20 March, 2011

Abstract - Medievalism: A Manifesto

Since the inclusion of medieval studies in the modern academy, professional scholars have insisted on distinguishing their work from extra-academic lovers of medieval culture. Richard Utz analyses the semantic, institutional, and sociopolitical history of the relationship between medieval studies and medievalism. He provides a survey of how scholars' exteriorization of amateur interest in the medieval past narrowed the epistemological range of medieval scholarship and how reception studies, feminism, and postmodernism gradually expanded modern pastist approaches to the Middle Ages. Utz advances specific examples for reconnecting investigating scholarly subjects with their subjects of investigation, and he challenges scholars to make a conscious effort to engage in public scholarship and explore inclusive gestures toward the contributions non-academic lovers of the Middle Ages can offer. His manifesto advocates an active integration of academic medievalists' work within the many other equally valuable artistic and sociopolitical partner contexts of reading the medieval past. [More information at ARC HUMANITIES PRESS

Chapter headings:
  • What’s Love Got To Do With It? Our Middle Ages, Ourselves
  • Don’t Know Much About the Middle Ages? Toward Flat(ter) Futures of Engagement
  • Intervention One: Residual Medievalisms in Eastern Bavaria
  • Intervention Two: Race and Medievalism at Atlanta’s Rhodes Hall
  • Intervention Three: Medievalism, Religion, and Temporality
  • Manifesto: Six (Not So) Little Medievalisms

“Utz is the scholar/teacher as rabble rouser, in the very best sense of the term – though some of the rabble are his own colleagues in the academy. He argues for a fresh approach to a new topic in a way that embraces not just the academy but also larger audiences with their own distinctive views of and responses to what we call the medieval.” – Kevin J. Harty, La Salle University

For an interview about the genesis and lead ideas for the essai, see HERE.