Saturday, November 7, 2015

CFP Conference Call for Papers: World Cinema and Television in French (proposals by 3/1/2016; U of Cincinnati 9/9-10/2016)

Of potential interest:

Conference Call for Papers: World Cinema and Television in French
Discussion published by Michael Gott on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Call for Papers:
World Cinema and Television in French
September 9-10, 2016 ∙ University of Cincinnati, USA

Sponsored by Contemporary French Civilization, The University of Cincinnati & The University of Rhode Island
Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Bill Marshall (University of Stirling)
Confirmed Roundtable Participants: Joseph Mai (Clemson University), Mireille Rosello (University of Amsterdam), Sylvie Durmelat (Georgetown University), Thibaut Schilt (College of the Holy Cross)

This interdisciplinary conference will examine cinematic and televisual cultural productions that fall under a broad ‘French-language’ umbrella in order to map out significant trends as well as new directions in the study of global French-language cinema and television and its points of contact with other languages and industries. It also aims to explore the opportunities and limitations of adopting labels such as cinéma-monde, transnational, Francophone, and World Cinema, as critical frameworks.

The conference will conclude with a round table that will bring together ideas raised during the conference.

We invite proposals in French or English for single papers and panels. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • New Francophone spaces in world cinema and television
  • Transnational television and cinema in French (or partly in French)
  • Screen media and/or digital media in the French-speaking world
  • The notion of cinéma-monde or cinéma(s)-monde(s)
  • Parameters, boundaries, and definitions of French-language and/or French cinema
  • “Hubs” and emerging or overlooked  sites of French-language cinema (Montreal, Belgium, Chad)
  • Film and television industries (production and/or reception of French-language cinema and television, funding sources, industry practices, etc.)
  • Circuits and institutions of marketing and dissemination of French-language cinema (international and regional film festivals, cinema houses, etc.)
  • International auteurs working in Paris or international auteurs not based in Paris but making films in French/in France (Aki Kaurismäki, Ursula Meier, Merzak Allouache, Amos Gitai, etc.)
  • Directors whose work has intersected various Francophone spaces
  • Linguistic issues and parameters of “French-language cinema”, non-French productions containing French dialogue, French productions with little or no French in them, multilingual cinema
  • Interaction with and competition from English and points of contact with other languages in the Middle East, Africa, the Maghreb, and elsewhere
  • Antecedents to contemporary World cinema in French
  • Teaching French-language cinema to students who do not speak French

Conference participants will be invited to submit their papers for a special issue on the conference theme that will be published inContemporary French Civilization.

The deadline for abstracts (300 words) is March 1, 2016. Please send abstracts and a short bio as a single attachment

Please contact Michael Gott ( or Leslie Kealhofer-Kemp ( with any questions.

Scientific Committee:
Sylvie Durmelat (Georgetown University)
Michael Gott (University of Cincinnati)
Leslie Kealhofer-Kemp (University of Rhode Island)
Joseph Mai (Clemson University)
Thérèse Migraine-George (University of Cincinnati)
Mireille Rosello (University of Amsterdam)
Thibaut Schilt (College of the Holy Cross)

Sponsored by The University of Cincinnati Center for Film and Media Studies and Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, The University of Rhode Island, and Contemporary French Civilization

CFP Essay Collection on The Hobbit in Fiction and Film (proposals by 12/1/2015)

Head's up from H-Film:

CFP: Essay Collection on The Hobbit in Fiction and Film (working title) with McFarland publisher
Discussion published by Janice Bogstad on Friday, October 2, 2015

COMPARING JACKSON’S The Hobbit FILMS TO TOLKIEN’s NOVEL: : Text into Film   Edited by Dr. Janice M Bogstad

 Call for papers for an essay collection -12-15 essays of 6000-8,000 words in length.

The deadline for receipt of an abstract, for consideration, is Dec 1, 2015. Final manuscripts are due March 1, 2016 with encouragement for earlier submission.  Contact me to discuss exceptions.

Send Abstracts and address queries to:  
Dr. Janice M. Bogstad, Professor  715-836-6032
(McIntyre Library U of Wisconsin-Eau Claire   Eau Claire, WI  54702-5010

Manuscripts will be reviewed in a double-blind process by peer reviewers after having been tentatively accepted by the editor.

The collection will consider comparisons between Tolkien’s original Hobbit and the three Jackson films.  Of interest are structural parallels and differences, changes in character-focus from the book to the films, and considerations of philosophical differences in the overall message of Tolkien’s original book and Jackson’s films, but other well-supported arguments will also be considered.  As with the previously published essay collection, Picturing Tolkien (McFarland 2011), this collection will focus on positive comparisons. Essayists may wish to discuss features of the film that are, in their judgment, less successful, but will be asked to hold condemnation of the cinematic text simply on the basis of its differences from the textual narrative.  Authors may decide to focus on the films or the novel but the primary focus is comparative features of both.  Contribution to Tolkien scholarship can be articulated with two concepts:  its audience is the informed reader, not only the Tolkien, literary or film critic.  Its basic framework is in respect of co-measurability, that the books and the films are co-creations with parallel structures that intersect at certain points.  Each should be examined and compared as if those comparisons and intersections are significant to understanding contemporary Tolkien studies.

CFP History Channel's Vikings Collection (proposals 6/1/2016)

Courtesy Tim Rayborn:

New anthology on the Vikings television show

McFarland Publishers, an independent book publisher devoted to a wide variety of topics, including history, sports, and pop culture, is releasing a collection of essays on the History Channel’s television series "Vikings." I will act as editor, being a medievalist and having an interest in Northern European culture and history. I have written three books for McFarland (two available now and one published early next year), and am a professional performer of early music.

Entering its fourth season in 2016, the show has a large and growing audience of fans, though it also has detractors and critics, mainly for its tendency to take liberties with historical events and details. However, it does make use of period languages, and is known for its cinematography.

In assembling a collection of essays, I am looking for a considerable variety of topics, including history, sociology, pop culture studies, gender studies, etc. Possible subjects might include:

  • Historical vs. onscreen representations of events, people, etc. The show often mixes elements together from different accounts. The point here would not be to overly criticize the series for its departures from history, but rather to examine differences and perhaps investigate why certain changes were made.
  • Representations in the show of everyday life, such as food, drink, farming, and domestic activities.
  • A study of Ragnar’s Saga and related accounts.
  • Sexuality in the show, from both pagan and Christian perspectives.
  • How religion is portrayed in various episodes, including Ragnar’s vision of Odin in the first episode, the events at Uppsala, Floki’s “Heathen fundamentalism,” Christian imagery in France and England, scenes such as the Viking blessing of the crops in Anglo-Saxon England, and Ragnar’s “funeral” at Paris.
  • Related to the previous topic, a study of the character of Æthelstan and Anglo-Saxon monasticism in general (at Lindisfarne and elsewhere) would be welcome.
  • Representations of women in the show. Viking women such as Lagertha, Siggy, Aslaug, Porunn, Helga, as well as Saxon and French women (such as Judith and Princess Gisla) are all worthy of further study, perhaps contrasting these characters with historical information.
  • Sociological studies would be welcome, such as why the show is so popular now (the trailer for Season Four was a hit at San Diego Comic-Con 2015, and has some 850,000 views on YouTube; the show routinely has more than 4 million weekly viewers), and which themes seem to resonate with modern viewers.

The point of this anthology is to view the show for its own merits, understanding that it is a mixture of history, saga literature, fiction, and anachronism, all of which gives it its own unique flavor. Critical essays, rather than merely criticism, are what we seek. Ideally, potential contributors would want to view the upcoming Season Four (premiering in March, 2016) to include aspects of it in their articles, though there are certainly enough topics to begin work now, and to propose subjects of study.

Essays must be in English, fully cited with end notes, and bibliography, all in accordance with the current Chicago Manual of Style. The length of each contribution should be between about 5,000 and 10,000 words, unless there is a good reason that a given essay should be shorter or longer. Please use clear, concise writing.

Peer review will be conducted after the collection is submitted, currently scheduled for September 1, 2016.

Accordingly, the deadline for article submission is June 1, 2016. Submissions before that deadline are, of course, most welcome and helpful.

If contributors wish to include images not in public domain or text excerpts from copyrighted materials requiring written permission to reproduce, they will be expected to obtain such permissions on their own, and pay the required reproduction fees (if needed). McFarland cannot reimburse for this expense. I will need hard copies of each such permission. McFarland also discourages the use of quotations of dialogue from individual episodes, as well as images/screen captures, as these require additional permission/fees from the television network and can delay publication.

Potential contributors should submit a one- to two-page proposal including a potential title, a short description/abstract of the topic(s) for your essay, a brief summary of your background and qualifications, and contact information.

Please email your proposals to me at:

Thank you for your time and interest, and I look forward to receiving and reading your proposals.

Best wishes,

Tim Rayborn

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

CFP More Middle Ages on Screen? Reconsidering The Reel Middle Ages (A Roundtable) (9/15/2015; ICMS Kalamazoo 5/12-15/2016)

More Middle Ages on Screen? Reconsidering The Reel Middle Ages (A Roundtable)
Sponsored by the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
51st International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
12-15 May 2016
Proposals due by 15 September 2015

Like many disciplines in the humanities, Medieval Studies is often challenged about its relevance in the contemporary world. One way to respond to these concerns is to not just engage our classes with the historic medieval past of centuries ago but also with the various medieval presents of today that are depicted in medievalisms found in popular culture, especially in film, television programming, and electronic games, the media most familiar to the current generation of students. To do this, medievalists need have the proper tools to help them to access and engage this material. Kevin J. Harty’s The Reel Middle Ages: American, Western and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian Films about Medieval Europe, published in 1999, offered a great resource to do this, yet there remains a lot of additional work to be done with regards to assessing the full extent of how the entertainment industries have appropriated and re-presented the Middle Ages for modern audiences.

For example, by limiting his catalog to only feature and television films set in the medieval past, Harty missed the opportunity to introduce his readers to the larger picture of popular medievalisms on screen that includes theatrical shorts, the greater body of televisual material, and electronic games, all depicting some version of the Middle Ages, as well as works that use the medieval anachronistically or as the inspiration for secondary worlds. In addition, Harty’s book covered material produced only up to 1996, and, while the work was reprinted in paperback in 2006, its data has not been updated in almost 20 years despite the proliferation of medievalisms on screen in the late 1990s and early twenty-first century. Studies that have followed Harty do attempt to compensate for some of his omissions, but essential filmographic and bibliographic information, such as that provided by Harty and that should serve as the start of any research inquiry into medievalisms on screen, remains lacking for these areas with the notable exception of Arthurian-themed material, as Arthurian Studies (Harty’s primary discipline and the first to benefit from his efforts) remains the one field of Medieval Studies most interested in cataloging its representations on screen.

In furtherance of the mission of the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages, the goal of this roundtable session is to revisit and expand the ground-breaking work done by Harty by presenting a wider (if not the widest possible) portrait of Medieval Studies on screen by both offering new texts for discussion and reclaiming older ones that have been previously neglected by medievalists. We hope that a greater understanding and appreciation of the complete corpus of medievalisms on screen will benefit our teaching and scholarship and result in more thoughtful reflections on the reception of the medieval past through the contemporary interpretations of Middle Ages most known to the general public.
Presentations will be limited to 10-15 minutes depending on panel size, and the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages asks that accepted presenters submit their completed papers for publication on the Medieval Studies on Screen site ( prior to the conference to allow maximum dissemination of their ideas.

Interested individuals should submit, no later than 15 September 2015, (1) an abstract of approximately 500 words, (2) a 500-word biography, and (3) a completed Participant Information Form (accessible at to the organizers at using “More Middle Ages on Screen” as their subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be advised of the following policies of the Congress:

  • The Congress Committee will schedule a person as a participant (paper presenter, panelist, discussant, workshop leader, demonstration participant, poster presenter, presider, or respondent) in a maximum of three sessions.
  • All those working in the field of medieval studies, including graduate students and independent scholars and artists, are eligible to give a paper, if accepted, in any session. Enrolled undergraduate students, however, may give a paper, if accepted, only in the “Papers by Undergraduates” Special Session(s).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Poor Merida

There was some outrage when Disney tried to co-opt Pixar's Merida from Brave into the Disney Princess line, and now she has been cutified by Hallmark for Christmas. Full details on the Disney/Pixar Precious Moments Brave Princess Merida Ornament are available at The porcelain figurine retails for $24.95.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Updated Info on The Middle Ages on Television

Meriem Pagès and Karolyn Kinane's collection The Middle Ages on Television: Critical Essays is now available for purchase and the full contents list made available. Complete details follow.

The Middle Ages on Television: Critical Essays
Edited by Meriem Pagès and Karolyn Kinane

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7941-2
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2009-1
notes, bibliographies, index
228pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2015

Price: $40.00
Available for immediate shipment

About the Book
The 21st century has seen a resurgence of popular interest in the Middle Ages. Television in particular has presented a wide and diverse array of “medieval” offerings. Yet there exists little scholarship on television medievalism.

This collection fills the gap with 10 new essays focusing on the depiction of the Middle Ages in popular culture and questioning the role of television in shaping our ideas about past and present. The contributors emphasize the need for scholars of medievalism to pay attention to its manifestations on the small screen. The essays cover quite a range of topics, including genre, gender and sexuality. The series covered are Game of Thrones, Merlin, Full Metal Jousting, Joan of Arcadia, Tudors, Camelot and Mists of Avalon.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Television Medievalisms (Meriem Pages and Karolyn Kinane) 1

Part 1. Personal and Political Desires
The Most Dangerous Sport in History Is About to Be Reborn: Medievalism and Violence in Full Metal Jousting (Angela Jane Weisl) 15
Joan of Arcadia: A Modern Maiden on Trial (Stephanie L. Coker) 31
William Webbe’s Wench: Henry VIII, History and Popular Culture (Shannon McSheffrey) 53
Nature and Adventure in Die Jagd nach dem Schatz der Nibelungen (Evan Torner) 78

Part 2. Narrative and Genre
Episodic Arthur: Merlin, Camelot and the Visual Modernization of the Medieval Literary Romance Tradition (Melissa Ridley Elmes) 99
Are You Kidding? King Arthur and the Knights of Justice (Sandy Feinstein) 122

Part 3. Gender and Sexuality
Television’s Male Gaze: The Male Perspective in TNT’s Mists of Avalon (Michael W. George) 141
Gendering Morals, Magic and Medievalism in the BBC’s Merlin (Elysse T. Meredith) 158
Arthur and Guenievre: The Royal Couple of Kaamelott (Tara Foster) 174
Homosexuality in Television Medievalism (Torben R. Gebhardt) 197

About the Contributors 215

Index 217

About the Editors
Meriem Pages is an associate professor of English and director of the Medieval and Renaissance Forum at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Karolyn Kinane is an associate professor of English and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kapell and Elliott's Playing with the Past

Another title of relevance to our endeavors:

Playing with the Past: Digital Games and the Simulation of History
Editor(s): Matthew Wilhelm Kapell, Andrew B.R. Elliott

Published: 10-24-2013
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 400
ISBN: 9781623567286
Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
Illustrations: 25
Dimensions: 6" x 9"
List price: $39.95

About Playing with the Past

Game Studies is a rapidly growing area of contemporary scholarship, yet volumes in the area have tended to focus on more general issues. With Playing with the Past, game studies is taken to the next level by offering a specific and detailed analysis of one area of digital game play -- the representation of history. The collection focuses on the ways in which gamers engage with, play with, recreate, subvert, reverse and direct the historical past, and what effect this has on the ways in which we go about constructing the present or imagining a future.

What can World War Two strategy games teach us about the reality of this complex and multifaceted period? Do the possibilities of playing with the past change the way we understand history? If we embody a colonialist's perspective to conquer 'primitive' tribes in Colonization, does this privilege a distinct way of viewing history as benevolent intervention over imperialist expansion? The fusion of these two fields allows the editors to pose new questions about the ways in which gamers interact with their game worlds. Drawing these threads together, the collection concludes by asking whether digital games - which represent history or historical change - alter the way we, today, understand history itself.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction: To Build a Past that Will “Stand the Test of Time”: Discovering Historical Facts, Assembling Historical Narratives, Andrew B.R. Elliott and Matthew Wilhelm Kapell

Part I: History as a Process: Teleology, Causation and Technological Determinism
2. The Same River Twice: Historical Representation and the Value of Exploring Societal Concepts in the Total War, Civilization, and Age of Empires Franchises, Rolfe Daus Peterson, Andrew Miller and Sean Joseph Fedorko
3. What is “Old” in Videogames? Dan Reynolds
4. “Affording History”: Applying the Ecological Approach to Historical Videogames, Adam Chapman

Part II: History written by the West: Self, Other and Non-Western History
5. Phantasms of Rome: Video Games and Cultural Identity, Emily Joy Bembeneck
6. Modeling Indigenous Peoples: Unpacking Ideology in Sid Meier's Colonization, Rebecca Mir and Trevor Owens
7. Dominance and The Aztec Empire: Representations in Age of Empires II and Medieval Total War II, Joshua D. Holdenried with Nicolas Trépanier
8. From History to Literature to Game: Three Kingdoms and the Cultural Significance of Asian History, Hyuk-chan Kwon
9. Falling in Love with History: Japanese Girls and Otome Games, Kazumi Hasegawa

Part III: User-Generated History: Realism, Authenticity and the Playable Past
10. Selective Authenticity and the Playable Past, Andrew J. Salvati and Jonathan M. Bullinger
11. The Promise of Simulation: Realism, Authenticity, Virtuality, Josef Köstlbauer
12. Modding the Historians' Code: Historical Verisimilitude and the Counterfactual Imagination, Tom Apperley
13. Modding as Historical Reenactment: A Case Study of the Battlefield Series, Gareth Crabtree

Part IV: The Politics of Representation: Authenticity and Realism
14. Historical Veneers: Anachronism, Simulation and History in Assassin's Creed II, Douglas N. Dow
15. Air Power vs. Processing Power: Technology and Narrative Possibilities in WWI Video Gaming, Andrew Wackerfuss
16. Videogames in the popular Culture of Remembrance of the Cold War: A Case Study of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Clemens Reisner
17. Refighting the Cold War: Video Games and Speculative History, Marcus Schulzke

Part V: Looking Back on the End of the World: History as Utopian Possibility
18. Strategic Digital Defense: Video Games and Reagan's 'Star Wars' Program, 1980-1987, William M. Knoblauch
19. Fallout and the History of Yesterday's Impossible Tomorrow, Joseph A. November
20. History Out of Time: Fallout's Ironic America, Tom Cutterham
21. The Historical Conception of Biohazard in Biohazard, Robert Mejia and Ryuta Komaki
22. The Struggle with Gnosis: Ancient Religion and Future Technology in the Xenosaga Series, Erin Evans
23. Conclusion: Playing at True Myths, Engaging with Authentic Histories, Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and Andrew B.R. Elliott


Companion Website

For more details on Playing with the Past, please visit the companion website:

About Editors

Matthew Wilhelm Kapell has graduate degrees in biological anthropology and history as well as a Ph.D. in American Studies. He has published on genetics, urban history, African colonial history, as well as four books in film and television studies and has taught extensively in the United States and Great Britain.

Writes: Game Studies

Author of: Jacking In To the Matrix Franchise, Jacking In To the Matrix, Playing with the Past

Andrew Elliott is a Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Lincoln, UK, where he teaches cultural studies, media studies, history, film, and television. He is the author of Remaking the Middle Ages (2010) which concerns itself with authenticity, violence, and a semiotic reconstruction of the medieval period.

Writes: Game Studies

Author of: Playing with the Past

Elliott's The Return of Epic Film

Seems I'm very much behind here. More details on recent scholarship in the field.

The Return of the Epic Film: Genre, Aesthetics and History in the 21st Century
Edited By: Andrew Elliot
(Information from Edinburgh University Press)
(Information from Oxford University Press)

Edinburgh University Press
Publication Date: Mar 2014
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 240 pages
12 bw Ill., film stills

ISBN: 9780748684021
Price: £70.00

ISBN: 9781474402842
Price: £19.99

This book is distributed in North & South America by Oxford University Press USA

Hardcover (01 April 2014) for $120.00 (same ISBN as UK edition)

Paperback (available for pre-orders and will ship on 01 March 2015) $34.95 (same ISBN as UK edition)

Details (Edinburgh)

Explores the return of the ‘epic’ in twenty-first-century cinema

With the success of Gladiator, both critics and scholars enthusiastically announced the return of a genre which had lain dormant for thirty years. However, this return raises important new questions which remain unanswered. Why did the epic come back, and why did it fall out of fashion? Are these the same kinds of epics as the 1950s and 60s, or are there aesthetic differences? Can we treat Kingdom of Heaven, 300 and Thor indiscriminately as one genre? Are non-Western histories like Hero and Mongol epics, too? Finally, what precisely do we mean when we talk about the return of the epic film, and why are they back?
The Return of the Epic Film offers a fresh way of thinking about a body of films which has dominated our screens for a decade. With contributions from top scholars in the field, the collection adopts a range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore the epic film in the twenty-first century.

Details (Oxford)

What does the new epic film now look like? How is it classified? Why has it returned?

The success of Gladiator re-launched a genre which had lain dormant for 35 years. The Return of the Epic Film is one of the first books to examine this return as a coherent body of films. Studying a range of films from Gladiator to Clash of the Titans, the various essays question how we define these new epics, their aesthetics, their relationship to history, and who decides which films should be in the canon. Over the course of 11 essays by key figures in the field, the book examines in what ways, why, and how the epic film has returned to our cinemas.

By embracing a range of approaches which take into account the production process, and by questioning the canon of films conventionally accepted as epics, this book will inspire Film Studies students and scholars to rethink the epic film.


Introduction: The Return of the Epic, Andrew B.R. Elliott (read online)

Part I: Epics and Ancient History
Sir Ridley Scott and the Rebirth of the Epic, Jeffrey Richards
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and America since the Second World War: Some Cinematic Parallels, Kevin J. Harty
There’s Nothing So Wrong with a Hollywood Script that a Bunch of Giant CGI Scorpions Can’t Solve: Politics, Computer Generated Images and Camp in the Critical Reception of the Post-Gladiator Historical Epics: Mark Jancovich
Popcorn and Circus: An Audience Expects, Robert Stow

Part II: Epic Aesthetics and Genre
Colour in the Epic Film: Alexander and Hero, Robert Burgoyne
Defining the Epic: Medieval and Fantasy Epics, Paul Sturtevant
Special Effects, Reality, and the New Epic, Andrew B.R. Elliott

Part III: Epic Films and the Canon
Pass the Ammunition: A Short Etymology of Blockbuster, Sheldon Hall
Epic Stumbling Blocks, Saër Maty Bâ
The Greatest Epic of the 21st Century?, Deborah Bridge
Ramayana and Sita in Films and Popular Media: The Repositioning of a Globalised Version, Aarttee Kaul Dhar


Andrew B.R. Elliott is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln, UK, where he works on the depiction of history in popular culture. In addition to his work on epics, he has written on the use of the Middle Ages, Robin Hood, Vikings, and Classical Antiquity in film, as well as the depiction of the past in video games and television.

New/Recent: Medieval Motion Picture: The Politics of Adaptation

Here's another recent book of interest. This one looks to be from mostly European scholars.

The Medieval Motion Picture: The Politics of Adaptation
Edited by Andrew James Johnston, Margitta Rouse, Philipp Hinz
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series The New Middle Ages

ISBN 9780230112506
Publication Date April 2014
Hardcover (256 pages)
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)


Providing new and challenging ways of understanding the medieval in the modern and vice versa, The Medieval Motion Picture: The Politics of Adaptation highlights how medieval aesthetic experience breathes life into contemporary cinema. Engaging with the subject of time and temporality, the essays examine the politics of adaptation and our contemporary entanglement with the medieval: not only in overtly medieval-themed films but also in such diverse genres as thrillers, horror films, performance animation, and even science fiction. Among the films and TV shows discussed are productions such as HBO's award winning series Game of Thrones, Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, Akira Kurosawa's Ran, and M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense.


Introduction: Temporalities of Adaptation; Andrew James Johnston and Margitta Rouse (read online)

1. "Now is the time": Shakespeare's Medieval Temporalities in Akira Kurosawa's Ran; Jocelyn Keller and Wolfram R. Keller

2. Dracula's Times: Adapting the Middle Ages in Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula; Cordula Lemke

3. Rethinking Anachronism for Medieval Film in Richard Donner's Timeline; Margitta Rouse

4. Otherness Redoubled and Refracted: Intercultural Dialogues in The Thirteenth Warrior; Judith Klinger

5. Crisis Discourse and Art Theory: Richard Wagner's Legacy in Films; Veith von Fürstenberg and Kevin Reynolds Stefan Keppler-Tasaki

6. Adaptation as Hyperreality: The (A)historicism of Trauma in Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf; Philipp Hinz and Margitta Rouse

7. Perils of Generation: Incest, Romance and the Proliferation of Narrative in Game of Thrones; Martin Bleisteiner

8. Arthurian Myth and Cinematic Horror: M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense; Hans Jürgen Scheuer

9. Marian Re-writes the Legend: The Temporality of Archaeological Remains in Richard Lester's Robin and Marian; Andrew James Johnston



Andrew James Johnston is Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and author of Performing the Middle Ages from Beowulf to Othello.

Margitta Rouse is Assistant Professor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. She teaches medieval English literature as well as cinematic adaptation.

Philipp Hinz curates film festivals and publishes stage-to-screen adaptations on DVD.

Battis and Johnston's Mastering the Game of Thrones

Mastering the Game of Thrones: Essays on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire
Edited by Jes Battis and Susan Johnston

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-9631-0
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-1962-0
notes, bibliographies, index
308pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2015
Price: $35.00

About the Book

George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is a worldwide phenomenon, and the world of Westeros has seen multiple adaptations, from HBO’s acclaimed television series to graphic novels, console games and orchestral soundtracks. This collection of new essays investigates what makes this world so popular, and why the novels and television series are being taught in university classrooms as genre-defining works within the American fantasy tradition. This volume represents the first sustained scholarly treatment of George R.R. Martin’s groundbreaking work, and includes writing by experts involved in the production of the HBO show. The contributors investigate a number of compelling areas, including the mystery of the shape-shifting wargs, the conflict between religions, the origins of the Dothraki language and the sex lives of knights. The significance of fan cultures and their adaptations is also discussed.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

A Note on Editions ix

Introduction: On Knowing Nothing (Susan Johnston and Jes Battis) 1

Language and Narration
The Languages of Ice and Fire (David J. Peterson) 15
"Sing for your little life": Story, Discourse and Character (Marc Napolitano) 35
What Maesters Knew: Narrating Knowing (Brian Cowlishaw) 57

"Just songs in the end": Historical Discourses in Shakespeare and Martin (Jessica Walker) 71
Dividing Lines: Frederick Jackson Turner’s Western Frontier and George R.R. Martin’s Northern Wall (Michail Zontos) 92

"All men must serve": Religion and Free Will from the Seven to the Faceless Men (Ryan Mitchell Wittingslow) 113
"Silk ribbons tied around a sword": Knighthood and the Chivalric Virtues in Westeros (Charles H. Hackney) 132

Cursed Womb, Bulging Thighs and Bald Scalp: George R.R. Martin’s Grotesque Queen (Karin Gresham) 151
"A thousand bloodstained hands": The Malleability of Flesh and Identity (Beth Kozinsky) 170
A Thousand Westerosi Plateaus: Wargs, Wolves and Ways of Being (T.A. Leederman) 189

Sex and the Citadel: Adapting Same Sex Desire from Martin’s Westeros to HBO’s Bedrooms (David C. Nel) 205
Beyond the Pale? Craster and the Pathological Reproduction of Houses in Westeros (D. Marcel DeCoste) 225

The Hand of the Artist: Fan Art in the Martinverse (Andrew Howe) 243
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies": Transmedia Textuality and the Flows of Adaptation (Zoe Shacklock) 262

About the Contributors 281

Index 285

About the Author(s)

Jes Battis is an associate professor of English at the University of Regina. His teaching and research focus on intersections between fantasy and sexuality as they occur across a number of historical periods, including the middle ages and the eighteenth century. He is also the author of the Occult Special Investigator series, with Ace Books. Susan Johnston is an associate professor of English at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, where her courses include George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, and literary historiography and theory.

Frankel's Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance

Sorry to have missed this over the summer:

Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-9416-3
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-1554-7
appendices, glossary, bibliography, index
216pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2014
Price: $35.00

About the Book

Game of Thrones, one of the hottest series on television, leaves hundreds of critics divided on how “feminist” the show really is. Certainly the female characters, strong and weak, embody a variety of archetypes—widow queens, warrior women, damsels in distress, career women, priestesses, crones, mothers and maidens. However, the problem is that most of them play a single role without nuance—even the “strong women” have little to do besides strut about as one-note characters. This book analyzes the women and their portrayals one by one, along with their historical inspirations. Accompanying issues in television studies also appear, from the male gaze to depiction of race. How these characters are treated in the series and how they treat themselves becomes central, as many strip for the pleasure of men or are sacrificed as pawns. Some nude scenes or moments of male violence are fetishized and filmed to tantalize, while others show the women’s trauma and attempt to identify with the scene’s female perspective. The key is whether the characters break out of their traditional roles and become multidimensional.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Part I: Controversial Issues in the Series 5
Gratuitous Sex? 5
Rape 8
Male Gaze 16
Fake Lesbian Scenes 23
Race 26
Independent Action versus Acting for Others 31
Part II: Exploring Archetypes and Tropes 37
Female Archetypes 37
The Strong Females 40
The Warrior Woman Archetype 43
The Warrior: Arya and Brienne 47
The Bodyguard: Osha and Meera 55
The Pirate: Asha/Yara 58
The Career Woman: Talisa 61
The ­Warrior-Anima 64
The Feminized Females 71
Widows and Mothers: The Chatelaines and Queen Consorts 76
Maidens: The Innocent, the Orphan, and the Femme Fatale 98
The Prostitutes 112
The Crones 121
The Seers 128
Tricksters: The Sand Snakes 139
Great Goddess: The Heart Trees 141
Monstrous Woman: Stoneheart 144
The Hero Queen: Daenerys 147
Part III: Gender Roles in Westeros 161
Women in Westeros 161
Men in the Gender Biased System 167
Women Despise Men by Despising Women 172
Men’s Attitudes Toward Women 174
Fan Reactions 177
Conclusion 182
Appendix 1. Cast 185
Appendix 2. Episode List 188
Appendix 3. Archetypes 190
Works Cited 193
Index 201

About the Author

Valerie Estelle Frankel has been a storyteller, an award-winning novelist, and a lecturer at San Jose State University. The author of four recent books on popular culture and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.