International Conference on Medievalism
To Meet at Hope College on Sept. 28-30

Posted September 18, 2000

HOLLAND -- A fascination with a bygone era that has brought the world creations ranging from Gothic revival churches to the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., will receive scholarly study during an international conference meeting at Hope College at the end of this month.

The Fifteenth International Conference on Medievalism will be held on campus on Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 28-30. Presentations will range from "From Merlin to Muggles: Medieval Magic Within Harry Potter," to "Robin Hood's Progeny: Hello I'm Johnny Cash," to "Medieval Mystics and Modern Saints: Joan of Arc in Contemporary Film," to "The Medieval Origins of the Family."

The conference will feature papers on all aspects of medievalism, which explores the Middle Ages as a construction in Western culture since the era ended in approximately 1500 A.D. According to Dr. Kathleen Verduin, a professor of English at Hope, medievalism as a cultural phenomenon includes the popular, like the Excalibur Casino and Medieval Times restaurants; the artistic and architectural, like literature and Gothic revival churches; and the scholarly.

Medievalism was first identified as a subject for academic inquiry by Leslie J. Workman, an independent scholar now based at Hope who has described the phenomenon as "the continuing process of creating the Middle Ages." A historian trained at the University of London and Columbia University, he founded the scholarly journal "Studies in Medievalism" in the late 1970s, established the conference in 1986 and organized four-week summer institutes in England in 1996 and 1998.

Verduin, his wife, has assisted him in his scholarly work since 1983. Until this year she served as associate editor for "Studies in Medievalism," now an annual volume published by the scholarly firm of Boydell & Brewer Ltd., and in past years she also co-organized the conference.

This year's keynote address will be presented by Dr. William Calin, a scholar from the University of Florida- Gainesville, who will discuss, "The Humanist Tradition from Spitzer to Frye." The other presentations will be grouped in sessions including "Medievalism in Modern Popular Fiction," "Nineteenth Century Medievalisms," "Renaissance Medievalisms," "Revisiting Chaucer," "Disappearing Saints and Heroes," "Chasing Robin Hood," "Medieval Mysticism and Modern Drama," "Echoes of the Medieval in the Fine Arts," "Theories of Medievalism," "Re-Inventions," "The Origins and End of a Contemporary Phenomenon: Medieval Women in Murder Mystery," "Medievalism in National Identities," "Transforming the Medieval through the Melancholic, the Personal, and the Satirical," and "Intertextuality and the Medieval Landscape."

Professor Gwendolyn Morgan of Montana State University is directing this year's conference. Local arrangements have been made by Linda Montaņo, who is a student at Hope and the wife of Dr. Jesse Montaņo of the college's English faculty. During the conference, Dr. Montaņo will present the paper "Blood of the Conquistadors," concerning Mexican invocation of conquistador ancestors as a sign of superiority.

The conference has been held abroad three times-- once in Austria and twice in England. Among other locations, it has also been held at the University of Notre Dame, the Newberry Library in Chicago, Ill., the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Delaware, the Higgins Armory in Worcester, Mass., Montana State University, the University of South Florida, Kalamazoo College and Rochester, N.Y.


Press Releases @ Hope College

hope home page
public relations
about hope
about holland
campus map & tour
directions to hope

giving to hope
gift planning
hope in the news

president's office
press releases
sports releases
today's weather

© 2006 Hope College, Holland, Michigan 49423 616.395.7000