#Medieval: "First World" Medievalism and Participatory Culture

Elliott, Andrew (2021) #Medieval: "First World" Medievalism and Participatory Culture. In: Middle Ages without Borders: A Conversation on Medievalism. Publications de l'Ecole francaise de Rome, Rome, pp. 87-106. ISBN 978-2-7283-1493-5

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.4000/books.efr.18532

#Medieval: "First World" Medievalism and Participatory Culture
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Habermas’ identification of a ‘public sphere’ as a democratic, open, and fundamentally participatory space is often identified as the emergence of a kind of modern political consciousness. Given its identification within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it thus emerges as a modern invention to be contrasted against the implied feudalism of the Middle Ages. However, at the same time, the growing recognition that such a public sphere belonging to the prosperous middle-classes is “less a signifier of democracy than a shift in power toward an educated, property-owning middle class”. The translation of a Habermasian public sphere to the equally ‘democratic’ Web 2.0 environment has prompted renewed celebrations of its apparently participatory online sphere, even if in the context of the above critique the parallels with a less demotic shift of power are abundantly clear.
In this chapter, I analyse the use of the hashtag ‘#medieval’ across Instagram and Twitter in particular to explore the ways in which those same dominant voices have collocated and constructed the new Middle Ages through a so-called participatory culture. I will show how the medieval has come to be created, in the context of a narrower participatory culture than is usually imagined, as a specifically western, class-based phenomenon which both controls and constricts our abilities to connect with it.

Keywords:Medievalism, internet studies, Social media, Participatory Culture
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
L Social studies > L214 Nationalism
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:49006
Deposited On:25 Apr 2022 15:46

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