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14 July, 2017

Featured in time.com, on Game of Thrones

Olivia Waxman recently interviewed several medievalists (including yours truly) for time.com on the role of Game of Thrones for the field of medieval studies:

“Most [institutions] would say that they don’t have to pay you $120,000 a year to talk about Game of Thrones," echoes Richard Utz, President of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism, who argued on Friday in an Inside Higher Ed op-ed that medieval studies departments should beware of relying too heavily on Game of Thrones (which is, after all, still just a work of fantasy) as a recruitment tool. Those within the field disagree over whether it's proper to contextualize the original medieval texts within anything but their own original medieval world, and traditionally the answer has been that it is not.
But that dynamic may be changing too, Utz notes, with scholars seeking new ways of doing their work. "My personal theory is that a certain way of doing scholarship had exhausted itself," he says. "Most of the major medieval texts had been edited. The question had been, 'What now?'”