Paul B. Sturtevant: This is The Public Medievalcast. I’m Paul Sturtevant, Editor-in-Chief of The Public Medievalist and host of The Public Medievalcast.
So this is episode 0. It’s an introduction. It’s a statement of what this podcast is going to be about. This is the official podcast of publicmedievalist.com. The Public Medievalist is a web magazine that is about the intersection of the Middle Ages and the modern day. We are scholars committed to the idea that medieval history is best when it is shared with as wide a public as it can be.
We’re not your ivory tower academics. That’s why we call ourselves “public” medievalists.
The mission of this podcast and the mission of The Public Medievalist are the same. We’re all about presenting exciting new histories of the Middle Ages, but finding ways not only to make them interesting, and exciting, but meaningful for you. And there’s something else as well: in fact we’re just as interested in the way that the Middle Ages are made and remade, remixed, played with, re-enacted deconstructed, and anything else today, as anything that happened in the 5th or the 15th century.
So on this podcast you’ll find discussions of Lord of the Rings put against Wolfram von Eschenbach. You’ll find discussions of 10th century Spain right next to discussions of the Society for Creative Anachronism. And you’ll find discussions of the realities of medieval gender dynamics compared to discussions of contemporary gender dynamics.
Because we feel that the Middle Ages actually mean something to people today, for better or for worse. And yes, we’re well aware that some of the worst people in our society also love the Middle Ages. White supremacists, neo-nationalists and bigots of all kinds have taken the Middle Ages as a kind of heroic origin story for their movements.
But their Middle Ages is not the actual Middle Ages. They don’t own the medieval.
And we feel passionately that those trying to forge a better world today, who want to make a more just and equitable society can look and find inspiration and even beauty in the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages is not the trash pit of history, at least any more than we are today.
The question is: what do we do with that information?
So I hope you’ll join us! We’re going to have interviews with fascinating people, discussions of pop-culture medievalisms, and maybe a few stories from the Middle Ages that you haven’t heard before.
So I hope you’ll find us and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever y’all are getting your podcasts these days! Thanks for listening, I’ll see you soon!