Medievalism and Literary Representations of the Past
Formation continue 2018. One-day course for teachers of English.
Friday 7 September 2018 (8h45 - 18h30) - Campus UNIL-EPFL - TBC
Imagining and revisiting the medieval past has been an ongoing concern through the ages. In the early modern period already, medieval culture was read and shaped according to new paradigms, some of them in drastic contrast to prevailing medieval ones, thus revealing anxiety and fascination for the medieval past that are still ongoing. Indeed, while ‘medieval’ is often used as synonym for ‘barbaric’, ‘primitive’, ‘unsophisticated’, and ‘narrow-minded’, modern culture finds its ‘otherness’ very compelling. Thus, despite these negative connotations and stereotypes, the medieval is witnessing a popular resurgence through films, television series, video games and the new media.
The first aim of this one-day course is to explore the ways in which the medieval has appealed to generations of poets, novelists, filmmakers and computer buffs. We are also interested in the way medieval writings are appropriated, reconfigured and re-interpreted today according to new tastes and readers’ expectations.
The second aim is to explore ways by which medieval texts and culture can be offered in the classroom in exciting and convincing ways, via the use of adaptations in particular. Television series such as Vikings, The Canterbury Tales, or Game of Thrones offer points of access to medieval material to address questions such as exile, migration, gender relations, and myth-making that are still relevant today.