Critical Remediation: Intersections of Medieval Studies and Media Theory
48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 9-12, 2013
Over the past few years, medievalists’ interest in new media has overwhelmingly focused on the remediation of medieval works and data: the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive, the Mapping Medieval Chester project, and animated game-like spaces such as Kapi Regnum exemplify only a few of the innovative applications of new media to our study of the medieval world. Shared amongst these projects’ use of digital tools is their emphasis on remediation: that is, they take data in one form and transform it into another form of media; the process as well as the end results of this remediation open fresh avenues through which to explore medieval cultures. Yet the digital media making these projects possible is itself subject to study, analysis, and critique, and works like Martin Foys’ Virtually Anglo-Saxon, Andrew Higl’s Playing the Canterbury Tales, and Seeta Chaganti’s analysis of danse macabre and virtual space make it clear that new media studies, criticism, and theory can be as provocative and productive for our understanding of the Middle Ages as the digital tools that have generated so much interest. Such is the project of this proposal, which solicits papers that explore new critical approaches to the analysis of medieval culture inspired by or based on digital media studies—critical remediation, so to speak.
Papers might address such questions as: What insights might media theory allow in our study of medieval texts, architecture, music, manuscripts, and art? How do metaphors of mediation facilitate understanding of the medieval approach to artistic, scientific, religious, or technological creation and knowledge? What kinds of multimedia objects or events existed in the medieval period, and how might we as modern scholars still have access to them? What are the consequences of considering medieval manuscripts as multimedia works? How might we understand medieval affective piety—mystic and otherwise—in terms of media?
This panel has been sponsored by Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Columbia University, and we welcome one-page proposals (250-300 words) from scholars of all levels. They may be sent along with a completed participant information form (found at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html) to Heather Blatt (Florida International University) and Mary Kate Hurley (Columbia University) at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2012. Feel welcome to contact us with questions about the session. For general information about the 2013 Medieval Congress, visit: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/