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Author: Heather Blatt

Reorienting the narrative of digital media studies to incorporate the medieval, Participatory reading in late-medieval England traces affinities between digital and medieval media to explore how participation defined reading practices and shaped relations between writers and readers in England’s literary culture from the late-fourteenth to early sixteenth centuries. Traditionally, print operates as the comparative touchstone of both medieval and digital media, but Participatory reading argues that the latter share more in common with each other than either does with print. Working on the borders of digital humanities, medieval cultural studies, and the history of the book, Participatory reading draws on well-known and little-studied works ranging from Chaucer to banqueting poems and wall-texts to demonstrate how medieval writers and readers engaged with practices familiar in digital media today, from crowd-sourced editing to nonlinear apprehension to mobility, temporality, and forensic materiality illuminate. Writers turned to these practices in order to both elicit and control readers’ engagement with their works in ways that would benefit the writers’ reputations along with the transmission and interpretation of their texts, while readers pursued their own agendas—which could conflict with or set aside writers’ attempts to frame readers’ work. The interactions that gather around participatory reading practices reflect concerns about authority, literacy, and media formats, before and after the introduction of print. Participatory reading is of interest to students and scholars of medieval literature, book, and reading history, in addition to those interested in the long history of media studies.

The capetian monarchs of France and the early Crusades
Author: James Naus

Scholars of medieval power structures, feudal relations, monarchy, and ritual performance have long recognized that the early twelfth century was ground zero in the cultural, social, and political transformation of France from a weak and fragmented kingdom to one centralized under the leadership of a purposeful ruler. This book considers the role played by the crusaders in the development of the French monarchy. While the First Crusade was launched in 1095 ,the first French monarch did not join the movement until 1146, when Louis VII led the ill-fated Second Crusade. The failure of the French kings to join the crusading movement created a ‘crisis of crusading’ that the French royal court confronted in a variety of media, including texts, artwork, architecture, and rituals. The book finds that in a short span of time, members of the court fused the emerging crusade ideas with ancient notions of sacral kingship and nobility to fashion new, highly selective and flexible images of French history that exploited the unknown future of crusading to negotiate a space into which the self-fashioning of French kingship could insinuate itself. By the middle of the twelfth century, these negotiated images were being widely disseminated to a popular audience through various channels, thus contributing to the rise of the ‘crusading king’ as an idea ruler-type from the early thirteenth century onwards.

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The case of Hincmar of Laon in the Annals of St-Bertin
Christine Kleinjung

together, each party prepared itself for the battle with texts. In this quarrel, texts were used – as shown by Karl Brunner – as media (‘als Medien’) and their physical presence was deployed in disputes and rituals. 17 Apart from the extensive council records of Douzy 18 and the records on the Council of Attigny, 19 we have letters and the polemical treatises (the famous Streitschriften , such as the Opusculum LV capitulorum , 20 the Pittaciolus 21 and the Rotula prolixa ) of both parties – what Karl Brunner called ‘products of a battle of the texts’. 22

in Hincmar of Rheims
Roads, colonization and environmental transformation in the Anglo-Scottish border zone, c. 1100 to c. 1300
Richard Oram

domination of Britain used this legacy of Rome as a tool for state building. Part of the traditional nineteenth- to later twentieth-century historical narratives of state building in Britain in the Middle Ages saw a tendency in any discussion of roads to focus on their function as media for communication; they were arteries that carried armies or commercial traffic around the land and linked up the regions from which were built the kingdoms that emerged from the post-Roman political reordering.3 In explorations of the survival of the Roman network as the basis of the

in Roadworks
Susan M. Johns

Normans. As such this interpretation fits into a framework in the modern interpretation of medieval Wales – that of a nation which stoutly resisted foreign invaders, whether Norman in the twelfth century, or English in the thirteenth century or later – and which misunderstands the political context of the early twelfth century. The following discussion will consider how medieval Welsh women have been portrayed in more recent popular literature and modern media, and set this into a discussion of more formal academic historiography. It will do so

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages
Open Access (free)
Old things with new things to say
James Paz

importance. In the midst of an information age, driven by revolutions in digital technologies, knowledge can be created and shared rapidly, global communication made possible in a heartbeat, networks expanded beyond all comprehension. Such advances facilitate very fast styles of learning and teaching –​from the immediate reproduction of images to the use of social media in classrooms –​but they can also lead to reassessments of the merits of slower forms of scholarship and pedagogy. Our understanding of the ‘voice’ or ‘agency’ or ‘otherness’ of things will inevitably be

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
Janet L. Nelson

serious illness of Charles’s older brother Louis the German. Charles’s long-maturing plan to take over Lothar’s kingdom seemed suddenly about to be realised when he secured sufficient support to stage an imposing accession ceremony at Metz on 9 September, with Hincmar as actor–manager. Hincmar’s own speech justifying Charles’s extended rule over the Franks was a key part of this great set-piece, in which Frankish history since Clovis and St Remigius was connected both to Rheims and to the glittering present of Francia Media . It was accompanied by a full record of

in Hincmar of Rheims
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Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies, and Miriam Czock

Reconquista: Essays on the Politics, Society and Culture of Medieval Iberia, 800–1200 (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming). 53 C. Sánchez-Albornoz, Despoblación y repoblación del valle del Duero (Buenos Aires: Instituto de Historia de España, 1966). 54 J. Escalona Monge, Sociedad y territorio en la alta edad media castellana. La formación del alfoz de Lara (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2002); I. Martín Viso, Fragmentos del Leviatán. La articulación política del espacio zamorano en la alta edad media (Zamora: Instituto de estudios zamoranos, 2002); S. Castellanos and I

in Neighbours and strangers
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Elisabeth Salter

centuries offer special opportunities for the consideration of both manuscript and printed evidence. The fuzziness of the transition from manuscript to print (its lack Salter, Popular reading in English.indd 229 21/05/2012 10:15:13 230 Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600 – therefore – of a revolutionising moment, and the continuities of practice and meaning across the manuscript-to-print divide that this lack indicates) provides a useful perspective in this present era of digital media. There has been much excitement about the whole new experience of using computer

in Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600
Colin Veach

middle of the land. Consequently, that part of Ireland is called Meath (Media), because it is situated in the middle (medio) of the island.79 Medieval tradition placed a druidic fire ceremony at Uisnech, and a Middle Irish source likened Uisnech’s importance for Ireland to that of an animal’s kidney (the other kidney being the traditional seat of the high kingship at Tara, Co. Meath).80 The psychological significance of the castle of Killare should not be underestimated. It commanded a militarily and culturally strategic position in western Meath. Its defence was

in Lordship in four realms