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11 July, 2013

Review of Pugh and Weisl, Medievalisms


Recently reviewed Tison Pugh and Angela Jane Weisl's Medievalisms: Making the Past in the Present (New York: Routledge, 2013), for The Medieval Review.

This coauthored volume may very well be the first book on medievalism(s) I would be happy to recommend to someone new to medievalism studies. Because of the subaltern status of medievalism studies in relation to its dominant academic sister, medieval studies, early practitioners avoided writing this kind of book and limited their work to more narrowly defined case studies or programmatic introductions to journal issues and essay collections. Then, within the last decade, numerous book-length projects deepened our knowledge of certain larger thematic or theoretical aspects: Kathleen Biddick (The Shock of Medievalism, 1998), John Ganim (Medievalism and Orientalism, 2005), Nicholas Haydock (Movie Medievalism, 2008), Bruce Holsinger (The Premodern Condition, 2005), Erin Felicia Labbie (Lacan's Medievalism, 2006), Clare Simmons (Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain, 2011), and Louise D'Arcens (Old Songs in the Timeless Land: Medievalism in Australian Literature, 2011), etc. Even the only study at least somewhat comparable to the volume under review, Michael Alexander's Medievalism: The Middle Ages in Modern England (2007), limits its scope to the reception of medieval culture in England since 1760. Thus, Medievalisms comes at a kairotic moment in the history of medievalism studies. READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE