"Medievalism in Film" with Prof. Dr. Richard Utz

Course description:

Medievalism, the ongoing reinvention of the Middle Ages in postmedieval times, has become a major area of scholarship over the last three decades. At the heart of this scholarship has been the investigation of the vast number of cinematic representations of medieval culture from the 1922 silent Robin Hood through the soon-to-be-released King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017). From the vast harvest of medieval-themed movies (Kevin J. Harty counted as many as 900 in his 2006 The Reel Middle Ages) we will select, view, and discuss some classics as well as some lesser known examples to explore how 20th- and 21st-century screen writers, directors, studios, and actors have represented the medieval past. To inhabit our topic swiftly, we will familiarize ourselves with the critical terminology and methodologies of medievalism studies by reading Medievalism: Key Critical Terms, ed. Elizabeth Emery and Richard Utz (Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2017 [paperback]). Students will have an opportunity to review some recent medievalist movies and produce research papers that, if of high quality, may be considered by external reviewers for publication in Medievally Speaking (http://medievallyspeaking.blogspot.com) and other outlets published under the auspices of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism.