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Love, abjection and discontent

This book destabilises the customary disciplinary and epistemological oppositions between medieval studies and modern medievalism. It argues that the twinned concepts of “the medieval” and post-medieval “medievalism” are mutually though unevenly constitutive, not just in the contemporary era, but from the medieval period on. Medieval and medievalist culture share similar concerns about the nature of temporality, and the means by which we approach or “touch” the past, whether through textual or material culture, or the conceptual frames through which we approach those artefacts. Those approaches are often affective ones, often structured around love, abjection and discontent. Medieval writers offer powerful models for the ways in which contemporary desire determines the constitution of the past. This desire can not only connect us with the past but can reconnect present readers with the lost history of what we call the medievalism of the medievals. In other words, to come to terms with the history of the medieval is to understand that it already offers us a model of how to relate to the past. The book ranges across literary and historical texts, but is equally attentive to material culture and its problematic witness to the reality of the historical past.

Open Access (free)
Studies in intimacy

Featuring essays from some of the most prominent voices in early medieval English studies, Dating Beowulf: studies in intimacy playfully redeploys the word ‘dating’, which usually heralds some of the most divisive critical impasses in the field, to provocatively phrase a set of new relationships with an Old English poem. This volume presents an argument for the relevance of the early Middle Ages to affect studies and vice versa, while offering a riposte to anti-feminist discourse and opening avenues for future work by specialists in the history of emotions, feminist criticism, literary theory, Old English literature, and medieval studies alike. To this end, the chapters embody a range of critical approaches, from queer theory to animal studies and ecocriticism to Actor-Network theory, all organized into clusters that articulate new modes of intimacy with the poem.

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Cultural memory and the untimely Middle Ages
Author: Joshua Davies

This book is a study of cultural memory in and of the British Middle Ages. It works with material drawn from across the medieval period – in Old English, Middle English and Latin, as well as material and visual culture – and explores modern translations, reworkings and appropriations of these texts to examine how images of the past have been created, adapted and shared. It interrogates how cultural memory formed, and was formed by, social identities in the Middle Ages and how ideas about the past intersected with ideas about the present and future. It also examines how the presence of the Middle Ages has been felt, understood and perpetuated in modernity and the cultural possibilities and transformations this has generated. The Middle Ages encountered in this book is a site of cultural potential, a means of imagining the future as well as imaging the past.

The scope of this book is defined by the duration of cultural forms rather than traditional habits of historical periodization and it seeks to reveal connections across time, place and media to explore the temporal complexities of cultural production and subject formation. It reveals a transtemporal and transnational archive of the modern Middle Ages.

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Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

medievalism was gaining acceptance as a serious object of study, medieval studies had gone into something of a defensive crouch – insisting on and even policing its own disciplinary boundaries; if not in print, then certainly in informal, anecdotal contexts, in appointment practices and in the unspoken assumptions of the university syllabus. The reason for this insistence on discipline, we argued in 2008, was

in Affective medievalism
Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

have suggested that our relations with the medieval past are often structured as affective histories. But just as importantly, we have tried to trace the genealogy of feelings about medievalism itself, which have not always been positive ones. What are the implications of all this discontent about medievalism for the future of medieval studies and medievalism? Are we all forever doomed to a future of mutual discontent

in Affective medievalism
The abjection of the Middle Ages
Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

challenge. Although scholars rarely acknowledge it, there are many aspects of medieval studies that have the capacity to strike fear and anxiety into the heart of anyone tackling the interpretation of medieval literature and culture, from aspiring student to learned professor. As a result of its deep imbrication with the technical disciplines of philology and palaeography, and in the shadow of its Latinate

in Affective medievalism
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P. J. P. Goldberg

the field of Medieval Studies has come to be dominated by literary scholars. It follows that although certain texts, for example The Book of Margery Kempe, Ancrene Wisse , or even Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, are well known and readily accessible, of other sources, and particularly the rich variety of conventional historical sources, only a limited range are generally known. 2 The purpose of this present collection is

in Women in England c. 1275–1525
Open Access (free)
On Anglo-Saxon things
James Paz

theoretical work and an object-​oriented medieval studies has started to take shape. In 2008, Kellie Robertson published an article in Literature Compass contending that medieval things were endowed with an autonomy and agency that was largely misrecognised in the wake of Enlightenment empiricism, concluding with a reading of Chaucer’s Merchant’s hat.16 Robertson also contributed to a special issue of Exemplaria, edited by Patricia Clare Ingham in 2010, 5 Introduction: On Anglo-Saxon things 5 which was devoted to premodern culture and the material object.17 In Animal

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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The counterfactual lessons of Gilote et Johane
Daniel Birkholz

husband, keep your promise!’ [306–307]. For children (lost and unborn) as special sites of ‘optative regret’ and of literary counterfactualism generally, see Miller, ‘Metaphysics’, 787. 142 Georgianna, ‘Nationalism’, 35. Georgianna describes medieval studies’ search ‘for the origins of a fixed national [identity]’, which it located ‘in a mythical Anglo-Saxon past’ (35–37). Angus Wilson’s professor of Anglo-Saxon history would approve. 143 Clanchy, Memory , 225; Crane, ‘AN Cultures’, 48–49. An annotated copy of Bibbesworth opens BL Additional 46919, a trilingual

in Harley manuscript geographies
Essays for Stephanie Trigg

For 700 years, Geoffrey Chaucer has spoken to scholars and amateurs alike. How does his work speak to us in the twenty-first century? This volume provides a unique vantage point for responding to this question, furnished by the pioneering scholar of medieval literary studies, Stephanie Trigg: the symptomatic long history. While Trigg's signature methodological framework acts as a springboard for the vibrant conversation that characterises this collection, each chapter offers an inspiring extension of her scholarly insights. The varied perspectives of the outstanding contributors attest to the vibrancy and the advancement of debates in Chaucer studies: thus, formerly rigid demarcations surrounding medieval literary studies, particularly those concerned with Chaucer, yield in these essays to a fluid interplay between Chaucer within his medieval context; medievalism and ‘reception’; the rigours of scholarly research and the recognition of amateur engagement with the past; the significance of the history of emotions; and the relationship of textuality with subjectivity according to their social and ecological context. Each chapter produces a distinctive and often startling interpretation of Chaucer that broadens our understanding of the dynamic relationship between the medieval past and its ongoing re-evaluation. The inventive strategies and methodologies employed in this volume by leading thinkers in medieval literary criticism will stimulate exciting and timely insights for researchers and students of Chaucer, medievalism, medieval studies, and the history of emotions, especially those interested in the relationship between medieval literature, the intervening centuries and contemporary cultural change.