And what a state it is in!

Thankfully, medieval studies has the brains and skills of Drs Claire Kennan, Andrew Elliott and Emma Wells as researchers, teachers and public communicators who together with other exciting scholars have brought us a year of fantastic ‘What is Medieval?’ seminars. Alongside a fabulous array of other speakers, they are bringing fresh ideas and critical perspectives on both the Middle Ages and its uses and misuses in the contemporary world. The contributors to these seminars are working to ensure the study of all things medieval – past and present – has a vibrant and innovative future!

I’m proud and pleased to support this endeavour. Indeed, this year participated myself in the What is Medieval? seminar series, speaking about Doctor Who and the Dark Ages. Check out the video of my talk here!

I was especially delighted to be invited back for the very end of the seminar series to contribute to an end-of-seminar-series discussion – ‘The State of Medieval: A round-up of the What is Medieval? 2021 Seminar Series’.

Chatting with Emma, Claire and Andrew, we discussed various perspectives on medievalism and reflected on some themes cross-cutting multiple contributions to the series. We also considered the current and future challenges for studies of medievalism in particular.

Unsurprisingly, I brought my early medieval and archaeological perspectives into play regarding how we teach and engage publics about the medieval period and its reception. Indeed, I reflected on a few of the topics I’ve addressed in recent years on this Archaeodeath blog! And I do throw in a few controversial views near the end just so that I can irk some of my detractors! I hope you like it!

I really appreciate these conversations, but also I appreciate Emma for having previously invited me onto her 2021 Instagram Lives, as covered in these posts:

In summary, these are but some of the many ways I’ve attempted to use social media to engage academic and wider audiences regarding my research on both the Early Middle Ages and mortuary archaeology, as well as exploring the popular culture entanglements of these fields of academic investigation.

I aim to continue doing this. However, as previously stated, I’m going to conduct another rethink, especially in the light of the UCU ongoing Action Short of Strike (ASOS) I’m participating in as a UCU member at a branch which voted for both strike action and ASOS (see this earlier post). Having said that, 2022 will continue to have a mix of media for Archaeodeath, with blog disseminated via social media but also the Archaeodeath channels on YouTube and TikTok too!