IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1443: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Public Medievalism: A Round Table Discussion

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 18.00-19.00

Sponsor:LUU Medieval Society
Organiser:Rose A. Sawyer, School of History / School of English, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair:Sunny Harrison, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Abstract

The last decade has seen significant developments in public interest in the Middle Ages. The world watched as Richard III’s remains were discovered, international newspapers picked up stories about Anglo-Saxon antibiotics, and Robert the Bruce’s possible pathology. The media has helped to shape some of this renewed discourse surrounding the medieval.

The Middle Ages and medievalism have become freshly politicised in the contemporary world. The far right has become fascinated by its own construction of the Middle Ages, usually formed around ideas of racial and religious purity, tradition, and conservativism.

As medievalists we have a responsibility to educate beyond the academic context. However, raising one’s head above the parapet can open oneself up to ‘trolling’ and abuse. Where does the public forum now start and the academic forum end? Following on from last year’s lively discussion of medieval consultancy, this year we will be hosting a round table discussing the importance and potential hazards of public medievalism.

Participants include Duncan Berryman (Queen Mary Belfast), Victoria Cooper (University of Leeds), and Robert C. Woosnam-Savage (Royal Armouries, Leeds).