The ongoing and frankly undignified kerfuffle with the Dark Enlightenment/HBD types, well documented in comments to my post below, has inspired me to use my particular set of skills to do something about it. And I use "something" in what's probably the weakest sense of the word possible: a GRADUATE SEMINAR.
One thing these Dark Enlightenment/HBD people have in common -- apart from their love for the racial Thing, and apart from their men's rights movement, ethnic heritage, antidiversity, antihistoricism, genetics-as-hobby, antisemitism, &c, and apart from their certainty that my post below means I'm an enemy of "science" and "reason" -- is their admiration for the Middle Ages. Many of them are bothered that I'm a medievalist and thus treading on territory they believe theirs: I wouldn't measure up to the "real men" of the Middle Ages, etc.
So, maybe in 2015 or 2016, I plan to do a grad seminar on modern medievalism, with an emphasis on the territoriality about the so-called authentic medieval heritage.
The course might be called: Who Owns the Middle Ages? or even just Whose Middle Ages?
Not all of it can be about the more embarrassing or horrific stuff, but some of it can. The trick, which I'm sure has been done in medievalism seminars before: teach the modern culture by, say, having the students track online communities, in combination with deep readings in medieval sources.
Obviously, the neopagans would be a focus. So would various kinds of "modern chivalry." Obviously, we'd read Dinshaw's How Soon is Now in its entirety. We would need more units, though, and we'd have to keep the class from, well, chortling at nerds. That wouldn't be dignified or good, sympathetic scholarship.
How have the rest of you taught classes like these? What have you done?
update to this blog post to call attention to a new journal, The Medieval Globe, whose areas of interest will be "the modes of communication, materials of exchange, and myriad interconnections among regions, communities, and individuals in an era central to human history." Especially notable for a seminar like this, see item #3 below from its interest areas:
- the direct and indirect means by which peoples, goods, and ideas came into contact
- the deep roots of allegedly modern global developments
- the ways in which perceptions of “the medieval” have been (and are) constructed and deployed around the world.