Amsterdam University Press
Since the inclusion of medieval studies in the modern academy, professional scholars have insisted on distinguishing their work from extra-academic lovers of medieval culture. Richard Utz analyzes the semantic, institutional, and sociopolitical history of the relationship between medieval studies and medievalism. He provides a survey of how scholars’ exteriorization of amateur interest in the medieval past narrowed the epistemological range of medieval scholarship and how reception studies, feminism, and postmodernism gradually expanded modern pastist approaches to the Middle Ages. Utz advances specific examples for reconnecting investigating scholarly subjects with their subjects of investigation, and he challenges scholars to make a conscious effort to engage in public scholarship and explore inclusive gestures toward the contributions non-academic lovers of the Middle Ages can offer. His manifesto advocates an active integration of academic medievalists’ work within the many other equally valuable artistic and sociopolitical partner contexts of reading the medieval past.
Richard Utz is chair and professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology and president of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism.