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Quentin Tarantino, Lady Gaga and climate change deniers: the British Academy publishes new book on the Middle Ages in the 21st century

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The British Academy has published a colourful and wide-ranging new book exploring why and how the Middle Ages continue to matter so much in the twenty-first century.

The Middle Ages in the Modern World: Twenty-first Century Perspectives, by Professor Bettina Bildhauer and Dr Chris Jones, provides many fresh perspectives on why the Middle Ages are still important to modern society, culture and politics.

Ranging across disciplines and art forms and illustrated throughout, the book includes contributions by academic and non-academic authors, such as musicians, novelists, librarians and museum curators.

Framed by an introductory essay on the broad history of the continuing evolution of the idea of ‘The Middle Ages’ from the 14th century to the present day, chapters deal with subjects as diverse as the use of Old Norse sagas by Republican deniers of climate change, the use of the Middle Ages in films by Pasolini and Tarantino, and Lady Gaga’s manipulation of medieval iconography in her music videos.

Professor Bettina Bildhauer is Professor of Modern Languages, Department of German, University of St Andrews (Bildhauer). She works on medieval German literature and culture in a European context, especially on material things, blood, monstrosity, bodies, gender and the limits of the human. Her work on medievalist film has been published in Filming the Middle Ages (Reaktion, 2011), and The Middle Ages on Film, an essay collection co-edited with Anke Bernau (Manchester University Press 2009).

Dr Chris Jones Senior Lecturer in English, School of English, University of St Andrews (Jones). He teaches medieval and medievalist literature at the University of St Andrews. He has published widely in these fields, including the critically acclaimed Strange Likeness: The Use of Old English in Twentieth-century Poetry (OUP, 2006).

The Middle Ages in the Modern World: Twenty-first Century Perspectives is part of the ‘Proceedings of the British Academy’ series and is published in conjunction with Oxford University Press.

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