Nineteenth-/Twentieth-/Twenty-First-Century Medievalisms. International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2022

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Daniel Najork, San Diego State; Robert Sirabian, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
contact email: 

International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2022


Special Session: Nineteenth-/Twentieth-/Twenty-First-Century Medievalisms


Organizer: Robert Sirabian, UW-Stevens Point

Presider: Daniel C. Najork, San Diego State University

For this session, we seek proposals that acknowledge the broader concept of medievalism(s), which not only invokes the cultural and global dimensions of the Middle Ages, but also includes traditional historical and philological critical approaches as well as creative, interpretive approaches. In The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism (2016), editor Louise D’Arcens notes that “[o]ne broad distinction that might provisionally be made is between the medievalism of the ‘found’ Middle Ages and the medievalism of the ‘made’ Middle Ages” (2). The session, then, aims to explore this distinction through presentations that examine how writers in the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries both research and uncover the Middle Ages as well as creatively imagine and reimagine it. Proposals might explore the factors shaping nineteenth- and twentieth-/twenty-first-century literature (in its broad sense) about the Middle Ages as well as the differences in approaches to the Middle Ages in each century. What historical, social, and intellectual views shaped nineteenth-century approaches to the Middle Ages? In what ways were these views limited or biased based on what the Victorians knew and believed and did not know, particularly when compared to advances in historical, psychological, and political knowledge in the next centuries? Conversely, what shaped twentieth-/twenty-first-century views of the Middle Ages? To what degree did writers react to and against the nineteenth century as well as utilize new knowledge available to them?

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Translation/Adaptation: How were medieval texts translated or adapted into new cultural contexts?
  • Travel narratives of trips to medieval sites or cities (such as numerous Victorian travelogues)
  • The collecting of medieval manuscripts, early printed works, and other material objects.
    • Editions of texts and manuscripts. Editorial practices, style of editions of medieval texts
  • Politics and nationalism in scholarship on medieval texts and subjects, or in adaptions and reproductions
  • Reproduction of medieval texts in music, stage performances, and film

Please submit abstracts through the Confex system on the Congress website: