In this Book

summary

Whose Middle Ages? is an interdisciplinary collection of short, accessible essays intended for the nonspecialist reader and ideal for teaching at an undergraduate level. Each of twenty-two essays takes up an area where digging for meaning in the medieval past has brought something distorted back into the present: in our popular entertainment; in our news, our politics, and our propaganda; and in subtler ways that inform how we think about our histories, our countries, and ourselves. Each author looks to a history that has refused to remain past and uses the tools of the academy to read and re-read familiar stories, objects, symbols, and myths.

Whose Middle Ages? gives nonspecialists access to the richness of our historical knowledge while debunking damaging misconceptions about the medieval past. Myths about the medieval period are especially beloved among the globally resurgent far right, from crusading emblems on the shields borne by alt-right demonstrators to the on-screen image of a purely white European populace defended from actors of color by Internet trolls. This collection attacks these myths directly by insisting that readers encounter the relics of the Middle Ages on their own terms.

Each essay uses its author’s academic research as a point of entry and takes care to explain how the author knows what she or he knows and what kinds of tools, bodies of evidence, and theoretical lenses allow scholars to write with certainty about elements of the past to a level of detail that might seem unattainable. By demystifying the methods of scholarly inquiry, Whose Middle Ages? serves as an antidote not only to the far right’s errors of fact and interpretation but also to its assault on scholarship and expertise as valid means for the acquisition of knowledge.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. David Perry
  3. pp. 1-8
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  1. Part I – Stories
  1. The Invisible Peasantry
  2. Sandy Bardsley
  3. pp. 14-22
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  1. The Hidden Narratives of Medieval Art
  2. Katherine Anne Wilson
  3. pp. 23-33
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  1. Modern Intolerance and the Medieval Crusades
  2. Nicholas L. Paul
  3. pp. 34-43
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  1. Blood Libel, a Lie and Its Legacies
  2. Magda Teter
  3. pp. 44-57
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  1. Who’s Afraid of Shari‘a Law?
  2. Fred M. Donner
  3. pp. 58-68
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  1. How Do We Find Out About Immigrants in Later Medieval England?
  2. W. Mark Ormrod
  3. pp. 69-79
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  1. The Middle Ages in the Harlem Renaissance
  2. Cord J. Whitaker
  3. pp. 80-88
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  1. Part II – Origins
  1. Three Ways of Misreading Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an
  2. Ryan Szpiech
  3. pp. 94-103
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  1. The Nazi Middle Ages
  2. William J. Diebold
  3. pp. 104-115
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  1. What Would Benedict Do?
  2. Lauren Mancia
  3. pp. 116-126
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  1. No, People in the Middle East Haven’t Been Fighting Since the Beginning of Time
  2. Stephennie Mulder
  3. pp. 127-139
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  1. Ivory and the Ties That Bind
  2. Sarah M. Guérin
  3. pp. 140-153
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  1. Blackness, Whiteness, and the Idea of Race in Medieval European Art
  2. Pamela A. Patton
  3. pp. 154-165
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  1. England Between Empire and Nation in “The Battle of Brunanburh”
  2. Elizabeth M. Tyler
  3. pp. 166-180
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  1. Whose Spain Is It, Anyway?
  2. David A. Wacks
  3. pp. 181-190
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  1. Part III – #Hashtags
  1. Modern Knights, Medieval Snails, and Naughty Nuns
  2. Marian Bleeke
  3. pp. 196-207
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  1. Charting Sexuality and Stopping Sin
  2. Andrew Reeves
  3. pp. 208-219
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  1. “Celtic” Crosses and the Myth of Whiteness
  2. Maggie M. Williams
  3. pp. 220-232
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  1. Whitewashing the “Real” Middle Ages in Popular Media
  2. Helen Young
  3. pp. 233-242
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  1. Real Men of the Viking Age
  2. Will Cerbone
  3. pp. 243-255
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  1. #DeusVult
  2. Adam M. Bishop
  3. pp. 256-264
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  1. Own Your Heresy
  2. J. Patrick Hornbeck II
  3. pp. 265-274
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  1. Afterword: Medievalists and the Education of Desire
  2. Geraldine Heng
  3. pp. 275-290
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  1. Appendixes
  2. pp. 291-292
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  1. Appendix I: Possibilities for Teaching—by Genre
  2. pp. 293-295
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  1. Appendix II: Possibilities for Teaching—by Course Theme
  2. pp. 296-300
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  1. List of Contributors
  2. pp. 301-310
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823285594
MARC Record
OCLC
1117645098
Pages
240
Launched on MUSE
2019-09-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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