Nineteenth-Century Medievalism

Possible Area Parameters: Theory and Cultural Studies, Nineteenth-Century Literature

Professor: D. F. Felluga

Course Description

This course was taught Spring 1999 and was aided throughout by Prof. Ann Astell, who sat in while completing a book on the representation of Joan of Arc through the ages. The class was also linked by listserv to Prof. Barbara Gelpi's class on Victorian medievalism, which she taught simultaneously at Stanford University. An international group of scholars also joined the discussion through the listserv. The course examined the emergence of medievalism from the end of the eighteenth century to the cusp of the twentieth century. Because it was coincident with the very formation of "the academy," the "mass market," and a "popular" readership, the rise of nineteenth-century medievalism allowed us to interrogate both the parameters and the methodology of a cultural studies approach. Economic analysis, political science, ideological critique, and cultural materialism helped us to determine the extensiveness of this phenomenon, as did inter-disciplinary interests—painting, architecture, interior design, political ceremony, as well as various literary genres. Throughout the course, we also kept in mind the continued function of medievalism in our own culture by screening a couple of recent films.

In addition to the course packet, the following books made up the required reading:

Grade Distribution

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Dragon, flowerpole, wizard and knight images courtesy of D Creelma

Old English background and image of St. Jerome courtesy of
Steven J. Killings and University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies

Last Revised: February 9, 2002