Saturday, February 17, 2024

Advance Notice - Cinema Medievalia

 Coming soon from McFarland:

Cinema Medievalia:  New Essays on the Reel Middle Ages

Not Yet Published


New 2024 Pre-Order

Available for pre-order / backorder

Edited by Kevin J. Harty and Scott Manning

Format: softcover (7 x 10)


Bibliographic Info: ca. 75 photos, notes, bibliography, index

Copyright Date: 2024

pISBN: 978-1-4766-8916-6

eISBN: 978-1-4766-5361-7

Imprint: McFarland

Monday, September 11, 2023

New Book - Memory and Medievalism in George RR Martin and Game of Thrones

Memory and Medievalism in George RR Martin and Game of Thrones: The Keeper of All Our Memories

Carolyne Larrington (Anthology Editor), Anna Czarnowus (Anthology Editor)

Full details on ordering information can be found on the publisher's website at this link.

Product details

Published Sep 08 2022

Format Hardback

Edition 1st

Extent 240

ISBN 9781350269590

Imprint Bloomsbury Academic

Illustrations 12 bw illus

Dimensions 9 x 6 inches

Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing


This book explores the connections between history and fantasy in George RR Martin's immensely popular book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and the international TV sensation HBO TV's Game of Thrones. Acknowledging the final season's foregrounding of the cultural centrality of history, truth and memory in the confrontation between Bran and the Night King, the volume takes full account of the TV show's conclusion in its multiple readings across from medieval history, its institutions and practices, as depicted in the books to the show's own particular medievalism. The topics under discussion include the treatment of the historical phenomena of chivalry, tournaments, dreams, models of education, and the supernatural, and the different ways in which these are mediated in Martin's books and the TV show. The collection also includes a new study of one of Martin's key sources, Maurice Druon's Les Rois Maudits, in-depth explorations of major characters in their medieval contexts, and provocative reflections on the show's controversial handling of gender and power politics.

Written by an international team of medieval scholars, historians, literary and cultural experts, bringing their own unique perspectives to the multiple societies, belief-systems and customs of the 'Game of Thrones' universe, Memory and Medievalism in George RR Martin and Game of Thrones offers original and sparky insights into the world-building of books and show.

Table of Contents


Part I – Memory

1. On Medieval Dream Tradition in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire 

Bartlomiej Blaszkiewicz (University of Warsaw, Poland)

2. The Medievalist Emotional Economy in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire 

Anna Czarnowus (University of Silesia, Poland)

Part II – Reimagining History

3. George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Maurice Druon's Les Rois Maudits (The Accursed Kings) 

Carolyne Larrington (University of Oxford, UK)

4. Broken Bodies, Broken Kingdoms, Broken Promises: The Revolutionary Failure of A Game of Thrones 

Robert Rouse (University of British Columbia, Canada) and Cory Rushton (St Francis Xavier University, Canada)

Part III – Faith and Salvation

5. The Dog, the Cynic, and the Saint: The Case of Sandor Clegane 

Thomas Honegger (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany)

6. The Figure of George R.R. Martin's Septon Meribald and the Franciscan Legacy 

Maria Blaszkiewicz University of Warsaw, Poland)

Part IV – Key Institutions

7. The Citadel and the Ivory Tower: Academia and Education in Westeros 

Mikayla Hunter (University of Oxford, UK)

8. The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due: Trade and Economics in Game of Thrones 

Caroline Batten (University of Oxford, UK)

Part V – Chivalry: Theory and Practice

9. The Warrior(s) in Crisis: The Knights of Westeros and the Process of Civilization 

Anja Müller (Siegen University, Germany)

10. Tournaments and Judicial Duels in George R.R. Martin's The World of Ice & Fire and A Song of Ice and Fire 

Przemyslaw Grabowski-Górniak (Independent Scholar, Poland)

Part VI - The HBO Effect: Violence and Misogyny

11. From Romance to Rape: The Portrayal of Masculine Sexuality in Game of Thrones 

Kristina Hildebrand (Halmstad University, Sweden)

12. The Case of Cersei Lannister: Neomedievalist Misogyny in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire 

Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun (University of Bialystok, Poland)


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

CFP ICMS 2024: Neomedievalism and New Media (A Roundtable) (9/15/2023; ICMS 5/9-11/2024)

ICMS 2024: Neomedievalism and New Media (A Roundtable)


deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2023

full name / name of organization:
Alan Perry

contact email:

Speaking Opportunity – Open Call

ICMS 2024: Neomedievalism and New Media (A Roundtable)

In-Person at the International Congress on Medieval Studies 2024, Kalamazoo, MI

Deadline: September 15, 2023

This roundtable discussion seeks participants interested in discussing how the pressing topics of imagined medievalism in popular culture, hierarchies and power dynamics in technology, and new media art intersect. We will critically analyze and examine the parallels between digital platforms and technological change in the Late Middle Ages with regards to their implications for governance, culture, and social dynamics. Additionally, we will assess the influence of neomedievalism in shaping communication, information dissemination, and the construction of knowledge in new media.

300-word abstracts must be submitted via the ICMS Confex system here:

Discussions are listed alphabetically.

For further information please contact:

Alan Perry
Art & Technology Studies
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Last updated July 25, 2023

CFP Early Modern England on Film: Appropriation, Adaptation, and Translation (9/30/2023; NeMLA 2024)

Early Modern England on Film: Appropriation, Adaptation, and Translation

deadline for submissions:
September 30, 2023


full name / name of organization:
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

contact email:

In the field of Shakespearean studies, attempts to make Shakespeare more accessible to new audiences often include the work of appropriation, adaptation, and translation. In her essay “Beyond Shakespeare: Early Modern Adaptation Studies and Its Potential” Jennifer Clement reminds us that “[s]cholars looking to study Shakespeare on film can not only count a lifetime supply of material, but associate themselves with Shakespeare’s canonical credibility and film’s mass market appeal.” While there have been countless examples of Shakespeare’s plays being adapted on film for a contemporary audience across different cinema genres (musicals, children’s animation, sci-fi, and Indian cinema), not all of these films have received the same level of research interest by literary scholars. Additionally, many other early modern figures and texts have also been appropriated, adapted, or translated for film and television, but conversation is often limited to the world of cinema studies. Lastly, many early modern figures and texts that have not been appropriated, adapted, or translated should be considered for future productions, and scholarly interest and research on this topic can further encourage the creation and development of these possible film representations.

This panel seeks to further examine appropriation, adaptation, and translations on film of early modern figures and texts, including non-traditional adaptations that do not maintain persistent fidelity to the original. Of particular interest are: (1) Shakespearean representations in Indian or other non-Hollywood cinema and/or non-traditional fidelity to his plays; (2) under-represented historical figures, including early modern women beyond Anne Boleyn; and (3) non-Shakespearean texts, including the works of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, as well as later early modern authors, such as John Milton and Margaret Cavendish. Abstracts should consider this year’s convention keyword “SURPLUS,” as well as differences in the terms: appropriation, adaptation, and translation. Additionally, while concepts and theories in film-studies may influence some of your analysis, proposals that primarily situate research from within a literary perspective, as opposed to a film-studies frame of reference, are highly encouraged.

Abstracts are due by 30 September 2023. To submit an abstract, please log into the NeMLA Online Submission System at:

Abstracts must include:
  • Title (80 characters or less)
  • Abstract (200 to 300 words)
  • Brief Bio
  • Media Needs (project/screen/laptop)

Please direct all questions to Jennifer Topale at

Further details and information about this particular session can be found at the official CFP page for the session:

Last updated August 4, 2023

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Check It Out: Neomedievalism, Popular Culture, and the Academy

Finally had a chance to review this. Looks like a great resource. 

Neomedievalism, Popular Culture, and the Academy: From Tolkien to Game of Thrones

by KellyAnn Fitzpatrick

Full details and ordering information from the publisher is available at this link.


244 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

Series: Medievalism
Series Vol. Number: 16

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

October 2019
$95.00 / £65.00

Ebook (EPDF)
October 2019
$29.95 / £24.99

Ebook (EPUB)
October 2019
$29.95 / £24.99


The medieval in the modern world is here explored in a variety of media, from film and book to gaming.

Medievalism - the ways in which post-medieval societies perceive, interpret, reimagine, or appropriate the Middle Ages - permeates popular culture. From Disney princesses to Game of Thrones, medieval fairs to World of Warcraft, contemporary culture keeps finding new ways to reinvent and repackage the period. Medievalism itself, then, continues to evolve while it is also subject to technological advances, prominent invocations in political discourse, and the changing priorities of the academy. This has led some scholars to adopt the term "neomedievalism", a concept originating in part from the work of the late Umberto Eco, which calls for new avenues of inquiry into the way we think about the medieval.
This book examines recent evolutions of (neo)medievalism across multiple media, from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to the film Beowulf and medieval gaming. These evolutions can take the form of what one might consider to be pop culture objects of critique (art, commodity, amusement park, video game) or academic tools of critique (monographs, articles, lectures, university seminars). It is by reconciling these seemingly disparate forms that we can better understand the continual, interconnected, and often politicized reinvention of the Middle Ages in both popular and academic culture.


1. The Academy and the Making of Neomedievalism
2. Tolkien: From Medieval Studies to Medievalist Fantasy
3. Hollywood Genders the Neomedieval: Sleeping Beauty/Beowulf/Maleficent
4. Game of Thrones: Neomedievalism and the Myths of Inheritance
5. Magic: The Gathering and the Markets of Neomedievalism
6. Digital Gaming: Coding a Connective Neomedievalism


KELLYANN FITZPATRICK is an affiliated researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

CFP Science Fiction and Fantasy Gaming Conference (1/20/2023; Online 2/27-28/2023)

Cross-posted from the SFRA list. Note the impending deadline.

Call for Papers: Science Fiction and Fantasy Gaming Conference

Please see information below about MultiPlay Gaming Network's upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy Gaming Conference on the 27th and 28th February 2023.

MultiPlay is excited to host a two-day online conference on science fiction and fantasy in games! The conference intends to cover a broad range of anything regarding science fiction, fantasy, or speculative fiction in gaming.

Day One will thematically focus on Science Fiction and Day Two will thematically focus on Fantasy. Both days will be online conferences hosted via Windows Teams. Presentations will last twenty minutes, with a ten-minute Q&A at the end of each session.

We are currently seeking abstracts related to anything regarding science fiction or fantasy in video games of no more than 300 words, including references using the Harvard reference style guide, to be accompanied with a 100 word author biography.

We will also accept abstracts dealing with games that blur the two genres, or any sort of speculative fiction element in games, and they will be given a slot on either of the two days if accepted. We will also consider abstracts that deal with analog gaming instead of digital

Please send all abstracts to with the heading ‘SFF Conference’ by January 20th. This week is the final week that we are accepting abstracts for this conference!

If you have any further questions, please email

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Out Now: Playing the Crusades

New from Routledge:

Playing the Crusades

Engaging the Crusades, Volume Five

Edited By Robert Houghton

Copyright Year 2021

Full details and ordering information available at this link


ISBN 9780367716356 (pb)
Published September 26, 2022 by Routledge
122 Pages

Book Description

Engaging the Crusades is a series of volumes which offer windows into a newly emerging field of historical study: the memory and legacy of the crusades. Together these volumes examine the reasons behind the enduring resonance of the crusades and present the memory of crusading in the modern period as a productive, exciting, and much needed area of investigation.

This volume considers the appearance and use of the crusades in modern games; demonstrating that popular memory of the crusades is intrinsically and mutually linked with the design and play of these games. The essays engage with uses of crusading rhetoric and imagery within a range of genres – including roleplaying, action, strategy, and casual games – and from a variety of theoretical perspectives drawing on gender and race studies, game design and theory, and broader discussions on medievalism. Cumulatively, the authors reveal the complex position of the crusades within digital games, highlight the impact of these games on popular understanding of the crusades, and underline the connection between the portrayal of the crusades in digital games and academic crusade historiography.

Playing the Crusades is invaluable for scholars and students interested in the crusades, popular representations of the crusades, historical games, and collective memory.

Table of Contents

Introduction: crusades and crusading in modern games

Robert Houghton

A sacred task, no cross required: the image of crusading in computer gaming-related non-Christian science fiction universes

Roland Wenskus

‘I’m not responsible for the man you are!’: crusading and masculinities in Dante’s Inferno

Katherine J. Lewis

‘Show this fool knight what it is to have no fear’: freedom and oppression in Assassin’s Creed (2007)

Oana-Alexandra Chirilă

Crusader kings too? (Mis)Representations of the crusades in strategy games

Robert Houghton

Learning to think historically: some theoretical challenges when playing the crusades

Andreas Körber, Johannes Meyer-Hamme, and Robert Houghton



Robert Houghton is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Winchester. His research focuses on religious and political relationship networks in the central Middle Ages and on representations of the medieval world in modern games. Recent publications include ‘Italian Bishops and Warfare during the Investiture Contest: The Case of Parma’ (2018) and ‘World, Structure and Play: Digital Games as Historical Research Tools’ (2018).

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Out Now from McFarland: Power and Subversion in Game of Thrones: Critical Essays on the HBO Series

Further information and ordering information is available at McFarland's website from this link.

Power and Subversion in Game of Thrones: Critical Essays on the HBO Series

Bibliographic Details

Edited by A. Keith Kelly

Format: softcover (6 x 9)

Pages: 198

Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index

Copyright Date: 2022

pISBN: 978-1-4766-8264-8;$39.95

eISBN: 978-1-4766-4466-0

Imprint: McFarland

About the Book

This collection of essays examines the structures of power and the ways in which power is exercised and felt in the fantasy world of Game of Thrones. It considers how the expectations of viewers, particularly within the genre of epic fantasy, are subverted across the full 8 seasons of the series. The assembled team of international scholars, representing a variety of disciplines, addresses such topics as the power of speech and magic; the role of nationality and politics; disability, race and gender; and the ways in which each reinforces or subverts power in Westeros and Essos.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

A. Keith Kelly 1

List of Seasons and Episodes: HBO’s Game of Thrones 7

Breaking the Wheel: Game of Thrones and the American Zeitgeist
Daniel Vollaro 13

Dangerous Nostalgia: Fantasies of Medievalism, Race, and Identity
Robert Allen Rouse 30

Game of Victims and Monsters: Representation of Sexual and Female Violence
Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun 48

Subversion or Reinforcement? Patriarchy and Masculinity
Andrew Howe 68

“I’ll go with anger”: Female Rage in and at Game of Thrones
Lindsey Mantoan 87

The Developing Verbal Power of Daenerys: A Pragmatics Analysis
Graham P. Johnson 108

“Who has a better story than Bran the Broken?”: The Power of Disability Narratives
Jan Doolittle Wilson 131

Magic’s Failure to Reanimate Fantasy
Jason M. Embry 161

A Brief Conclusion on the Conclusion
A. Keith Kelly 181

About the Contributors 185

Index 187

About the Author(s)

A. Keith Kelly is a professor of English at Georgia Gwinnett College, outside of Atlanta, where he teaches medieval literature, linguistics and writing. In addition to being a poet and author of short fiction, he has published work on literary pragmatics, Old Norse saga, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and the representation of the Middle Ages in film and television.

Recent from McFarland: Being Dragonborn: Critical Essays on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Full details and ordering information is available from McFarland's website at this link.

Being Dragonborn: Critical Essays on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Edited by Mike Piero and Marc A. Ouellette

Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell


Format: softcover (7 x 10)

Pages: 236

Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index

Copyright Date: 2021

pISBN: 978-1-4766-7784-2

eISBN: 978-1-4766-4356-4

Imprint: McFarland

Series: Studies in Gaming

About the Book

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the bestselling and most influential video games of the past decade. From the return of world-threatening dragons to an ongoing civil war, the province of Skyrim is rich with adventure, lore, magic, history, and stunning vistas. Beyond its visual spectacle alone, Skyrim is an exemplary gameworld that reproduces out-of-game realities, controversies, and histories for its players. Being Dragonborn, then, comes to signify a host of ethical and ideological choices for the player, both inside and outside the gameworld. These essays show how playing Skyrim, in many ways, is akin to “playing” 21st century America with its various crises, conflicts, divisions, and inequalities. Topics covered include racial inequality and white supremacy, gender construction and misogyny, the politics of modding, rhetorics of gameplay, and narrative features.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction: Skyrim as an Exemplary Gameworld

Mike Piero and Marc A. Ouellette 1

Part I: “Skyrim is our land”: Neomedievalism, Heroism and ­Ethno-Nationalist Gameplay

From Hero to Zero: Nationalistic Narratives and the Dogma of Being Dragonborn

Joshua Call and Thomas Lecaque 14

Grounding the Neomedieval Gameworld: The Dragonborn Between History and Myth

Alicia McKenzie 28

Expanding the Frontier Through War: Skyrim’s Ludic Contribution to the Frontier Myth

Brent Kice 45

Part II: “Then I took an arrow in the knee”: Agency and Alterity

Queer Harpies and Vicious Dryads: Hagravens, Spriggans and Abject Female Monstrosity in Skyrim

Sarah Stang 60

All the Wheels of Cheese: Hoarding and Collecting Behaviors in Skyrim

D’An Knowles Ball 75

Escapism as Contested Space: The Politics of Modding Skyrim

Liamog S. Drislane 91

Part III: “Sky above, voice within”: Ethics and Politics Within Skyrim’s Cosmology

Nature Versus Player: Skyrim Players and Modders as Ecological Force

Misha Grifka Wander 106

Portraits of the Neomedieval ­Family-Idyllic: Patriarchal Oikos and a Love Without Love in Skyrim

Mike Piero and Marc A. Ouellette 120

Skyrim’s Competitive Cosmology: A Fluctuating Economy of Power and Parasitic Deification

Trevor B. Williams 137

Testing Your Thu’um: Rhetoric, Violence, Uncertainty and the Dragonborn

Stephen M. Llano 154

Part IV: “Who wrote the Elder Scrolls?” Emergent Narratives and Difficult Questions

Emergent Worlds and Illusions of Agency: Worldbuilding as Design Practice in Skyrim

Wendi Sierra 172

Taking Your Time as Dragonborn: Reconciling Skyrim’s Ludic and Narrative Dimensions Through a Detective Story Typology

Andrew A. Todd 188

The Death of Paarthurnax: The “Good Temptation”?

C. Anne Engert and Tony Perrello 202

About the Contributors 221

Index 223

About the Author(s)

Mike Piero is a Professor of English at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.

Marc A. Ouellette is an award-winning educator who teaches cultural and gender studies at Old Dominion University, where he is the Learning Games Initiative Research Fellow.

Series editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell lives in Brooklyn and teaches American studies, anthropology, and writing at Pace University.

Coming Soon from McFarland: Larsen's Science, Technology and Magic in The Witcher: A Medievalist Spin on Modern Monsters

Due late 2022/early 2023. Further details and pre-ordering information are available from McFarland's website at this link.

Science, Technology and Magic in The Witcher: A Medievalist Spin on Modern Monsters

Kristine Larsen. 

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)

Copyright Date: 2022

pISBN: 978-1-4766-8385-0

eISBN: 978-1-4766-4817-0

Imprint: McFarland

Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

About the Book

As Andrzej Sapkowski was fleshing out his character Geralt of Rivia for a writing contest, he did not set out to write a science textbook—or even a work of science fiction. However, the world that Sapkowski created in his series The Witcher resulted in a valuable reflection of real-world developments in science and technology. As the Witcher books have been published across decades, the sorcery in the series acts as an extension of the modern science it grows alongside.

This book explores the fascinating entanglement of science and magic that lies at the heart of Sapkowski’s novel series and its widely popular video game and television adaptations. This is the first English-language book-length treatment of magic and science in the Witcher universe. These are examined through the lenses of politics, religion, history and mythology. Sapkowski’s richly detailed universe investigates the sociology of science and ponders some of the most pressing modern technological issues, such as genetic engineering, climate change, weapons of mass destruction, sexism, speciesism and environmentalism. Chapters explore the unsettling realization that the greatest monsters are frequently human, and their heinous acts often involve the unwitting hand of science.

About the Author(s)

Kristine Larsen is a professor of astronomy at Central Connecticut State University, where her teaching and research focus on the intersections between science and society. Her publications include numerous articles and book chapters on J.R.R. Tolkien’s uses of astronomy in his writings.

Coming Soon from McFarland: The World of Final Fantasy VII Essays on the Game and Its Legacy

Due late 2022/early 2023. Further details and pre-ordering information are available from McFarland's website at this link.

The World of Final Fantasy VII: Essays on the Game and Its Legacy

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jason C. Cash and Craig T. Olsen. Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)

Copyright Date: 2022

pISBN: 978-1-4766-8186-3

eISBN: 978-1-4766-4725-8

Imprint: McFarland

Series: Studies in Gaming

About the Book

Final Fantasy VII altered the course of video game history when it was released in 1997 on Sony’s PlayStation system. It converted the Japanese role-playing game into an international gaming standard with enhanced gameplay, spectacular cutscenes and a vast narrative involving an iconic cast. In the decades after its release, the Final Fantasy VII franchise has grown to encompass a number of video game sequels, prequels, a feature-length film, a novel and a multi-volume remake series.

This volume, the first edited collection of essays devoted only to the world of Final Fantasy VII, blends scholarly rigor with fan passion in order to identify the elements that keep Final Fantasy VII current and exciting for players. Some essays specifically address the game’s perennially relevant themes and scenarios, ranging from environmental consciousness to economic inequity and posthumanism. Others examine the mechanisms used to immerse the player or to improve the narrative. Finally, there are several essays devoted specifically to the game’s legacy, from its influence on later games to its characters’ many crossovers and cameos.

About the Author(s)

Jason C. Cash is an associate professor at SUNY Delhi, where he teaches literature, composition, and film. His research interests include Irish fiction and video game narrative. He lives in Oneonta, New York.

Craig T. Olsen is an associate professor and director of the writing center at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. His areas of research include gaming literacy, music and storytelling within video games, multimodality, digital spaces, writing centers, and creative rhetoric.

Series editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell lives in Brooklyn and teaches American studies, anthropology, and writing at Pace University.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Hughes on The Northman in Arthuriana

From the latest issue of Arthuriana:

Hughes, Shaun F.D. "Some Thoughts on The Northman (2022)." Arthuriana, vol. 32 no. 2, 2022, p. 89-101. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/art.2022.0014.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

New Essay: Manning on Joan the Woman

My thanks to Scott Manning for the head's up on this:

Manning, Scott. “Joan of Arc’s Gunpowder Artillery in Cecil B. DeMille’s Joan the Woman (1916).” Film & History, vol. 52, no. 1, Summer 2022, pp. 18-31. Project MUSE,

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Coming Soon: Dragon's Lair and the Fantasy of Interactivity

Coming Soon from Lexington Books:

Dragon's Lair and the Fantasy of Interactivity


Lexington Books

Pages: 150 • Trim: 6 x 9

978-1-7936-3603-4 • Hardback • July 2022 • $95.00 • (£73.00)

978-1-7936-3604-1 • eBook • June 2022 • $45.00 • (£35.00)

Further details and ordering at's-Lair-and-the-Fantasy-of-Interactivity.

Perhaps no arcade game is so nostalgically remembered, yet so critically bemoaned, as Dragon’s Lair. A bit of a technological neanderthal, the game implemented a unique combination of videogame components and home video replay, garnering great popular media and user attention in a moment of contracted economic returns and popularity for the videogame arcade business. But subsequently, writers and critics have cast the game aside as a cautionary tale of bad game design. In Dragon’s Lair and the Fantasy of Interactivity, MJ Clarke revives Dragon’s Lair as a fascinating textual experiment interlaced with powerful industrial strategies, institutional discourse, and textual desires around key notions of interactivity and fantasy. Constructing a multifaceted historical study of the game that considers its design, its makers, its recording medium, and its in-game imagery, Clarke suggests that the more appropriate metaphor for Dragon’s Lair is not that of a neanderthal, but a socio-technical network, infusing and advancing debates about the production and consumption of new screen technologies. Far from being the gaming failure posited by evolutionary-minded lay critics, Clarke argues, Dragon’s Lair offers a fascinating provisional solution to still-unsettled questions about screen media.

Table of Contents:



Chapter 1: Dragon's Lair: The Hardware

Chapter 2: Dragon's Lair: The Business

Chapter 3: Dragon's Lair: The Disc

Chapter 4: Dragon's Lair: The Fantasy


About the Author

Author Information:

MJ Clarke is associate professor in TV, film, and media studies at California State University, Los Angeles.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Recent Book: Shakespeare’s Serial Returns in Complex TV

Shakespeare’s Serial Returns in Complex TV

Authors:  Christina Wald

Palgrave Macmillan, 2020

Available in hardcover and as an ebook

Full details at

Traces Shakespearean influences on, and engagements in, contemporary TV series

Demonstrates how the serial complexity of current TV shows helps us understand the dramaturgical serialisations in Shakespeare’s plays

Discusses a range of adaptational strategies that range from deliberate rewritings to ‘non-adaptations' (i.e. to unintentional returns of Shakespearean plots, characters, and motifs)

Part of the book series: Reproducing Shakespeare (RESH)

About this book

This book examines how Shakespeare’s plays resurface in current complex TV series. Its four case studies bring together The Tempest and the science fiction-Western Westworld, King Lear and the satirical dynastic drama of Succession, Hamlet and the legal thriller Black Earth Rising, as well as Coriolanus and the political thriller Homeland. The comparative readings ask what new insights the twenty-first-century remediations may grant us into Shakespeare’s texts and, vice versa, how Shakespearean returns help us understand topical concerns negotiated in the series, such as artificial intelligence, the safeguarding of democracy, terrorism, and postcolonial justice. This study also proposes that the dramaturgical seriality typical of complex TV allows insights into the seriality Shakespeare employed in structuring his plays. Discussing a broad spectrum of adaptational constellations and establishing key characteristics of the new adaptational aggregate of serial Shakespeare, it seeks to initiate a dialogue between Shakespeare studies, adaptation studies, and TV studies.