Affective medievalism

Love, abjection and discontent

By Thomas A. Prendergast and Stephanie Trigg

Affective medievalism


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4799-8
  • Pages: 168
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £21.00
  • Published Date: April 2020
  • BIC Category: Literature, Medieval Literature, Literary studies: ancient & classical, HISTORY / Medieval, Sociology: Family & Relationships, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


This book investigates the troubled relationship between medieval studies and medievalism. Acknowledging that the medieval and medievalism are mutually constitutive, and that their texts can be read using similar strategies, it argues that medieval writers offer powerful models for the ways in which contemporary desire determines the constitution of the past. This desire can not only connect us with the past but can reconnect readers in the present with the lost history of what may be called the 'medievalism of the medievals'. In other words, to come to terms with the history of the medieval is to understand that it already offers us a model of how to relate to the past.


'In their project to legitimize affect in medieval studies, Prendergast and Trigg examine the dialectic between the medieval past and subsequent representations of that past. Their considerations weave a densely learned tapestry.'
Studies in the Age of Chaucer


Introduction: Medieval and medievalist practice
1 The space of time and the medievalist imaginary
2 Wonderful things
3 Fear, error and death: The abjection of the Middle Ages
4 Loving the past
5 Discontent in the age of mechanical reproduction


Thomas A. Prendergast is Professor of English at the College of Wooster
Stephanie Trigg is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor of English Literature at the University of Melbourne

Affective medievalism

By Thomas A. Prendergast, Stephanie Trigg

Paperback £21.00 / $30.95

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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