Volume on Neomedievalism

Due Date: 01-01-2021

Editors welcome proposals for an edited volume on neomedievalism, a term popularized by Umberto Eco’s 1986 essay “Dreaming of the Middle Ages,” now used in nuanced ways according to a variety of disciplines. The collection will be interdisciplinary, so submissions from all fields are welcome. Starting points could include the following:

  • The Arts – How have medieval literary genres, art styles, music genres, etc. resurfaced in a significant way in contemporary culture, and what might be driving this embrace with medieval culture and its products?
  • Economics – With what some scholars call a return to feudalism evidenced by the increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor, how might the ultrawealthy and corporations act as city-states unto themselves, complicating our notion of statehood and challenging democratic institutions and other concepts arising from Enlightenment thought?
  • Media studies – Why did shows such as Game of Thrones and video games such as Assassin’s Creed become so popular in mainstream culture? What value does medievalism bring to understanding the world around us, and how does the Internet structurally support neomedievalism?
  • Urban planning – Can the ever-growing phenomenon of gated communities and minimansions and the increase of group and public housing complexes for less wealthy people foreshadow some neofeudalistic configuration of the way we live?
  • Philosophy – Periodized ways of looking at our epistemology tend to value the Enlightenment for its emphasis on rational thought and science and for completing the Western world’s movement away from medieval ways of life. What indications are there that medieval or neomedieval thought is emerging in the twenty-first century, and how does this challenge our valuation of Enlightenment thought?
  • Critical theory – Theorizing neomedievalism could produce significant tools that will allow us to better understand class and identity-related forms of oppression. How can the past allow us to better prepare for the future through the lens of medievalism?
  • Political sciences – In a globalized world where international networks and bodies mean that nations can struggle to exercise sovereignty in trade and other matters, the vestiges of medieval governance models rise to the surface. Does the Western world find itself at the crossroads of abandoning democratic institutions and governance models in favor of medieval ones, and is it possible for the colonial project of modernity to find ways of decolonizing through the instrument of medievalism?

Please submit a title, 250–500-word abstract detailing your chapter and its critical or theoretical foundations, as well as the expected impacts or conclusions for the chapter, and a brief bio of approximately 250 words by 1 January 2021 to Ailén Cruz ( and Lauren Beck ( with the subject line “CFP Neomedievalism.”