A Response to Shannon Chamberlain on Fan Fiction

Just yesterday, The Atlantic published an article by Shannon Chamberlain about fan fiction and sexuality. The article is a smart piece, linking fan fiction practices in the eighteenth century with current pop culture trends. A previous iteration of the article was titled "The Surprising 18th-Century Origins of Fan Fiction," which betrays some of the author's … Continue reading A Response to Shannon Chamberlain on Fan Fiction

That Serbian Book in Santa Clarita Diet

Apparently old books in pop culture media are becoming increasingly cool, or I'm just noticing them more lately. I get fired up every time I see manuscripts and early printed books in movies and television shows. A few recent examples include Athelstan's Insular gospel-book in the Vikings television show, a book written in runes in Disney's Frozen, … Continue reading That Serbian Book in Santa Clarita Diet

Storytelling for Medievalists: A Proposal

Several months ago the Scholarly Communication Institute (SCI) put out a request for proposals for participation in the 2017 theme "Scholarly Storytelling: Compelling Research for an Engaged Public." I jumped at the chance to bring together medievalists and organized a team who helped me to write a proposal. Our team recently received word that our proposal was accepted, … Continue reading Storytelling for Medievalists: A Proposal

Bede, Star Wars, and Ascension Day

This morning I was pleasantly elated to discover a fact of the calendar and a trio of celebrations coming together. Today, on May 25, 2017 we get to commemorate three major events simultaneously: Bede's Day, the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, and Ascension Day! This is just a happy coincidence in the way that these celebrations fall in the calendar. … Continue reading Bede, Star Wars, and Ascension Day

King Elizabeth and Identity Politics

Showing this month at the The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is the play King Elizabeth. Written and directed by the Gamm's Artistic Director, Tony Estrella, King Elizabeth is a 21st-century adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's 18th-century Mary Stuart, about the imposing 16th-century Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. The play stars Jeanine Kane … Continue reading King Elizabeth and Identity Politics

Will the Real King Arthur Please Rise?

This week we'll witness the release of yet another movie about perhaps the most famous ruler from the medieval period, King Arthur. The film, directed by Guy Ritchie, is titled King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. From what is shown in the trailer, the story depicts the rise of Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) from nobody orphan to leader of the people pitted against tyrannical … Continue reading Will the Real King Arthur Please Rise?

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 3: Monasticism

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For previous posts, see Part 1 and Part 2.] When we think of the medieval period and religion, one of the … Continue reading Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 3: Monasticism