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Going Medieval: How Pop Culture Reflects the Past
November 12, 2020 @ 6:45 pm - 8:15 pm EST$25
The Middle Ages are everywhere in our pop culture. Just look at “Game of Thrones” and the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Knights and castles are all over video, tabletop, and role-playing games. And we can spend a day at a medieval-style festival and an evening at a theme restaurant featuring jousts, swordplay, and revelry.
Why are we so culturally obsessed with this distant time period? What, if anything, can these pop-culture rehashes of history tell us about the past? And perhaps more revealing, what can the ways that we re-imagine the medieval era tell us about how we see ourselves today?
Join medievalist and sociologist Paul B. Sturtevant as he embarks on a colorful journey through the castles, cathedrals, and battlefields dreamed up by contemporary culture. He examines how history is not just history: that what we remember, and how we remember it, is always a mirror that reflects ourselves.
Sturtevant is an historian and social scientist at the Smithsonian, editor-in-chief of The Public Medievalist online magazine, and author of two books that examine the intersections between the Middle Ages and the present day.