Medievalisms on the Screen: The representation of the Middle Ages in Audio-visual Media in the 21st century
Online PhD Conference. Deadline: 1 February 2021
The technological advancements in audio-visual production taken place in the first two decades of the 21st century have accentuated the multiple representations of the Middle Ages in popular media. The explosion of the videogame
industry, the refinement in digital technologies for the recreation of past spaces, and the popularization of streaming services like YouTube and Netflix have all allowed for an increase in the venues for representation of the medieval past. Be it the crusaders of Assassin’s Creed (2007) or the Scandinavian world of Vikings (2013-2020); from the fantasy universe of Game of Thrones (2011-2019) or bands like Rhapsody of Fire, to the hack-n-slash hell of Dante’s Inferno (2011), it is a non-academic version of the past which is more familiar to the general public.
The way in which media affects our perceptions of the past have real-world ramifications. A specific distorted version of the Middle Ages has served as fuel for acts of violence and the rise of authoritarian, xenophobic and racist political agendas. Interestingly, this is a process that has gotten outside of traditional “medieval” scenarios into more global arena: the 2015 Indian film Padmaavati exacerbated Hindu-Muslim relations in some regions of the sub-continent, further highlighting the relation between media and politics regarding the representation of the past.
Contributions might include, but are not limited to: