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ISSM sessions at 54th ICMS

International Society for the Study of Medievalism: Sessions at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9-12, 2019

ISSM is running three sessions at next year’s Kalamazoo Medieval Congress. Please submit abstracts and Participant Information Forms to Dr. Usha Vishnuvajjala  at before September 1, 2018. Medievalism and the Mundane Medievalism studies has considered some aspects of material culture quite extensively: ruins, architecture, weapons, shields, jewelry and clothing, and other such objects have been the subject of recent scholarly attention, as have heritage sites and recreations. We have paid less attention to seemingly mundane instances of medievalism within material culture, such as food and daily household items. With various movements seeking to return to (sometimes non-existent) pre-industrialist roots through organic farming, handmade clothing, home-brewed beer, and herbal medicine, the idea of the past can figure prominently in some of our most personal daily activities. How does the idea of the Middle Ages appear in such discourses? We seek papers on any aspect of quotidian material culture and medievalism, including continuities and discontinuities with the medieval past, attempts to recreate medieval material culture, and the invocation of the Middle Ages in movements involving material culture.

Transdisciplinary Somatic Medievalisms This session will explore both embodied practices of medievalism and the intersections between medievalism and modern embodied practices. Current research on medievalism and dance, the medievalist training of ASL linguist William Stokoe, and the politics of “western” martial arts which pose European combat manuals as an alternative to eastern martial arts suggests that we need further study on the ways in which the Middle Ages figure in our ideas and experiences of embodiment. Drawing on Richard Utz’s recent Medievalism: A Manifesto, this session will attempt to theorize the role of the medieval (or the “medieval”) in somatic experiences including, but not limited to, performing and martial arts and sign language. We especially welcome proposals that include practical elements as part of scholarly papers.

Round Table: Robin Hood 2018 Following last year’s successful roundtable on Guy Ritchie’s 2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, this roundtable asks participants to think through the various medievalisms and intertextualities present in Otto Bathhurst’s upcoming film Robin Hood. The film continues some of the same features as Ritchie’s film—an outlaw masculinity that depends in part on self-deprecating humor, racial diversity, and female characters framed by the filmmaker as “strong.” In that sense, it may edge closer to the medieval Robin Hood ballads than earlier Robin Hood films, which polish some of the medieval outlaw’s grit and attempt to elevate him to nobility. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the film’s intertextual relationship with both the medieval ballads and other medievalist films, the relationship between Robin Hood’s outlaw ethos and current political events, and the film’s depictions of masculinity. Because we are asking participants to submit proposals before the film is released, proposals may include questions about the film that will guide speakers’ brief talks.

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