brief encounters : Arthur's epic journey in Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur (2005) / Leslie Coote --
"My other world" : historical reflections and refractions in modern Arthurian fantasy / Philippa Semper --
Queer origins, deformed lies : seeding the future in Torchwood's "Children of earth" / Gail Ashton --
The medieval entertainment channel : the Shrek quartet / Kathleen Coyne Kelly.

About the editors:
Gail Ashton is an independent scholar and poet. She previously taught at the University of Manchester and the University of Birmingham and writes, edits, and reviews medieval and contemporary literature, especially Chaucer and poetry.

Daniel T. Kline is a professor and Chair of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He specializes in Middle English literature and culture, literary and cultural theory, and digital medievalism. He has published in Chaucer Review, College Literature, Comparative Drama, the Journal of English and Germanic Philology, and Philological Quarterly, among others. 
'Spanning many centuries and multiple media, this collection will inform and delight specialists, generalists, and anyone else interested in how we shape the Middle Ages and they shape us. Through highly engaging case-studies, the authors thoroughly and thoughtfully explore the vast and sometimes surprising legacy of our medieval past. They challenge the most fundamental assumptions of (neo)medievalism and open new avenues of research into one of the most dynamic and wide-ranging fields in the humanities.' - Karl Fugelso, professor of Art History at Towson University and editor of Studies in Medievalism
'An insightful collection that confronts issues too often left implicit in studies of medievalism head-on. Together the essays pose an important challenge: to examine the persistence, contingency and plurality of medievalism, and the implications that has for periodization and the ongoing influence of the medieval on the modern.' - David W. Marshall, California State University San Bernardino and editor of Mass Market Medieval: Essays on the Middle Ages in Popular Culture

'The essays in Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture are energetic and spirited. They explore the diversity of medievalisms in popular culture, asking powerful questions about modern critical, creative, and political investments in such forms of medieval re-creation. Through a series of detailed readings, the authors offer loving, critical attention to texts that are often dismissed or unregarded. The best of these essays go even further: to consider the role of medievalism in shaping our ideas of modernity, and the relationship between high and popular culture. This collection is packed full of fresh insights and readings, and will become essential reading for students and researchers working in this field.' - Stephanie Trigg, University of Melbourne

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