Keynote speakers

Anne Marie D’Arcy, ‘Island of Saints and Sages Revisited: Joyce, the Irish Middle Ages and the Post-Brexit Era.’

Anne Marie D’Arcy is Associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Language in the School of Arts at the University of Leicester, and Visiting Research Fellow at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she continues to lecture on occasion, but has also held lectureships in University College Dublin, and National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She has published a number of articles on Joyce’s treatment of such topics as libel law, Freemasonry, medieval Irish placelore, Dublin’s water supply, anti-Semitism, medieval Irish manuscripts (most notably the Book of Kells), the Eucharistic Congress of 1932, and ‘Araby’ as a grail quest. She was the Principal Investigator of an exhibition in Marsh’s Library, Dublin: ‘James Joyce: Apocalypse and Exile’, which ran from 23 October 2014 to 20 October 2015, and is now online. She is currently completing Joyce and the Irish Middle Ages: Saints, Sages, and Insular Culture, which is the first monograph devoted to Joyce’s engagement with the Insular period, specifically the influence of Irish learning and artistry on Britain and the Continent from the sixth to the twelfth centuries. She is the author of Wisdom and the Grail: The Image of the Vessel in the Queste del Saint Graal and Malory’s Tale of the Sankgreal (2000), and another monograph, The Artifice of Eternity: Mariology in the English Poetic Tradition, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Minsoo Kang, ‘East Asian Medievalism?: The Case of Hong Gildong, the Korean Robin Hood.’

Minsoo Kang is a professor of European history at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  He is the author of Sublime Dream of Living Machines: The Automaton in the European Imagination (Harvard UP, 2011) and Invincible and Righteous Outlaw: The Korean Hero Hong Gildong in Literature, History, and Culture (U of Hawaii Press, 2000), and the co-editor of Visions of the Industrial Age, 1830-1914: Modernity and the Anxiety of Representation in Europe (Ashgate, 2008).  He is also a translator, including the Penguin Classics edition of The Story of Hong Gildong (Penguin, 2016).

Andrew Elliott, ‘Medievalism Today: The Limits of Interpretation.’

Andrew Elliott is Senior Lecturer in the School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln. He is the author of Medievalism, Politics and Mass Media: Appropriating the Middle Ages in the Twenty-First Century (D. S. Brewer, 2017).

Since the publication of Kevin J. Harty’s Cinema Arthuriana thirty years ago, there has been an explosion of interest in on-screen medievalism, which in the lively sub-discipline of medievalism continues to unfold as a political, not just adaptative, project. Beginning with cinema, scholars in the emerging field of medievalism have moved beyond the big screen to explore parallel depictions of the period in television, graphic novels and comics, music and iconography, video games, memes and social media, and explored their ripples outwards into society. Their tools have diversified too, from psychoanalysis to semiotics, from literary criticism to adaptation and network theories, their various explorations of the complex capacities of popular culture to capture, render, adapt and rework the medieval have moved us into exciting territories newly able to carry out sophisticated readings of contemporary medievalism.

The question facing medievalism today, then, is where do we go now? In this talk I will suggest that some of our work has reached what Eco termed the limits of interpretation, and that we might need different models—and collaborative strategies—to analyse them. What are less common in our medievalist endeavours are studies not of one medium’s translation of medieval culture, but the intersemiotic strategies of contemporary media which occur at the confluence of two media or more, and particularly how they impact into our broader questions of identity. How do those various iterations of the medieval play off against one another, and does the medium influence the message in a post-McLuhan era? This talk will use some of that vast scholarship to ask questions about the interplays of medievalism, asking not what we do to medievalism, but what does medievalism to, with, and for its end users?