Loving the past
in Affective medievalism
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Despite dramatic changes in the dynamics between medieval studies and medievalism, the medieval is still seen as the originary moment of medievalism, which is still regarded in turn as a screen for projecting various fantasies and desires about the past. Scholarly medieval studies are supposedly characterised by their dispassionate enquiries into the past. Yet medieval studies has a long and mixed history of affective relationships with the past it fosters: passion and professionalism often go hand in hand. This complex history makes it hard to distinguish medieval scholarship from the amateurism – the love for the past – that is often said to characterise medievalism as well as scholarly antiquarianism. Debates about the efficacy of affect as a mode of recovery about the past lead to a discussion of two related terms: history and memory.

Affective medievalism

Love, abjection and discontent


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