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IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1349: Monstrous Medievalism: Toxic Appropriations of the Middle Ages in Modern Popular Culture and Thought

Wednesday 4 July 2018, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Monsters: The Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory & Practical Application (MEARCSTAPA)
Organiser:Renée Michelle Ward, School of English & Journalism, University of Lincoln
Moderator/Chair:Renée Michelle Ward, School of English & Journalism, University of Lincoln
Paper 1349-a'Die, defenceless, primitive natives!': Colonialism and Genocide in The Legacy of Heorot
(Language: English)
Alison Elizabeth Killilea, School of English, University College Cork
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Political Thought
Paper 1349-b'Mordred the Jew': Perpetuating the Judas Archetype in Medievalisms
(Language: English)
Tirumular (Drew) Narayanan, Department of Art & Art History, California State University, Chico
Index terms: Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Social History
Paper 1349-cPaul Kingsnorth's The Wake and Anglo-Saxonism in Contemporary Political Discourse
(Language: English)
Shela Raman, Independent Scholar, Port Chester
Index terms: Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Political Thought

The medieval period continues to be misidentified both as a primitive and savage 'dark ages' and as an idealized utopian golden age of racial and religious homogeny. In both cases, aspects of medieval culture - stories, motifs, and themes - are appropriated and reimagined (that is, remembered and reconstructed) in ways that celebrate and promote the othering of certain racial and ethnic groups or cultures. These monstrous medievalisms use the period to foster some of the most pernicious ideologies of the present day and distort our understanding of the past. We ask, whose Middle Ages are they? And in so doing, we seek to confront these monstrous medievalisms, to unravel and make sense of them in order to dismantle the negative work they do.