Mass Media Middle Ages: Medieval Themes in Modern Popular Culture
Sponsored by The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
Session to be held at the 43rd International Congress of Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), from 8-11 May 2008
Proposals due by 9/1/07
THE SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF POPULAR CULTURE AND THE MIDDLE AGES invites proposals for 15-minute papers on any aspect of the medieval popular culture to be included in a session to be held at the 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, which convenes at Western Michigan University from 8-11 May 2008. In addition, submissions will also be considered for inclusion in an essay collection on the same topic.
Despite our temporal and spatial distance from the Middle Ages,medieval themes proliferate in post-medieval culture, especially popular culture, and attest to the veracity of Umberto Eco's observation that "people like the Middle Ages." Medievalists, as both teachers and consumers, are as intrigued by these new representations of the medieval as non-specialists are, though fruitful academic discussion of such material has been limited when compared against the vast corpus of available medievalisms. It is the goal of the Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages to foster and encourage further investigation into the relationship between Medieval Studies and popular culture research. We have proposed this session devoted to exploring the range of medievalisms in modern culture, as the Congress provides an ideal forum to sharing information with our peers about these innovative representations of the medieval, which,besides simple amusement, can provide ideas for teaching and springboards for research.
For "Mass Media Middle Ages: Medieval Themes in Popular Culture," presentations should be geared towards illuminating how the creators of popular culture have appropriated medieval subjects and the impact these products have had in disseminating ideas about the medieval to the non-medievalist public. Through our participation at the Congress, the Society continues to build its network of scholars, and we expect proposals exploring the following topics (all of which we consider to be under-researched aspects of modern medievalism): the comics medium; computer, video, and digital gaming; juvenile culture (especially children's literature, games, and toys); role-playing games; television programming; and popular fiction (including medieval-themed mysteries, medieval-esque fantasy worlds, etc.), film (like the STAR WARS and SHREK film franchises), and music.
We are especially interested in proposals related to the following topics:
***Children's Culture (illustrated books, toys)
***Re-creations (Society for Creative Anachronism)
***Entertainments/Theme Parks, etc. (medieval-themed faires, Medieval Times, Excalibur Hotel and Casino)
***Role Playing Games
Please submit abstracts of 500 to 1000 words to the organizing committee at the following address; please also submit a completed abstract cover sheet (found at
) with your proposal.
Michael A. Torregrossa
34 2nd St
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
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