History Instructor Michael Evans is organizing the 36th International Conference on Medievalism to be hosted online by Delta College on November 4-6, 2021. The conference is run under the auspices of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism, of which Michael has been an active member for fifteen years.
“Medievalism,” Michael explains, “is the study of modern responses to, and interpretations of, the Middle Ages. It is inescapable in contemporary culture, from the success of medievalist fantasy television shows such as Game of Thrones and The Witcher, through media comparisons between Covid-19 and the Black Death, to the use of medieval rhetoric and imagery in extremist political movements.”
Even though there are many popular connections with this time in history, Michael says, “the study of the Middle Ages is in decline in higher education, coming under assault in the name of cost-cutting and ‘relevance.'” And yet, given the parallel events occurring in our time, Michael asserts, “This is, therefore, the ideal time to assess the state of medievalism today.”
Michael will also be speaking on “teaching and medievalism” at the online Global Medievalism conference on April 28-30, 2021, organized by the Medieval Studies Group from Unimontes, Brazil.
He is also continuing his research on Isabella Capet, a medieval queen of England, which he plans to develop into a book. He will be presenting papers about Isabella (remotely) at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (Western Michigan University, May 2021); the 10th Annual Kings and Queens conference (University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland, June 2021); and the International Medieval Congress (University of Leeds, England, July 2021).