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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 136: Modern Interpretations of the Medieval

Monday 6 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Liam McLeod, Department of History, University of Birmingham
Paper 136-aMedievalism from the Margins: The Value of Cross-Discipline and Cross-Cultural Analysis of Medieval Literature
(Language: English)
Wallace Cleaves, Department of English University of California Riverside / Tongva Tribal Nation Claremont
Index terms: Anthropology, Geography and Settlement Studies, Language and Literature - Comparative, Literacy and Orality
Paper 136-bA Book of Hours, Brass Rubbings, and the Black Death
(Language: English)
Alison Ryan, School of Education & Professional Development, University of Huddersfield
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Education, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Paper 136-cPlaying (With) Alfred: An 'Auti-Ethnographic' Analysis of the Portrayal of Alfred the Great (849-899) in Two 21st-Century Computer Games
(Language: English)
Martine Mussies, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Music

Paper -a:
This paper explores the way in which hard and defined borders between disciplines and cultural perspectives potentially limit and restrict the study of medieval literature, and how applying the theoretical and critical approaches from other fields, such as anthropology or cultural studies, can produce new and useful interpretation of texts. Additionally, the value of examining medieval literary works from a non-Eurocentric perspective are addressed using the author's own cross-cultural perspective, as a Native American who studies medieval literature, as an example. This work draws on border theory and particularly the productive value of 'Transition Zones' to produce informative hybridity.

Paper -b:
This paper is based on the findings from my PhD research into informal learning in medieval re-enactment and considers the borders between formal and informal learning within medieval studies. The notion of scholarship as it relates to this learning is considered. I will explore how scholarly activity and research has been undertaken by re-enactors as part of their experimental archaeology practices through their engagement with this learning. The use of primary source material and access to this is also evaluated alongside my participant’s contribution to the body of knowledge on medieval life.

Paper -c:
This paper aims to combine two explorations: (dis)abled gaming as an autistic person and the representation of historical figure of Alfred the Great (849-899) in Crusader Kings II (Paradox Interactive 2012) and Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia (Creative Assembly 2018). There is a clear gap in the autoethnographic research on autistic gaming experiences, as well as in the autoethnographic research on turn-based strategy games. Moreover, there is no scholarly writing about the depiction of Alfred the Great in video games yet. An understanding of identity-building methods in games will be beneficial in the context of imaginary creature studies, where virtual manifestations of historical figures remain underexplored as well. Special attention will be given to the ways in which the games' musics and other audio contribute to the creation of the virtual identity of Alfred the Great. An autoethnographic research journal is used as primary tool to create an analysis combining my subjective gameplay experience with extraludic narratives (such as game guides and 'let’s play'-videos) as well as earlier representations (comics, films, games), for a layered account of the perceived portrayal of Alfred the Great.