Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chrissy Spencer a Cast Member for the Play of Herod in December

Medieval Atlanta's Chrissy Spencer will be part of the cast for this year's Atlanta Camerata Theater's The Play of Herod, which has come down to us in a manuscript produced around the year 1200. The play is sung in Latin, with English translations projected above the action. A consort of viols, recorders, krumm horn, hurdy-gurdy, and percussion accompanies the singers, i.e., an excellent example of the reenactment, recreation, and re-present-ation of medieval culture in contemporary Atlanta. FOR FULL INFORMATION and HOW TO GET TICKETS, SEE HERE.

Monday, October 21, 2013

John Cressler's Historical Romance on al-Andalus

Publisher's abstract: How could we forget? Our world is stained with the blood of religious conflict and fanaticism, yet we managed to forget that for hundreds of years in medieval Spain, Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in relative peace, sharing languages and customs, whispering words of love across religious boundaries, embracing a level of mutual acceptance and respect unimaginable today. Together, they launched one of the great intellectual and cultural flowerings of history. Our world aches for a future graced with tolerance and peace. Let us join together in reawakening the glory of medieval Muslim Spain, of al-Andalus.

Emeralds of the Alhambra is a love story set in the resplendent Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, during the Castilian Civil War (1367-1369), a time when Muslims took up their swords to fight alongside Christians. Here is the story of William Chandon, a Christian knight, and the Sufi Muslim princess, Layla al-Khatib. As Chandon’s influence at court grows, he becomes trapped between his forbidden love for Layla and his Christian heritage, the demands of chivalry and political expediency. Chandon and Layla must make choices between love and honor, war and peace, life and death, choices which ultimately will seal Granada’s fate as the last surviving stronghold of Muslim Spain. For full information, including interviews, reviews, etc., PLEASE SEE HERE.

Dina Khapaeva on the 'Gothic' Renaissance in Russia

Here is the publisher's abstract: Si Poutine n'a pas créé la surprise en se succédant à lui-même après l'intermède Medvedev, le soulèvement populaire à Moscou et à Saint-Pétersbourg était plus imprévu, quelques mois après le printemps arabe. Ce Portrait critique de la Russie nous permet d'aller aux sources de ces mouvements contradictoires. Dina Khapaeva éclaire les ravages causé par l'absence d'un travail de mémoire sur la terreur stalinienne et par la contamination  des rapports sociaux par le monde de la criminalité. Elle dépeint une "société gothique", parce que tout y est à l'image des monstres gothiques ayant relégué l'Homme à la périphérie. Elle montre comment le mal russe est loin d'avoir déposé les armes et quels symptômes peuvent être annonciateurs d'un bouleversement de la morale qui a fondé nos sociétés. Et elle nous met en garde : si nous n'y prenons garde, nous allons assiter à la déshumanisation progressive de nos sociétés démocratiques, à l'instar de ce que vit la société russe d'aujourd'hui. Une lecture salutaire.

Traduit du russe par Nina Kéhayan.

Can We Talk About Religion, Please?

Richard Utz recently delivered a conference paper, "Can We Talk About Religion, Please? Medievalism's Exclusion of Religion and Why it Matters," in a session on "Marginalized Medievalisms" at the 28th International Congress on Medievalism, at St. Norbert College, in De Pere, WI. Here is the abstract for the paper:

Medievalism Studies which, for the first 25 years of its existence as an academic field, suffered from its subaltern status in relation to its dominant academic sister, Medieval Studies, has since dared touch upon all kinds of topics, from trauma (Kathleen Biddick), 'Gothic' Russia (Dina Khapaeva), orientalism (John Ganim), theory (Bruce Holsinger), psychoanalysis (Erin Felicia Labbie), the creole (Michelle R. Warren), philology (Nadia Altschul), the gothic (Stephanie Trigg), popular culture (Clare Simmons), movies (Nickolas Haydock), Australian literature (Louise D'Arcens), romanticism (Elizabeth Fay), multilingualism (Mary Catherine Davidson), modernism (Michael Alexander), the war on terror (Bruce Holsinger), and medicine (Zrinka Stahuljak), to name but a few of the topics from a list of recent books. Similarly and most recently, Tyson Pugh and Angela Jane Weisl, in the first attempt to produce a volume that could become a widely used introduction to the various Medievalisms (2012) out there, include chapters on major authors and figures (Dante; Arthur; Robin Hood), major genres or discourses (literature; movies; politics), and major audiences or groups (children’s literature; experiential medievalisms). While Pugh and Weisl speak of religious architecture, the Antioch Chalice, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Hildegard von Bingen, Chris Newby’s 1993 movie The Anchoress, and the afterlife of liturgical music and performance, they too, bypass Catholicism, which formed and institutionalized during the medieval period, and Protestantism, which came about in critical reformational response to medieval Catholicism. This general tendency in Medievalism Studies is unfortunate because religious movements have over the centuries developed some of the most sophisticated strategies for bridging the otherwise noncontiguous historical moments of Christ’s birth and death, saints’ miracles, the writings of church fathers, church councils, Thomas Aquinas’ synthesis between faith and reason, or Martin Luther’s views on transubstantiation, to name but a few examples, with their adherents’ postmedieval lifetimes. Prayer, ritual, mnemonic and rhetorical devices, visual communication, architecture, and aesthetics play essential roles in overcoming the temporal and cultural gaps which would otherwise make us discard with beliefs that hail from five hundred, one thousand, or two thousand years ago. Religion, thus, should be an essential part of medievalism’s domain, and scholars of medievalism should put it at the center of their discussions, even at the danger of offending some of their audiences in the process.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Year's Work in Medievalism Finds New Electronic Open Access Home at Georgia Tech

The journal The Year's Work in Medievalism, a publication of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism, will soon find its new electronic home at Georgia Tech. With the support of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and the GT Library & Information Center, YWiM will publish its first electronic issue, volume 27 (2012) on October 18. Please watch for a public announcement online and at the 28th International Congress on Medievalism, St. Norbert College, WI.

Past Present: Resonances of Medieval and Early Modern Culture in Atlanta

Project Proposal
Georgia Tech Fund for Innovation in Research and Education (GT-FIRE) Mini-Program: Small Funding Requests for Big Ideas

Past Present: Resonances of Medieval and Early Modern Culture in Atlanta
This project unites those on our campus interested in medieval and early modern culture for discussions of various recreations, resonances, reenactments, representations, and receptions of the medieval and early modern past in a city founded during modern times. It follows up on the “Tech Gets Medieval Symposium” organized in the fall of 2012, this time using Atlanta as a lab space within which to observe the survival and recreation of past cultural practices and ideas. Discussions may include buildings (Rhodes Hall; cathedrals and churches); organizations (Knights of Columbus; KKK; ATL Early Music Alliance); events (DragonCon; RenFest); enterprises (Medieval Times); institutions (University; Churches); and the presence of the medieval and early modern in popular and general culture (Gaming; Public Relations; AJC; CNN). 

Tech Gets Medieval: A Symposium

In the fall semester of 2012, Brittain fellow Dr. Kellie Meyer and colleagues from different areas of specialty at Georgia Tech organized a symposium, Tech Gets Medieval: How Medieval Technology Can Teach the Past.

The complete symposium is now available at Georgia Tech's SmarTech repository: https://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/46004/browse?type=title
Here is a list of the presenters and their paper titles:
  • Opening Remarks: Burnett, Rebecca;  Meyer, Kellie;  Utz, Richard
  • The Afterlives of Gawain: Illustration as Annotation in the Cotton Nero Ax Manuscript: Haught, Leah
  • Biology and Germ Warfare: Spencer, Chrissy 
  • Blacksmithing and Timber-Framed Houses: Pedagogy of Risk: Crawford, T. Hugh 
  • Medieval Construction – Foundation of Today's Industry: Bowen, Brian 
  • Neo-Medieval Fantasy in Video Games: Pearce, Celia  
  • Tried and True Methods: Madej, Krystina 
  • Your Mission is to Rescue Lorenzo di Medici: A Demonstration of the Pedagogical Potentials of Using Assassin's Creed II for Teaching the Italian Renaissance: Madden, Amanda