Dr. Dan Kline is a Professor of English and Director of General Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He specializes in medieval literature and culture, literary theory, religion and literature, and digital medievalism. Widely published in many venues, his formal research concerns children, violence, and ethics in late-medieval England and contemporary digital neomedievalism. Recent publications include Digital Gaming Re-Imagines the Middle Ages (Routledge, 2014), chapters in Fragments for a History of Vanishing Humanisms (Ohio State, 2016) and The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism (2017). He is also a co-editor of the recently launched Open Access Companion to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Rethinking Periodization and Neomedievalism: History, Technology, Media
Friday, November 13, 2020
6:00 – 7:15 pm (EST)
This talk emerges out of trying think together two major concepts that have structured medievalism and medieval studies as a discipline, particularly over the last two decades. The first is periodization, or that academic tendency to need to characterize the diachronic movement of history across eras of substantive change. The second is neomedievalism or that academic tendency to need to distinguish innovations in our own time over and against the characteristics of the past. In fact, the second is a test-case for the first: neomedievalism has become a mark of periodization in the post-medieval appropriations of medieval stories, characters, tropes, and sensibilities. In moving from the conceptual to the material, I will think through these two conceptual regimes aloud in terms of technology, or more precisely, media technology. I would like then the talk to open into a discussion of how rethinking these ideas through their material media might offer new ways of thinking about our discipline, its insights, and its discontents.