The Return to Medievalism in the Twenty-First Century

With many signs that modernity and the eminence of Western culture may be in decline, it is timely to consider alternatives to modernity that may improve (decolonization) or complicate (medievalism) our current cultural inheritance, particularly its relation to medievalisms and medievalist practices and ideologies. Although contemporary Western culture and society are shaped by the modern and colonial, fewer scholarly connections have been made between the period that preceded modernity and its impact on contemporary ideology, practices, and culture at large.

This volume seeks to explore the medieval roots of contemporary trends in several aspects of Western life, including healthcare and wellness practices, identity constructions, and perspectives on the nonhuman. We welcome proposals from all disciplines, including the arts, economics, media studies, political sciences, critical theory, philosophy, and urban planning. The four themes for this edited collection will be as follows:

Health and Wellness
What medieval practices have influenced contemporary practices and attitudes in the healthcare and wellness industries? Might medievalism in health and wellness practices be interpreted as a distrust of institutions? Which demographics benefit most from the appropriation of these traditions?

Nonhuman, Ecocriticism, Bioethics
How has medieval ideology on the nonhuman contributed to current ontological constructions? Do contemporary interpretations further or challenge these medieval presuppositions?

Have certain aspects of medieval religious fervor resurfaced in contemporary society? What might this resurgence, as well as the new hallmarks they bear, indicate?

How might women, people of color, and other minorities be impacted by a decline in modernity that seems to collide at times with the ascent of medievalism? What does this trend toward medievalism foreshadow for Western culture and society? Who benefits and who loses from neomedievalism?

Please send a 500-word abstract and a short biography to Lauren Beck ( and Ailén Cruz (