Call for Papers – Medievalisms Today: Aspects of the Medieval Past in the 21st-century World

Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Organized by Michael A. Torregrossa, June-Ann Greeley, and Rachael Warmington

Call for Papers – Please Submit Proposals by 30 September 2023
55th Annual Convention of Northeast Modern Language Association
Sheraton Boston Hotel (Boston, MA)
On-site event: 7-10 March 2024

Session Rationale

Medievalisms Today: Aspects of the Medieval Past in the 21st-century World (Panel)

A frequent conception of the medieval period is that it was a barbaric, fanatical, and unenlightened era, yet, despite these (actual or perceived) faults, there remains an appeal to the era in modern culture. As Umberto Eco wrote a number of decades ago, “it seems people like the Middle Ages,” and this statement continues to ring true today in 2023. Regardless of the centuries (and often geography) that separate them from this time, creators worldwide are still engaged with adapting, adopting, appropriating, and/or transforming elements of the medieval past. The resulting works (referred to as medievalisms) appear in a startling array of media and have been employed (both positively and negatively) for a variety of purposes, including in materials with commercial, educational, entertainment, and propagandist motives.

Recently, medievalists have begun to widen the scope of their analysis of these works, and they have strived to explore the reception of the medieval on a wider scale than the expected sites of medieval re-creation (such as Europe, Canada, and the United States) to highlight the production and dissemination of medievalisms (as recent studies phrase it) as global, international, and/or world phenomena. Medievalists have also looked more deeply at how the creators of these new works impact the local culture around them.

These studies have made a promising start toward widening the scope of medievalism, but much work remains to be done to more fully catalog and assess these materials, especially as their numbers keep increasing.

Our intent in this session is to shine the spotlight onto new and recent works of medievalism from across the planet that haven’t yet received much (if any) attention and explore how and (perhaps) why creators still find the Middle Ages so interesting and (despite their distance from the period) relevant in the twenty-first century to their own experiences, places, and times.

Presentations might highlight and engage with examples of the medieval in comics, drama, fiction, film, games, manga, memes, music, politics, streaming video, television programming, and/or translations. Other approaches are also welcome.

Please see Helen Young and Kavita Mundan Finn’s online bibliography from Global Medievalism: An Introduction (available at for ideas and support.

Submission Information

All proposals must be submitted into the CFPList system at by 30 September 2023. You will be prompted to create an account with NeMLA (if you do not already have one) and, then, to complete sections on Title, Abstract, and Media Needs.

Notification on the fate of your submission will be made prior to 16 October 2023. If favorable, please confirm your participation with the chairs by accepting their invitations and by registering for the event. The deadline for Registration/Membership is 9 December 2023.

Be advised of the following policies of the Convention: All participants must be members of NeMLA for the year of the conference. Participants may present on up to two sessions of different types (panels/seminars are considered of the same type). Submitters to the CFP site cannot upload the same abstract twice.(See the NeMLA Presenter Policies page, at, for further details,)

Thank you for your interest in our session. Please address questions and/or concerns to the organizers at

For more information on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture, please visit our website at

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