The Middle Ages on Television

Critical Essays


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About the Book

The 21st century has seen a resurgence of popular interest in the Middle Ages. Television in particular has presented a wide and diverse array of “medieval” offerings. Yet there exists little scholarship on television medievalism. This collection fills the gap with 10 new essays focusing on the depiction of the Middle Ages in popular culture and questioning the role of television in shaping our ideas about past and present. The contributors emphasize the need for scholars of medievalism to pay attention to its manifestations on the small screen. The essays cover quite a range of topics, including genre, gender and sexuality. The series covered are Game of Thrones, Merlin, Full Metal Jousting, Joan of Arcadia, Tudors, Camelot and Mists of Avalon.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Meriem Pagès is an associate professor of English and director of the Medieval and Renaissance Forum at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Karolyn Kinane is associate director of pedagogy and faculty engagement at the University of Virginia Contemplative Sciences Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. She researches and teaches on many aspects of contemplative inquiry including approaches to reading, writing, teaching, and learning.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Meriem Pagès and Karolyn Kinane

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7941-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2009-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Television Medievalisms (Meriem Pagès and Karolyn Kinane) 1

Part 1. Personal and Political Desires
The Most Dangerous Sport in History Is About to Be Reborn: Medievalism and Violence in Full Metal Jousting (Angela Jane Weisl) 15
Joan of Arcadia: A Modern Maiden on Trial (Stephanie L. Coker) 31
William Webbe’s Wench: Henry VIII, History and Popular Culture (Shannon McSheffrey) 53
Nature and Adventure in Die Jagd nach dem Schatz der Nibelungen (Evan Torner) 78

Part 2. Narrative and Genre
Episodic Arthur: Merlin, Camelot and the Visual Modernization of the Medieval Literary Romance Tradition (Melissa Ridley Elmes) 99
Are You Kidding? King Arthur and the Knights of Justice (Sandy Feinstein) 122

Part 3. Gender and Sexuality
Television’s Male Gaze: The Male Perspective in TNT’s Mists of Avalon (Michael W. George) 141
Gendering Morals, Magic and Medievalism in the BBC’s Merlin (Elysse T. Meredith) 158
Ne cherchez pas la femme: The Women of Kaamelott (Tara Foster) 174
Homosexuality in Television Medievalism (Torben R. Gebhardt) 197

About the Contributors 215
Index 217