Sunday, March 25, 2012

Neo-medievalism in the Media (At Last)

My thanks to Richard Utz for the head's up on the imminent release of this long-awaited collection:

Neo-medievalism in the Media: Essays on Film, Television, and Electronic Games
Edited by Robinson, Carol L. , & Clements, Pamela

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press
USA List Price: $169.95; UK List Price: £109.95
ISBN10: 0-7734-2662-0;   ISBN13: 978-0-7734-2662-7
Pages: 452 
Year: 2012

Subject Areas: Cultural Studies, Film Studies, General Literature & Art -- Medieval, Literature - Medieval, Medieval & Renaissance - History, Popular Culture.


This is a collection of essays that study the contemporary cultural depictions of medievalism. The book attempts to unravel distortions that tend to domesticate the era and represent it as an extension of modern life. Several authors claim that modernity is so radically different to medieval life that we can only view the past as an extension of the present, rather than as radically different. The present distorts, and often politicizes the past, and these essays explore how everything from commercials, and video games, to the war on terror can contain elements of neo-medieval revisionism. Some authors argue that even though nobody alive today has a lived experience of the period, and holding an authentic medieval experience is almost impossible, there seems to be a sort of nostalgia about medieval times that indicates dissatisfaction with contemporary life.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Moveable Feast: Repositionings of “the Medieval” in Medieval Studies, Medievalism, and Neo-Medievalism by Richard Utz

Introduction: Neomedievalism in a Vortext of Discourse: Film, Television, and Digital Games by Carol L. Robinson

1. Remembering Dismembering: Reading the Violated Body Medievally by Leslie A. Coote

2. NeoMedieval Trauma: The Cinematic Hyperreality of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales by Pamela Clements

3. The Use of Nature: Representing Religion in Medieval Film by Christopher Roman

4. Neo-Bushido: NeoMedieval Anime and Japanese Essence by Jennifer de Winter

5. “You’re Still Living in the Middle Ages!”: Time Travel in Doctor Who and Pseudo-Historical, Neo-Medieval, Alternate Realities by Dave Rolinson

6. “What do we do? Hop on a Bus to Medieval Times?”: The Use of Medievalism in Television Fiction by Roderick W. McDonald

7. “What’s in your wallet?”: How to Construct an “Authentic” Middle Ages by Alison Tara Walker

8. The New Scriptoria: NeoMedievalism and Online Textual Communities by Lauryn Mayer

9. Gaming with Odin: Myth, Context, and Reconstruction of Hnefa-tafl, an Old Norse Board Game by Leon Wild

10. The Name of the Game: Misuses of Neo-Medievalism in Computerized Role-Playing Games by Clay Kinchen Smith

11. Commodifying the Medieval in Magic Online by Kelly Ann Fitzpatrick

12. Blood Will Out: Genealogy as Destiny in Medieval(ist) Gaming by Amy S. Kaufman and Cory Grewell

13. “For Your Labor I Will Give You Treasure Enough”: Labor and the Third-Estate in Medieval-Themed Role-Playing Games by Kevin Moberly and Brent Moberly

14. Neo-Tolkienism: Plays upon Playing with J.R.R. Tolkien’s Playing With Language by Carol L. Robinson and Pamela Clements

15. “I’m Not Dead Yet!” – Tracing the Pythonesque in Neo-Medievalist Media by Carol L. Robinson

Epilogue: Recreating the Medieval World by Terry Jones

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