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Studies in Medievalism XXV

Studies in Medievalism XXV: Medievalism and Modernity

Edited by Karl Fugelso
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: , Boydell and Brewer
Pages: 237
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    Studies in Medievalism XXV
    Book Description:

    The question of how modernity has influenced medievalism and how medievalism has influenced modernity is the theme of this volume. The opening essays examine the 2001 film Just Visiting's comments on modern anxieties via medievalism; conflations of modernity with both medievalism and the Middle Ages in rewriting sources; the emergence of modernity amid the post-World War I movement The Most Noble Order of Crusaders; António Sardinha's promotion of medievalism as an antidote to modernity; and Mercedes Rubio's medievalism in her feminist commentary on modernity. The eight subsequent articles build on this foundation while discussing remnants of medieval London amid its modern descendant; Michel Houellebecq's critique of medievalism through his 2011 novel La Carte et le territoire/; historical authenticity in Michael Morrow's approach to performing medieval music; contemporary concerns in Ford Madox Brown and David Gentleman's murals; medieval Chester in Catherine A.M. Clarke and Nayan Kulkarni's Hryre (2012); medieval influences on the formation of and debate about modern moral panics; medievalist considerations in modern repurposings of medieval anchorholds; and medieval sources for Paddy Molloy's Here Be Dragons (2013). The articles thus test the essays' methods and conclusions, even as the essays offer fresh perspectives on the articles. Karl Fugelso is Professor of Art History at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Contributors: Edward Breen, Katherine A. Brown, Catherine A.M. Clarke, Louise D'Arcens, Joshua Davies, John Lance Griffith, Mike Horswell, Pedro Martins, Paddy Molloy, Lisa Nalbone, Sarah Salih, Michelle M. Sauer, James L. Smith

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-709-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations (pp. ix-x)
  4. Editorial Note (pp. xi-xvi)
    Karl Fugelso
  5. I: Medievalism and Modernity:: Some Perspective(s)
    • Medievalism at the End of History: Pessimism and Renewal in Just Visiting (pp. 1-10)
      John Lance Griffith

      When precisely the modern period begins and exactly what it means to be modern depend in part on whether we approach these questions from a historical, philosophical, or aesthetic perspective. For Fukuyama, modernity emerges from the political and philosophical revolutions of the Enlightenment and in the writings of Hegel and Marx on history;⁴ it is marked by changes in how the West thought about history and the progress of history. For Danto, modern thought begins with Descartes and Kant placing questions about the nature of thought itself at the center of intellectual discourse; but modernism as an artistic movement does...

    • Medieval Restoration and Modern Creativity (pp. 11-18)
      Katherine A. Brown

      Current trends in medievalism tend to privilege the content of objects of investigation over interest in their form and structure or methods and ideology. The attention given to content, however, reveals only one aspect of medievalism. As originally defined by Leslie J. Workman, and at the foundation ofStudies in Medievalism, this field involves “the continuing process of creating the Middle Ages.”² In spite of Workman’s emphasis on process, sustained attempts by scholars to define the terminology – if not the scope – of medievalism do so with a focus on content. Even the trenchant discussion by Elizabeth Emery, in...

    • Crusader Medievalism and Modernity in Britain: The Most Noble Order of Crusaders and the Rupture of the First World War, 1921–49 (pp. 19-28)
      Mike Horswell

      Modernity, one dictionary suggests, is “the mythical moment when ‘now’ began.”¹ An inherently “epochal concept,” modernity carries within it temporal disjuncture: “The idea of modernity rests on rupture.”² Both modernity and medievalism carry inherently a sense of chronological distance and difference –nowandthen. While opinions have varied as to what defined the premodern, the modern, and the nature and duration of the processes of historical change, modernity has served as an umbrella term fornowin a comparable manner to the way in which medieval has served as a label for then. The onset of modernity has proved...

    • From the Republica Christiana to the “Great Revolution”: Middle Ages and Modernity in António Sardinha’s Writings (1914–25) (pp. 29-36)
      Pedro Martins

      The writings of António Sardinha (1887–1925) have still not generated the interest they deserve in the panorama of studies on Portuguese historiography. A poet, politician, and historian isolated from the main academic circles, Sardinha was the leading doctrinal figure of the movement known asIntegralismo Lusitano,² founded in 1913 in the aftermath of the attempts to restore the recently deposed Portuguese monarchy. In the doctrine ofIntegralismo, the medieval period occupied an important place, both as a reference in national and European history and an example for a future political, moral, and spiritual rearrangement.

      Sardinha’s contrasting views on the...

    • Moving through Time and Space in Mercedes Rubio’s Las siete muchachas del Liceo (1957) via Wagner’s Parsifal in Barcelona, Spain (1914) (pp. 37-44)
      Lisa Nalbone

      The dates in this essay’s title allude to events in Barcelona between the time of the first authorized production of Wagner’sParsifaloutside of Germany and the publication of Mercedes Rubio’s novel,Las siete muchachas del Liceo. The medieval parallels with the famed opera underpinning Rubio’s novel appear in the plot, themes, and characters as the author recounts strands of protagonist Blanca Galindo’s life that align withParsifalmotifs. Blanca is an innocent and naive young woman from Barcelona whose mother has died and whose father is absent, drawing on similarities with Parsifal’s family lineage. The girl’s early experiences in...

  6. II: Medievalist Visions
    • Introduction (pp. 47-52)
      Joshua Davies and Sarah Salih

      The genesis of the essays in this cluster was an exhibition held at King’s College London in spring 2013. The exhibition, entitledMedievalist Visionsand curated by Joshua Davies, Sarah Salih, and Beatrice Wilford of the English Department at King’s, and Catherine Sambrook, King’s Special Collections Librarian, displayed material from across the disciplines of art and design, literature, theater, cinema, and architecture to explore ideas of historical authenticity, cultural translation, and appropriation in works of creative medievalism.¹ It included items loaned by the Victoria and Albert Museum, Lambeth Palace Library, the Geffrye Museum, Senate House Library, and King’s College London’s...

    • In/visible Medieval/isms (pp. 53-70)
      Sarah Salih

      Late medieval London was, like contemporary London, the greatest city of the realm, a center of power, finance, trade, and culture. It mythologized itself as Troynovant, “þe firste citie of Brettayne,” built by Brutus.³ And yet the depredations of time – or, specifically, of fire, bombing, and redevelopment – ensure that medieval London is barely visible today. There are, of course, two world heritage sites, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, bookending the city to east and west. But most of medieval London is hidden, or glimpsed in passing, or a trace of something lost, or virtual. The City’s...

    • Art, Heritage Industries, and the Legacy of William Morris in Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory (pp. 71-88)
      Louise D’Arcens

      For the reading public and beyond, the French author Michel Houellebecq is arguably most notorious for his public denunciation of Islam as “stupid,” a statement that led to him being tried unsuccessfully in 2002 for religious and racial incitement.¹ Because of this and other controversial views on contemporary society (in particular about commercial sex, which he praises), the author is widely perceived as a nihilist, an ideologically scattergun commentator whose provocations are locatable within a French tradition of “critical insult” reaching from the inflammatory cynicism of 1960s magazines such asHara Kirithrough to the incendiary iconoclasm of Charlie hebdo,...

    • Travel in Space, Travel in Time: Michael Morrow’s Approach to Performing Medieval Music in the 1960s (pp. 89-114)
      Edward Breen

      Thurston Dart’s dictum “travel in space: travel in time” serves as a moniker for Michael Morrow’s London-based early music ensemble, Musica Reservata. Morrow developed a hard-edged performance style for medieval and Renaissance music throughout the 1960s and 1970s that baffled many critics. In particular, Morrow demanded “bite and attack” from singers to promote a congruent sound with period instruments. By using folk models for this philosophy, Morrow’s medievalism also displayed aspects of an orientalist approach.

      The other then-major performing ensemble for medieval music in Britain was David Munrow’s Early Music Consort of London. Munrow took a different approach to performance,...

    • Imagining Medieval Chester: Practice-based Medievalism, Scholarship, and Creativity (pp. 115-134)
      Catherine A. M. Clarke

      In what ways can we conceive of medievalism as a practice-based discipline, bringing creative, performative, and collaborative methodologies to bear in formulating new understandings of the past? In Medieval Studies – and Humanities scholarship more widely – where might we site the boundary between conventional critical approaches and more imaginative, subjective, and affective forms of inquiry? And what is at stake if we enlarge our definitions of scholarship to encompass more diverse methods and media? Questions about the place of imagination and creativity in scholarship are currently emerging as a major debate in the Humanities, driven in part by the...

    • The Anachronic Middle Ages: Public Art, Cultural Memory, and the Medievalist Imagination (pp. 135-156)
      Joshua Davies

      In 1875 Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote to Ford Madox Brown with an idea for a painting. His suggestion was blunt and enthusiastic: “I really think you ought to paint Chaucer beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet Street.”³ Rossetti explained to Brown that the idea originated from Charles Lamb, who suggested the subject to Benjamin Haydon in 1827. Lamb himself got the idea from Thomas Speght’s 1598 edition of the works of Chaucer, and his letter to Haydon quotes Speght’s Life of the poet.⁴ The records on which Speght based his report, and which he did not claim to have personally...

    • Medievalisms of Moral Panic: Borrowing the Past to Frame Fear in the Present (pp. 157-172)
      James L. Smith

      This essay argues that understanding both the process by which medievalist tropes feature in the formation of moral panics and the manner in which medievalists are drawn into the debate reveals much about the imagination of the medieval in the shaping of the modern, and also some salient points relating to the role of scholars in public discourse. It would be glib and unhelpful to promote the message that medievalists are making moral-panic medievalisms worse, nor would it be true. The power to analyze and critique the circumstances by which medievalisms become intertwined with the symbolism of moral-panic phenomena is...

    • Extra-Temporal Place Attachment and Adaptive Reuse: The Afterlives of Medieval English Anchorholds (pp. 173-196)
      Michelle M. Sauer

      Stephanie Trigg, in an essay on tourism and medieval cathedrals, suggests that the “institutions and practices of contemporary medieval tourism and heritage culture raise powerful questions for medievalists about the uses and significance of the medieval past.”¹ In my quest to examine the modern remains of medieval spaces, I have been searching out extant anchorholds for the last fifteen years. Because these spaces are attached to working churches with a parish life, they have only rarely been preserved in their unadorned medieval state. Instead, the majority of anchorholds in Britain have been adaptively reused to fit the fabric of current...

    • Here Be Dragons: Mapping Space and Time, Medieval and Modern (pp. 197-214)
      Paddy Molloy

      I was invited to contribute to theMedievalist Visionsexhibition as an artist rather than a scholar.¹ I was commissioned to produce a piece of work that responded to the themes of the exhibition and to think through how my interests might intersect with medieval culture, medieval studies, and medievalism studies. My own practice resides predominately in the field of illustration, a discipline that addresses image-making as a tool to articulate and disseminate ideas. Usually published as counterpoint to text, my images have been used in various printed forms, from newspapers and journals to book covers and posters. Much of...

  7. Contributors (pp. 215-218)
  8. Back Matter (pp. 219-220)