Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 188 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Helene Scheck

Committee Members

Ineke Murakami, Rachel Dressler


Medievalism, Conservatism, Medievalism in literature, Medievalism in motion pictures, Medievalism on television, Medievalism in computer games, Middle Ages

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Medieval Studies


Addressing a need that Tom Shippey calls out in his seminal essay “Medievalisms and Why They Matter,” (Re)producing (Neo)medievalism endeavors to trace connections, expose errors, and make its voice heard in regard to the ways in which the medieval is employed in academic and everyday life. Focusing on recent evolutions in articulations of the medieval, this project produces a working understanding of the term “neomedievalism” that takes into account what would be considered “popular” forms as well as scholarly treatments, and posits it as a method of reading that acknowledges its own practices as forms of neomedievalism. After surveying existing scholarship on neomedievalism and its origins, it begins with a working definition of neomedievalism as the ongoing process of reevaluating what can be done with the Middle Ages in an ever-moving present. At times this process results in what one might, on the surface, consider to be objects of critique: art, commodity, amusement park, game; at other times, critique per se: monograph, article, lecture, University seminar. Yet such classifications are deceptive, as so easily a monograph becomes a commodity (en route to tenure), a game critiques gender roles past and present, or enrollment numbers for a class become more important than its content. To that end, this project surveys instances of (neo)medievalism with a keen focus on what they do (and how they do it), and demonstrates some of the ways neomedievalism is contingent on and participatory in a constant producing and reproducing, assembling and reassembling of the Middle Ages in contemporary culture.