Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Askey on Game of Thrones

The Journal of Popular Culture is currently allowing open access to articles in its February 2018 number, which includes the following essay on Game of Thrones:

Askey, Brooke. “I'd Rather Have No Brains and Two Balls”: Eunuchs, Masculinity, and Power in Game of Thrones.” The Journal of Popular Culture Volume51, Issue1, Feb. 2018, pp. 50-67, available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpcu.12647.

Monday, June 25, 2018

New Book: Deadwood and Shakespeare

Deadwood and Shakespeare: The Henriad in the Old West
Susan Cosby Ronnenberg

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6575-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3095-3
Imprint: McFarland

About the Book

Set in politically unstable environments, Shakespeare’s history plays—Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V—and HBO’s Western series Deadwood (2004–2006) all stand as critiques of myths of national origin, the sanitized stories we tell ourselves about how power imposes order on chaos. Drawing parallels between the Shakespeare plays and Deadwood, the author explores questions about legitimate political authority, the qualities of an effective leader, gender roles and community, and the reciprocal relationship between past and present in historical narratives.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Genres, Settings and Themes: Historical and Political Worlds in Transition 9
2. Seth Bullock as “Hotspur” and Prince “Hal” 36
3. Al Swearengen as Bolingbroke/Henry IV and Falstaff 59
4. Father-Son Relationships 81
5. Women’s Marginalization 103
6. Managing Audience Responses through Narrative Space and Events 129
7. Managing Audience Responses through Character 158
Conclusion 174
Appendix: Deadwood Episodes 177
Chapter Notes 179
Bibliography 187
Index 193

About the Author

Susan Cosby Ronnenberg is a professor of English in Winona, Minnesota.

Friday, June 22, 2018

CFP Shakespeare and Digital Humanities (Spec Issue of Humanities) (proposals by 9/14/2018)

Of potential interest:

Special Issue "Shakespeare and Digital Humanities: New Perspectives and Future Directions"

deadline for submissions:
January 28, 2019

full name / name of organization:
Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

contact email:

Shakespeare is now fundamentally digital. The technologies, resources and cultures of the digital age influence how we humans variously read, watch, research, and teach Shakespeare. This influence occurs in both apparent but also unseen ways since digital technologies include hidden processes, or non-human actors such as algorithms. In fact, the thing we call “Shakespeare” is the consequence of the interaction of agential humans and digital, non-human actors. The Special Issue of Humanities explores this technogenic dynamic and its significance for understandings of Shakespeare’s works and their cultural afterlives. It does so from a digital humanities perspective, with the aim of building on trends within Shakespeare studies towards the interrelation between Shakespeare’s works and a variety of contemporary technologies.

The Special Issue especially welcomes approaches that are trans-disciplinary.
  • Papers are invited from an international community of researchers interested in critically examining how digital technologies have enhanced, transformed, or challenged the appreciation and study of Shakespeare. 
  • Papers might address questions of methodology, and explore how digital humanities scholarship is applying technology and quantitative analyses to the corpus. What new insights into Shakespearean authorship, characterization, genre, and language, can computational analyses reveal? 
  • Papers might map and critically evaluate the available digital resources for Shakespeare research and teaching, including searchable text online editions, databases, and podcasts. Or, they might critically analyse forms and practices in digital cultures, from fan or vernacular productions that reiterate Shakespearean stories and characters on such platforms as Twitter and YouTube, to digital art and curation, and online Shakespeare quotation generators. 
  • In turn, papers might examine how Shakespeare theatre companies are using digital technologies both within the live performance itself, and also to create an online, commercial, and interactive presence for a production.

This Special Issue of Humanities offers an opportunity to examine the application of digital technologies to Shakespeare, in all its variety; to explore the implications of that interrelation; and, crucially, to consider what future directions scholarship and practices might take as the encounter with Shakespeare increasingly becomes digital.

Please submit 300 word proposals for original contributions and a 100-word biography (include selected publications) by 14 September 2018; email both the Guest Editor, as indicated above, and the journal (humanities@mdpi.com).

Deadline for completed papers, if selected (5000–7000 words): 28 January, 2019

Dr. Stephen O’Neill
Guest Editor

Further Information here:http://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/Shakespeare

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Coming Soon: Medieval Art and the Look of Silent Film

Due out this fall from McFarland. I'll update when more details are available.

Medieval Art and the Look of Silent Film:The Influence on Costume and Set Design
Lora Ann Sigler

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 120 photos, appendices, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7352-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3441-8
Imprint: McFarland
Not Yet Published

Blurb from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Art-Look-Silent-Film/dp/1476673527/):

The heyday of Silent Film, so beloved by film buffs, was an era that became instantly quaint with the arrival of “Talkies.” As early as 1929, critics and film historians were writing of the period as though of the distant past. Since then, a torrent of books has been released, many of which mention art—in the main, asking whether film could be art— others discussing the splendor of the sets, the persuasion of the ambiance, or the psychological depth of the scenario. What these authors seem to have overlooked is the work of the costume and set designers to provide the background which profoundly affects all of the above. Most especially, they failed to examine the source of the inspiration on those who created that background. To fill this apparent gap, the premise of this volume— costume and set design in the silent film— concentrates on what is arguably the most prevailing influence on both, the presumed nobility of the Middle Ages. Largely owing to the psychological upset of World War I, although beginning earlier, society was in a state of flux. Women, who had been so active during the war, refused to return exclusively to home and kitchen. Veterans, who had experienced the worst, could no longer accept the prewar class restrictions and artificial manners. It was only natural that a longing for what seemed a nobler and purer period would be created. Designers, if only partly consciously, turned to that period like flowers to the sun, creating an ambiance which they felt reflected those higher ideals. Ironically, although the influence is more than obvious in both sets and wardrobes, the period devolves into one of freedom bordering on license, and an almost complete overthrow of those old-fashioned ideals.

About the author:

Lora Ann Sigler is professor emerita of art history at California State University. She lives in San Pedro, California.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Going Viking with the Muppets

The worlds of Jim Henson offer much to delight medievalists, including a spirited rendition of "In the Navy" (from season five of The Muppet Show) with Muppet Viking-pigs attacking (and, in the end, being repelled from) a medieval seaside community.

There are multiple version of the short online including the following:

So far, only seasons one, two, and three of The Muppet Show are available for home video. Hopefully Disney will release the remaining seasons soon.

Recent Book: Swashbucklers: The Costume Adventure Series

My apologies for having missed posting this when it came out. It sounds fascinating. Hopefully, a paperback edition will be forthcoming.

Swashbucklers: The Costume Adventure Series

By James Chapman

Book Information

Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-7190-8881-0
Pages: 296
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Price: £70.00
Published Date: July 2015
BIC Category: Film and Media, Television, Radio, Films, cinema, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism, The arts / Film, TV & radio

Available for North and South America through Oxford University Press Academic at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/swashbucklers-9780719088810?cc=us&lang=en&#. The US edition is priced currently at $110.


Swashbucklers is the first study of one of the most popular and enduring genres in television history - the costume adventure series. It maps the history of swashbuckling television from its origins in the 1950s to the present. It places the various series in their historical and institutional contexts and also analyses how the form and style of the genre has changed over time. And it includes case studies of major swashbuckling series including The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Buccaneers, Ivanhoe, William Tell, Zorro, Arthur of the Britons, Dick Turpin, Robin of Sherwood, Sharpe, Hornblower, The Count of Monte Cristo and the recent BBC co-production of The Three Musketeers.

Oxford University Press offers the following extended description at their site:

Swashbucklers is the first study of one of the most popular and enduring genres in television history - the costume adventure series.

James Chapman explores the history of swashbuckling television from its origins in the 1950s to the present day. He maps the major production cycles of the Anglophone swashbuckler both in Britain and in the United States and places the genre in its historical, cultural and institutional contexts. He shows how the success of The Adventures of Robin Hood in the 1950s established a template for a genre that has been one of the most successful of British television exports. And he considers how America responded to this 'British invasion' with its own swashbuckling heroes such as Zorro.

Chapman also analyses the cultural politics of the swashbuckler, considering how it has been a vehicle for the representation of ideologies of class, gender and nationhood. While some swashbucklers have promoted consensual politics, others such as Dick Turpin and Robin of Sherwood have presented us with heroes on the margins of society who challenge its inequities and injustices. The relationship of the televisions swashbuckler to the founding myths of the genre is discussed, along with how the genre has responded to the changing cultural and ideological contexts in which it is produced. What emerges is a picture of a genre that has proved remarkably flexible in adapting its form and style to match the popular tastes of audiences.

Swashbucklers is intended for students and teachers of popular television drama as well as for adventure-lovers everywhere.



1. Exporting Englishness

2. Fantasy factories

3. Revisionist revivals

4. Rebels with a cause

5. Heritage heroes

6. Millennial mavericks





James Chapman is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Leicester

New Book: The Legacy of Courtly Literature: From Medieval to Contemporary Culture

Finally getting some information on this recent release from Palgrave Macmillan. The contents list is from WorldCat as the publisher site omits this important data. The book looks especially useful for Arthurian enthusiasts.

The Legacy of Courtly Literature: From Medieval to Contemporary Culture

Editors: Nelson-Campbell, Deborah, Cholakian, Rouben (Eds.)
Series Title: Arthurian and Courtly Cultures
Copyright: 2017
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

$119.99 (listprice) price for USA (ISBN978-3-319-60728-3)

$89.00 (listprice) price for USA (ISBN978-3-319-60729-0)


Number of Pages: XII, 234
Number of Illustrations and Tables: 9 b/w illustrations

  • Covers a broad range of topics related to courtly literature including Shakespeare, the Harry Potter series, and the Japanese Imperial Court
  • Traces the long established tradition of courtly literature from its original medieval roots to its influence on today’s literary and artistic culture
  • Assembles the foremost experts on medieval courtly literature

About this book:

This fascinating volume examines the enduring influence of courtly tradition and courtly love, particularly in contemporary popular culture. The ten chapters explore topics including the impact of the medieval troubadour in modern love songs, the legacy of figures such as Tristan, Iseult, Lancelot, Guinevere, and Merlin in modern film and literature, and more generally, how courtly and chivalric conceptions of love have shaped the Western world’s conception of love, loyalty, honor, and adultery throughout history and to this day.

Table of Contents:

Introduction / Rouben Cholakian and Deborah Nelson-Campbell --
The Arthurian knight remythified Ovidian: the failures of courtly love in three late medieval glosses / Jane Chance --
Shakespeare's The merry wives of Windsor and the fabliau / Carol F. Heffernan --
Villon's dreams of the courtly / Rupert T. Pickens --
"You make me want to be a better man": courtly values revived in modern film / Raymond J. Cormier --
From Marie de France to J.K. Rowling: the weasel / Carol Dover --
Courtly literature: "yesterday" is today / Beverly J. Evans --
Variations on a transcultural phenomenon: the potion scene in four film versions of the legend of Tristan and Iseult / Joan Tasker Grimbert --
The musical incongruities of time travel in Arthurian film / John Haines --
The fool and the wise man: the legacy of the two Merlins in modern culture / Natalia I. Petrovskaia --

A legacy of Japanese courtly literature: the Imperial New Year Poetry Recitation Party / Yuko Tagaya --
Bibliography --

About the editors:

Deborah Nelson-Campbell is Professor of French Studies at Rice University, USA.

Rouben Cholakian is Professor Emeritus of French at Hamilton College, USA.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Update: Medievalism in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones

One final book notice for the night. Here is the updated information on Shiloh Carroll's Medievalism in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones:

Medievalism in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones
Shiloh Carroll

March 2018
214 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
ISBN: 9781843844846
Format: Hardback

Game of Thrones is famously inspired by the Middle Ages - but how "authentic" is the world it presents? This volume offers different angles to the question.

One of the biggest attractions of George R.R. Martin's high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and by extension its HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones, is its claim to historical realism. The author, the directors and producers of the adaptation, and indeed the fans of the books and show, all lay claim to Westeros, its setting, as representative of an authentic medieval world. But how true are these claims? Is it possible to faithfully represent a time so far removed from our own in time and culture? And what does an authentic medieval fantasy world look like?

This book explores Martin's and HBO's approaches to and beliefs about the Middle Ages and how those beliefs fall into traditional medievalist and fantastic literary patterns. Examining both books and programme from a range of critical approaches - medievalism theory, gender theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and race theory - Dr Carroll analyzes how the drive for historical realism affects the books' and show's treatment of men, women, people of colour, sexuality, and imperialism, as well as how the author and showrunners discuss these effects outside the texts themselves.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787441941), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Martin and Medievalist Fantasy
Chivalric Romance and Anti-Romance
Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender Relations
Sex and Sexuality
Postcolonialism, Slavery, and the Great White Hope
Adaptation and Reception

About the Author:

Shiloh Carroll teaches in the writing center at Tennessee State University.

Coming Soon: Derek Jarman's Medieval Modern

Due out later this month from D. S. Brewer's Medievalism imprint:

Derek Jarman's Medieval Modern
Robert Mills

April 2018
16 colour, 68 black and white illustrations
286 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843844938
Format: Hardback

First exploration of Jarman's engagement with the medieval, revealing its importance to his work.

The artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994) had a lifelong appreciation of medieval culture. But with the possible exception of Edward II, Jarman's films have not been identified to date as making a major contribution to the depiction of the Middle Ages in cinema.

This book is the first to uncover a rich seam of medievalism in Jarman's art. Taking in major features such as Caravaggio, The Garden and The Last of England, as well as some of the unrealised screenplays and short experimental films, the book proposes an expanded definition of medieval film that includes not just works set in or about the Middle Ages, but also projects inspired more broadly by the period. It considers Jarman's engagement with Anglo-Saxon poetry (notably The Wanderer); with works by fourteenth-century poets such as Chaucer, Dante and Langland; with saints and mystics from Joan of Arc to Julian of Norwich; and with numerous paintings, buildings and objects from this so-called "middle" time.

Organised around several key themes - periodisation, anachronism, ruins and wandering - the book also asks what happens when (with Jarman, but also more broadly) we think the categories "medieval" and "modern" together. As such, it will be of interest to film scholars, art historians and medievalists of all stripes who wish to rattle the temporal cages of their fields.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787442122), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents:

Derek Jarman Gets Medieval
Always Contemporary
A Life in Ruins
The Wandering Jarman

About the Author:

Robert Mills is Professor of Medieval Studies at University College London.

Now Available: Chivalry in Westeros: The Knightly Code of A Song of Ice and Fire

Out now from McFarland is another new book on the Game of Thrones phenomenon:

Chivalry in Westeros:The Knightly Code of A Song of Ice and Fire
Carol Parrish Jamison

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 217
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7005-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3316-9
Imprint: McFarland

About the Book:

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has sparked a renewed interest in things medieval. The pseudo-historical world of Westeros delights casual fans while offering a rich new perspective for medievalists and scholars.

This study explores how Martin crafts a chivalric code that intersects with and illuminates well known medieval texts, including both romance and heroic epics. Through characters such as Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister, Martin variously challenges, upholds and deconstructs chivalry as depicted in the literature of the Middle Ages.

Table of Contents:

Preface 1
One • An Introduction to Westerosi Chivalry 7
Two • Chivalry in Oral Tradition 25
Three • Chivalry in Written Tradition 44
Four • Franchise 62
Five • Loyalty 89
Six • Prowess 114
Seven • Vengeance 141
Eight • Peace Weaving 160
Conclusions: Teaching Westeros 182
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 201
Index 207

About the Author:

Carol Parrish Jamison is a professor of English at Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus, in Savannah, Georgia. She specializes in medieval literature, linguistics, and medievalism.

Out Now: The New Peplum: Essays on Sword and Sandal Films and Television Programs Since the 1990s

Out now from McFarland is a new book edited by Nicholas Diak, a scholar that I had the pleasure of meeting last month at StokerCon. Best of luck with the book, Nick.

The New Peplum: Essays on Sword and Sandal Films and Television Programs Since the 1990s
Edited by Nicholas Diak

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6762-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3150-9
Imprint: McFarland

About the Book:

Peplum or “sword-and-sandal” films—an Italian genre of the late 1950s through the 1960s—featured ancient Greek, Roman and Biblical stories with gladiators, mythological monsters and legendary quests. The new wave of historic epics, known as neo-pepla, is distinctly different, embracing new technologies and storytelling techniques to create an immersive experience unattainable in the earlier films.

This collection of new essays explores the neo-peplum phenomenon through a range of topics, including comic book adaptations like Hercules, the expansion of genre boundaries in Jupiter Ascending and John Carter, depictions of Romans and slaves in Spartacus, and The Eagle and Centurion as metaphors for America’s involvement in the Iraq War.

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments vi

Foreword (David R. Coon) 1

Introduction (Nicholas Diak) 4

Part One: Crossing the Rubicon: Expanding the ­Neo-Peplum Boundaries

Adapting to New Spaces: Swords and Planets and the ­Neo-Peplum (Paul Johnson) 21

Hercules: Transmedia Superhero Mythology (Djoymi Baker) 44

From Crowds to Swarms: Movement and Bodies in ­Neo-Peplum Films (Kevin M. Flanagan) 63

Part Two: Wisdom from the Gods: Mythological Adaptations

There Are No Boundaries for Our Boats: Vikings and the Westernization of the Norse Saga (Steve Nash) 79

Sounds of Swords and Sandals: Music in ­Neo-Peplum BBC Television Docudramas (Nick Poulakis) 95

Hercules, Xena and Genre: The Methodology Behind the Mashup (Valerie Estelle Frankel) 115

Part Three: The “Glory” of Rome: Depictions of the Empire

Male Nudity, Violence and the Disruption of Voyeuristic Pleasure in Starz’s Spartacus (Hannah Mueller) 135

Sex, Lies and Denarii: Roman Depravity and Oppression in Starz’s Spartacus (Jerry B. Pierce) 155

In the Green Zone with the Ninth Legion: The ­Post-Iraq Roman Film (Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.) 178

Part Four: Sculpted in Marble: Gender and Representation

Laughing at the Body: The Imitation of Masculinity in Peplum Parody Films (Tatiana Prorokova) 195

Queering the Quest: ­Neo-Peplum and the ­Neo-Femme in Xena: Warrior Princess (Haydee Smith) 208

Afterword (Steven L. Sears) 219

About the Contributors 223

Index 225

About the Editor:

Nicholas Diak is a pop culture scholar specializing in Italian spy films, post-industrial and synthwave music, and the works of H.P. Lovecraft. He has contributed essays, editorials and reviews to a variety of books, journals, and pop culture websites. He lives in Orange, California.

New Book: The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination: Memory, Film and Medievalism

Start saving now for this new book from I. B. Tauris:

The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination: Memory, Film and Medievalism
Paul Sturtevant

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of Medieval Studies

Hardback | In Stock | £75.00

Hardback | Not Yet Published | $110.00

ISBN: 9781788311397
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2018
Number of Pages: 336
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 20 black and white integrated illustrations


It is often assumed that those outside of academia know very little about the Middle Ages. But the truth is not so simple. Non-specialists in fact learn a great deal from the myriad medievalisms - post-medieval imaginings of the medieval world - that pervade our everyday culture. These, like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, offer compelling, if not necessarily accurate, visions of the medieval world. And more, they have an impact on the popular imagination, particularly since there are new medievalisms constantly being developed, synthesised and remade.

But what does the public really know? How do the conflicting medievalisms they consume contribute to their knowledge? And why is this important?

In this book, the first evidence-based exploration of the wider public's understanding of the Middle Ages, Paul B. Sturtevant adapts sociological methods to answer these important questions. Based on extensive focus groups, the book details the ways - both formal and informal - that people learn about the medieval past and the many other ways that this informs, and even distorts, our present. In the process, Sturtevant also sheds light, in more general terms, onto the ways non-specialists learn about the past, and why understanding this is so important. The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination will be of interest to anyone working on medieval studies, medievalism, memory studies, medieval film studies, informal learning or public history.

Author Info:
Paul B. Sturtevant is an audience research specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. He completed his PhD at the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds. He is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the very popular collaborative history blog 'The Public Medievalist' (http://www.publicmedievalist.com/).

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Past, Present, Future: Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives at Kalamazoo 2018

I am pleased to announce the schedule for our sponsored session for Kalamazoo this year. (Panel information has been updated on 6 April 2018 to correct errors introduced in the submission process.)

Details follow.

Conference information can be found at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress.

53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
10- 13 May 2018

Saturday, 1:30 PM
417 SCHNEIDER 1160
Past, Present, Future: Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives I
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Anna Czarnowus, Univ. of Silesia

Giants in the History of England: The Final Frontier and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG

 Geneviève Pigeon, Univ. du Québec–Montréal

The Monstrous Host: Hospitality and Hostility in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant
Matthew Vernon, Univ. of California–Davis

Merlin the White(washed): The Entertainment Industry’s Evasion of Merlin’s Demonic Heritage
Michael A. Torregrossa

A Rapacious Daemon in King Arthur’s Court: Re-designating Merlin as a Demonic Rapist in Arthuriana [note corrected title]
Tirumular Narayanan, California State Univ.–Chico

Saturday, 3:30 PM
469 SCHNEIDER 1160
Past, Present, Future: Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives II
Sponsor: Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organizer: Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Presider: Whitney Dirks-Schuster, Grand Valley State Univ.

Haunting Poltergeists: Historical and Cinematic Representations of Ghosts as Demonic Monsters
Rex Barnes, Columbia Univ.

The Queer and the Dead: Medieval Revenants and Their Afterlives in In the Flesh
Elliot Mason, Concordia Univ. Montréal

The Witcher’s Anal Eye: Monstrous Technologies of the Medievalized Other in Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Kevin Moberly , Old Dominion Univ.; Brent Addison Moberly, Indiana Univ.–Bloomington

The Monstrous Mongols in Medieval Eurasia and Modern Day Film
Colleen C. Ho, Univ. of Maryland

Sunday, December 10, 2017

New Book: Echoes of Valhalla

Echoes of Valhalla: The Afterlife of the Eddas and Sagas

Jón Karl Helgason; Translated by Jane Appleton
Distributed for Reaktion Books

256 pages | 50 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Cloth $24.95
ISBN: 9781780237152
Published June 2017
For sale in North and South America only

Tolkien’s wizard Gandalf, Wagner’s Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Marvel’s superhero the Mighty Thor, the warrior heading for Valhalla in Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” and Donald Crisp’s portrayal of Leif Eriksson in the classic film The Viking—these are just a few examples of how Icelandic medieval literature has shaped human imagination during the past 150 years. Echoes of Valhalla is a unique look at modern adaptations of the Icelandic eddas (poems of Norse mythology) and sagas (ancient prose accounts of Viking history, voyages, and battles) across an astonishing breadth of art forms.

Jón Karl Helgason looks at comic books, plays, travel books, music, and films in order to explore the reincarnations of a range of legendary characters, from the Nordic gods Thor and Odin to the saga characters Hallgerd Long-legs, Gunnar of Hlidarendi, and Leif the Lucky. Roaming the globe, Helgason unearths echoes of Nordic lore in Scandinavia, Britain, America, Germany, Italy, and Japan. He examines the comic work of Jack Kirby and cartoon work of Peter Madsen; reads the plays of Henrik Ibsen and Gordon Bottomley; engages thought travelogues by Frederick Metcalfe and Poul Vad; listens to the music of Richard Wagner, Edward Elgar, and the metal band Manowar; and watches films by directors such as Roy William Neill and Richard Fleischer, outlining the presence of the eddas and sagas in these nineteenth- and twentieth-century works.

Altogether, Echoes of Valhalla tells the remarkable story of how disparate, age-old poetry and prose originally recorded in remote areas of medieval Iceland have come to be a part of our shared cultural experience today—how Nordic gods and saga heroes have survived and how their colorful cast of characters and adventures they went on are as vibrant as ever.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MediEvil at NEPCA

The following paper was presented last month at the meeting of the Northeast Popular Culture / American Culture Association at University of Massachusetts Amherest (https://nepca.blog/2017-conference-schedule/):

Friday, October 27, 1:00-2:30pm
PANEL 18 – CC 903 – Philosophy and Pop Culture: Philosophy and Popular Poetics

CHAIR: Anthony G. Cirilla, Niagara University

Paper 4: “Medieval Philosophy and Saving Fame in the Videogame MediEvil,” Anthony G. Cirilla, Niagara University