Sharper Edges


The real Middle Ages were a lot more diverse than this.

While it’s a slow blogging week for me, there are other bloggers out there exploring some fascinating edges this week.

  • For anyone who enjoyed my series on John Eldredge, Helen Young’s guest post on Jeffrey Cohen’s In The Middle, Re-Making The Real Middle Ages™, is a must-read. Young looks at the renewed contemporary interest in the Middle Ages ( a la things like Game of Thrones). Eldredge isn’t the only writer to invoke the Middle Ages in order lend a sense of authenticity to very contemporary (and non-medieval) agendas. As Young points out, some of those agendas can involve a very racist kind of nostalgia, where the Middle Ages are seen as a “pre-race utopia.” The Middle Ages as represented in fantasy, too, from The Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones have often been disturbingly monocultural and white. Young offers some ways teachers of the Middle Ages might counteract this pop-culture image and portray the medieval world with the vibrant diversity it really had.
  • Speaking of edges that can be particularly difficult to surf, my favorite Christian blogger, Rachel Held Evans, presents a guest post by Eliel Cruz, Bi the Way: 7 Ways to be Inclusive of Bixesuals in Christianity. Regardless of your particular feelings on the subject, Cruz’ reflections are well worth considering.
  • If you’re looking for even more fascinating reading, be sure to check out the new issue of NANO: New American Notes Online, the branchild of my brilliant colleague Sean Scanlan, focused on Digital Humanities. To include a little shameless self-promotion, you might notice that the current issue includes a review of H. Cecilia Suhr’s book Music and Social Media: The Digital Field of Cultural Production by yours truly!

Written with StackEdit.

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