Contemporary Medievalism: the Middle Ages in Contemporary Literature and Culture

Module code: EN7243

This module explores the fascinating and often vexed process of adapting medieval texts and cultural icons for contemporary literature. After the initial session in which you'll explore what medievalism is and what the Middle Ages mean today, each session will be built around a particular medieval text or figure.

Through all of these texts, you'll explore the different ways in which the Middle Ages are re-imagined, the changes which are deemed necessary for adaptations of medieval texts, and audiences’, authors’ and film-makers’ perceptions of the medieval period. You'll also look at the social and political ideologies which lie behind many of these adaptations – as clarified by recent medievalist adaptation and translation theory. Up to two of the sessions may consist of creative writing workshops, which will develop your imaginative and critical responses to the reading material and prepare you for a creative writing assignment.


  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 140 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay (100%)