On Medievalism and its Discontents
I would like to talk about some work I have been doing with a colleague in the US: Tom Prendergast. We are writing a book called Medievalism and its Discontents, a collaborative project on the relationship between medieval studies, popular medievalism, and the academic study of medievalism. I’ll be speaking about the different kinds of research and study appropriate to these disciplines. How does the “research” of an academic medieval scholar differ from that of a fiction writer writing a novel about the Middle Ages? How does the study of Tolkien differ from the study of Old English? The talk will foreground the differences between medieval and medievalist study inside and beyond the university.
A hero’s choice
Jono “Flash” Hibbert:
What is a ‘hero’? From Mesopotamian creation myths, to Arthurian legend, to comic-book characters, there are enduring characteristics that are common to almost all literary heroes. I will outline some of these attributes, and how they are presented in a few mythic figures, culminating in a little investigation of Batman. More specifically, how the revamped Caped Crusader provides an departure from traditional brands of ‘heroism,’ and why Batman’s decisions are perpetually problematic and more gut-wrenching than those made by classical heroes.