top of page

Medievalism Today: 36th Annual Conference on Medievalism

After so many years as president of the ISSM, I am thrilled to see how the tradition continues, now for the 36th time. Here is the full program:




Michael Gavin, President, Delta College

Michael Evans, Coordinator, Humanities Learning Center, Delta College

Land acknowledgment

9-10.30 am –Two concurrent sessions

Session 1a-Medievalism in Fiction and Film

Moderator: M Jane Toswell

Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, University of Białystok

“Cultural Memory and the Middle Ages in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Lions of Al-Rassan”

Karen A. Winstead, Ohio State University

“NarratingSilences: Heldris of Cornwall and Alex Meyers”

Ann Howey, Brock University

“‘Real Life?’ or ‘Just Fantasy?’: Neomedievalism in Once & Future”

Ioanna-Maria Stamati, University of the Aegean

Dracula’s Memory on the Screen

Session 1b -Medieval Rituals and the Modern World

Organizer: Nils Holger Petersen

Moderator: Stavroula Constantinou

Stavroula Constantinou, University of Cyprus

“Byzantine Rituals in Modern Greek Narratives”

Ingrid Bennewitz, University of Bamberg

“‘Take your hands off the harp!’: Rituals, music and meals in medieval literature and films of Quentin Tarantino”

Christos Hadjiyiannis, University of Cyprus

“Modern Martyrs: Byzantine Female Martyrdom in Elias Maglinis’s The Interrogation (2008)”

Nils Holger Petersen, University of Southern Denmark / University of Copenhagen

“Crux fidelis(Venantius Fortunatus, 6th century): from part of the Adoration of the Cross since c. 800 to settings by Krzysztof Penderecki (1999) and Wolfgang Rihm (2000)”

10.45am-12pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session 2a –Global Medievalisms

Moderator: Tom Boudreau, Delta College

Julio César Cárdenas Arenas, Universidad Complutense of Madrid / Islamic University of Medinah

“Ibn Taymiyah's Modern Figure. Towards an Islamic Medievalist Definition”

Pavel Bychkov, Russian Academy of Sciences

“Medievalism in Soviet Unofficial Culture of the Stagnation Period (1964-1984)”

Angela Jane Weisl, Seton Hall University & Robert Squillace, New York University

“Global Medievalism’s “Medieval”: Demarcating Medievalized Spaces in the Modern World”

Session 2b -The Recreated Medieval: A Writers & Artists Exhibition (1)

Organizer: Carol Robinson

Moderator: Pam Clements, Siena College

Pamela Clements, Siena College

“New Poems with Old Twists”

Kathy Davis Patterson, Kent State University -Tuscawaras

“Medieval Echoes: Dragons, Witches, Unicorns, and a Contemporary Artist’s PostMedieval Aesthetic (Drawings)”

Carol Robinson, Kent State University –Trumbull

“Medievalism in Deaf Theatre: Video Clips from Four Productions”

12.15-1.30 pm –Two Concurrent Sessions

Session 3a -Spenser's Medievalism

Organizer: Nickolas Haydock

Moderator: Mickey Sweeney, Dominican University

Edward Risden, St Norbert College (emeritus)

“If Magic be the Food of Love, Play on: Boundaries of Love in The Faerie Queeneand Le Morte Darthur”

William F. Hodapp, College of St Scholastica

“Among Longaevi: Spenser Reading Faerie”

Nickolas Haydock, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

“Squiring Chaucer: Canterbury (Faery) Tales in Books 3-4 ofThe Faerie Queen”

Session 3b -The Recreated Medieval: A Writers & Artists Exhibition (2)

Organizerand moderator: Carol Robinson

Kavita Mudan Finn, Independent Scholar


Shiloh Carroll, Independent Scholar

“Selected Readings from Over the Vestr Sea”

Sharon Emmerichs, University of Alaska

“Modernizing Medievalism: Subverting the Narrative in Beowulf”

1.45-3pm –1stKeynote Plenary

Moderator: Desmond Harding, Central Michigan University

Anne Marie D’Arcy

Trinity College Dublin

“Island of Saints and Sages Revisited: Joyce, the Irish Middle Ages and the Post-Brexit Era.”

3.15-4.30pm –Two Concurrent Sessions

4a –Medievalism and Video Games, 1

Moderator: Kevin Moberly, Old Dominion University

John Plavcan, University of Arkansas

“Medieval Women in Videogames and the Reinforcement of Sexual Power Fantasies”

Marisa Mills, University of Southern Mississippi

“‘Erased from the Records of Time:’ Bayonettaand the Sexualized Middle Ages

Alicia McKenzie, Wilfrid Laurier University

“How (not) to design a progressive Viking: “desynchronized” morality in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla”

4b –Graphic Novels

Moderator: Karl Fugelso

Karl Fugelso, Towson State University

“‘Messer Papero e il Ghibbelin Fuggiasco’: Cultural Constraints on (Neo)medievalism's Adaptability.”

Elizabeth Herbst Buzay, University of Connecticut

“Feminist Knights, Questions of Power, and Utopian Societies: Medievalism Today in Cyril Pedrosa and Roxanne

Moreil’s L'âge d’or”

Alisa Schreibman, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Front Range Community College, and Harrisburg

University of Science and Technology

“Bats Don’t Do That: Knights, Superheroes, Heroes, and Purity in Gothic Gotham”

4.45-5.45 pm -ISSM Assembly

6-7.15pm -Entertainment

Daisy Black (storyteller)

Unruly Woman, an “indecorous assortment of medieval tales from around Europe about women who gain the upper hand –or, occasionally, the upper arse.”


9 am-10.30 pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session 5a –Disease, Death and Rebellion

Moderator: Luiz Guerra, Independent scholar

M Jane Toswell, University of Western Ontario

“Pandemic Politics: Deploying the Plague”

Galit Noga-Banai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“From the Holy Lance to Covid-19 Syringe: the cult of relics according to Benjamin Netanyahu”

Matthias D Berger, University of Bern

“Revolt: ‘Peasants’ and Protest in the Twenty-First Century”

Session 5b -Reshaping the Middle Ages in and through Asian Popular Culture, 1

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

and the Mutual Images Research Association

Organizerand moderator: Michael Torregrossa

Priyanka Das (student), Presidency University Kolkata

“Snakes and Ladders: The Serpent Allegory in Medieval Religious Art”

Priyanka Das (faculty), Presidency University, Kolkata

“There are no innocents, not anymore”:Holocaust and Medievalism in the Japanese anime Castlevania”

William Schrage, University of Groningen

“The Female King Arthur; The Moefication of Historical Characters in the Media Mix Called Fate”

10.45 am-12.15 pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session 6a –(MIs)using the Medieval Past

Moderator: Christina De Clerck-Szilagyi, Delta College

Adam Oberlin, Princeton University

“Storyworld Epistemologies and the Stratification of the Medieval(ish)”

Miriam Muller, Independent Scholar

“Blood and Soil, expressions of medievalism in contemporary far right movements”

Luiz Guerra, Federal University of Minas Gerais

“When the Abyss stares back: Methodological aspects, security and ethical considerations for studying medievalism and other -isms in the underweb of fringe groups and forums”

Ray Lacina, Delta College

“Democracy, Race and Language: Thomas Jefferson's Old English Grammar”

Session 6b -Medievalism in BroadcastMedia

Moderator: Angela Jane Weisl, Seton Hall University

Dena Arguelles, Drew University

“Will they ever get this body right? Tomoe Gozen and Jessica Jones after the fight.”

Meaghan Allen, University of Manchester

“Sacred Slayers: Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Storyteller” and the Hagiographic Genre”

Rebecca Brackmann, Lincoln Memorial University

Failed Medievalism: My Favorite MurderEpisode 22 and the Limits of Medievalized “True Crime” Narratives

Valerie B. Johnson, University of Montevallo

“Broken Hearts and Unbroken Arrows: Historical and Fictional Women Archers”

12.30-1.45 -2ndKeynote Plenary

Moderator: Michael Evans, Delta College

Andrew Elliott

University of Lincoln

“Medievalism Today: The Limits of Interpretation.”

2-3.30 pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session 7a -Medievalism and Spaces

Moderator:Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand

Elizabeth Allyn Woock, Palacký University

“Medievalist Built Spaces in Sequential Art”

Keith Russo, Independent Scholar

“Mythical Histories: Medieval Total War: Thrones of Britannia”

Tommaso Zerbi, British School at Rome

“Neo-Medievalism (Studies): A Manifesto. Architectural/Art History and the Study of Medievalism”

Session 7b -Performing and (Re)imaging Medieval England

Moderator: Amy French, Delta College

Laura Dull, Delta College

“The Woodvilles, the White Queen, & What’s Missing”

Rowan Wilson, University of Oxford, St Hilda's College

“Corporeal Medievalisms: The Reburial of Richard III”

Lorraine Stock, University of Houston

“Robin Hood, Women in Tights:Burlesque Medievalism on the Gilded Age American Stage”

3.45pm -5.15pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session 8a -Henry II and Thomas Becket: Identity, Popular Representation, and Political Medievalism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Organizer: Esther Cuenca

Moderator: Jason Thames, Harvard University

Lucy C Barnhouse, Arkansas State University

“Sex, politics, religion: Teaching challenging medievalisms with Becketand The Lion in Winter”

Christine Caccipuoti, Footnoting History

“From The Lion in Winterto Empire: Medieval history and pop culture interpretations of the family of Henry II of England”

Esther Liberman Cuenca, University of Houston-Victoria

“‘Normans’ vs. ‘Saxons’: The Angevins, Becket, and Imagining Race in Medieval Cinema”

Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge, Woodward Academy/ Footnoting History

“Convocation and religious freedom in late medieval England”

Session 8b -Disability, Ablism and Medievalism

Organizer: Carol Robinson

Moderator: Lesley Coote, Independent Scholar

Lauryn S. Mayer, Washington & Jefferson College

“Other Worlds: Medievalist Novels and the use of Disability”

Pamela Clements, Siena College

“Falconry as Remedy: Helen Macdonald, T. H. White, Depression, Obsession, and Goshawks”

Angela Jane Weisl, Seton Hall University

& Carol Robinson, Kent State University -Trumbull

“Ragnarok & Mental Health: The Legend Continues in a Norway High School”

5.30-7 pm –Two concurrent sessions: Australian-friendlytime

Session 9a -Racism,Nationalism, and Medievalism

Moderator: Jesse Swan, Northern Iowa University

Helen Young, Deakin University

“Far-right Medievalist Fictions”

Louise d'Arcens, Macquarie University

“Medievalism and Transnational Mobility in Matthias Enard’s Street of Thieves”

VanessaIacocca, Purdue University

“James Macpherson’s Ossianand a Tradition of Invention: Modelling a New Means of Nationalist-Political Dialogue”

Sarah Ifft Decker, Rhodes College

“Invisible Jews and Jewish Monsters: Jews and Jewishness in Medieval-Inspired Films”

Session 9b -Alternative Medievalisms: Beyond Conservatism and Progress, I

Organizer: Luiz Guerra

Luiz Guerra, Federal University of Minas Gerais

“Beyond Bolsonaro: the 'other' Middle Ages of Brazilian politics”

Carol Robinson, Kent State University-Trumbull

“Chivalry and Cinematic Propaganda”

Sabina Rahman, Macquarie University

“Robbie Hood: Indigeneity, Medievalism, and Australian Identity”


9-10.30am –Two concurrent sessions

Session 10a -Alternative Medievalisms: Beyond Conservatism and Progress, 2

Organizer: Luiz Guerra

PriyankaDas (student), Presidency University, Kolkata

“The God-like Politician: Narendra Modi and the Central Vista Redevelopment Project”

Karl Christian Alvestad, University of South-Eastern Norway

“Is the Queer really Queer?”

Brian Egede-Pedersen, Nykøbing Katedralskole

Cosmopolitan and Multicultural Templars –and Sweden. Appropriating History in Jan Guillou’s Crusades-trilogy

Usha Vishnuvajjala, Cardiff University

Embodied Experience and Women’s Communities of Resistance

Session 10b -Taiwanese roundtable -Borderlands and Berserkers: Understanding Western Culture in Taiwan

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Organizerand moderator: Carolyn F. Scott, National Cheng Kung University

Lo-Yi Zoe Wu;Wen-Chi Stella Chang; Wen-Tien Luthien Chuang;Shan-Yo Jo-Ann Fang,Students at National Cheng

Kung University

10.45 am-12 pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session 11a -Afterlives of Medieval English literature

Moderator: Jesse Swan, University of Northern Iowa

Emily M Harless, University of Manchester

“Confessing the “Desire to Exist”: The Confessional “Self” as Medievalism in Robert Glück’s Margery Kempe”

Hannah Piercy, University of Bern

“The afterlives of medieval(ist) misogyny: Tracing the Pelleas and Ettarde story from the thirteenth to the twentieth century”

Spenser Santos, Independent Scholar (PhD, University of Iowa)

“Feminist Translations of Beowulf: Headley, Purvis, and Grendel’s Mother”

Sessions11b –Medievalism in Young Adult Fiction

Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand, Appalachian State University

& Olga Trokhimenko, University of North Carolina Wilmington

“’I Show Not Your Face, but Your Heart’s Desire’: Medievalism, Fakelore, and the Commodification of Story-Telling

in the Afterlives of Harry Potter”

Anna Czarnowus, University of Silesia

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Maurice Gee’s The O Trilogy”

Christina Francis, Bloomsburg University

“Confronting Our Past: Black Girl Magic and Tracey Deonn’s Legendborn”

12.15-1.30 pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session12a -Mud, Blood... and Medicine?: Modern Medical Medievalisms 1. Doctors, Disease, and the Imagined Medieval

Organizers: Winston Black and Lucy Barnhouse

Moderator: Lucy Barnhouse

Winston Black, St. Francis Xavier University

“Avicenna, Prince of Physicians, and Modern Political Medievalism”

Claire Burridge, University of Sheffield

“Early Medieval Surgery: Challenging Popular Stereotypes with Archaeological Evidence”

Courtney Krolikoski, McGill University

“What am I, a Leper in This Town?’: Challenging and Correcting Representations of the Medieval Leper in Modern Media”

Session 12b –Medievalism and Video Games, 2

Moderator: Juan Manuel Rubio, Central European University

Evan Moore, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“Physical Properties and Scientific Methodologies: Alchemy inThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimas a Fantasy Representation of Medieval Science”

Clint Morrison, Ohio State University

“Allegory in the Periphery: Medievalism inDeath Stranding(2019)”

Nils Lommerde, Radboud University

“’Holding out for a Hero’: Empathy and Knightly Expectations in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild(2017)’s


1.45-3pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session13a -Mud, Blood... and Medicine?: Modern Medical Medievalisms 2. Women’s Medicine Medieval and Modern

Organizers: Winston Black and Lucy Barnhouse

Moderator: Winston Black

Minji Lee, Montclair State University

“How to Treat the Woman’s Cold and Porous Body: Mugwort Fumigation for Fertility in Medieval and Modern Folk

Medicine of the Western and Asian Cultures”

Margaret Ng, College of Wooster

“The Art of Giving Birth in China”

Candace Robb, Independent Scholar and author of the Owen Archer mysteries

“Wise Woman,Bonne Femme,Midwife: the Skilled Healer in the Middle Ages”

Session 13b -Reshaping the Middle Ages in and through Asian Popular Culture, 2

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture and the Mutual Images Research Association

Organizer and moderator: Michael Torregrossa

Matthew S. Dentice, University of Nevada

“Reading Malory by Moonlight: The Arthurian Theme in Sailor Moon”

Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent scholar

“A Review of Scholarship on Asian Medievalisms”

Maxime Danesin, Independent scholar

“Monster Girls in the Neomedieval Mangaesque Imagination: Between Melusinian Tales and Interspecies Eroticism”

3.15-4.30pm –Two concurrent sessions

Session14a -Arthuriana

Moderator: Michael Evans, Delta College

Samantha Lehman, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“Mama told me she loved me, I'm thinking this isn't real: The Ramifications of Intergenerational Trauma and Grief

in Arthurian Adaptations”

Rachael Warmington, Seton Hall University

“Monsters, Superheroes and Knights: Contemporary Adaptations and Appropriations of Arthurian Legend”

Carl B. Sell, Lock Haven University

“The Once and Playable King: The Arthur of Contemporary Roleplaying Games”

Session14b -A Video Game Workshop: The UNICORN Museum

Organizer: Carol Robinson

Moderators: Carol Robinson and Lauryn Mayer

Carol Robinson, Kent State University –Trumbull

Lauryn Mayer, Washington and Jefferson College

4.40-6 pm –ISSM Business Meeting

6.30-7.45pm –3rdKeynote Plenary

Moderator: Richard Utz, Georgia Tech

Minsoo Kang

University of Missouri –St. Louis

“East Asian Medievalism?: The Case of Hong Gildong, the Korean Robin Hood.”



bottom of page