The concepts of medievalism and orientalism have been revisited and reworked in the post-Renaissance period revealing, John Ganim argues, a great anxiety about the origins and purity of Western culture. In this book he explores how the medieval past has been viewed and understood from a range of perspectives, from popular culture to art and architecture, from gender studies to religion. `In these remarkable essays, John Ganim performs a virtuoso act of untangling the intricate web of cultural influences, anxieties, and agendas that have shaped the complex and mutually influential traditions of both medievalism and orientalism' - Stephanie Trigg. The origins of medieval romance and Gothic architecture, questions of race, gender and nationalism, are some of the issues considered.
"Medievalism and Orientalism offers a glimpse into the history and role of the post-renaissance creation of the Middle Ages in the formulation of England's idea of itself. Ganim looks beyond academic medievalism into the fields of anthropology, popular culture, international expositions, gothic architecture, antiquarianism, gender studies, politics, religion, language, and race in this fascinating study of East-West relations that has never been more relevant or significant than at present." - R. Howard Bloch, Augustus R. Street Professor of French, Yale University
"In an academic career that practically defines the word 'distinguished,' John Ganim has repeatedly shown us new ways of approaching the Middle Ages and the 'medieval.' He continues this important work in his newest book, where he analyzes 'this hybrid identity, the twinned association of medievalism and Orientalism.' He invites and helps us to see how vexed, and vexatious, the categories of our 'historicisms' are as we try to identify the objects of our study, which change even as we ourselves change, not only over time but also through space, especially the unstable and ever troubled space 'between' East and West." - R. Allen Shoaf, Senior Editor, Exemplaria and Alumni Professor of English, University of Florida
"In these remarkable essays, John Ganim performs a virtuoso act of untangling the intricate web of cultural influences, anxieties, and agendas that have shaped the complex and mutually influential traditions of both medievalism and orientalism. In a radical yet subtle approach to cultural history, Ganim analyzes the afterlife of the Middle Ages through three distinctive and telling formations-as genre, as genealogy, and as display-showing exactly how, and why, the past became 'another country' for European tradition. His range is extraordinarily wide, but every page is marked by insight and revelation, and an exactitude of criticism and analysis that is often breathtaking. This book shifts the discussion of medievalism onto another plane."-Stephanie Trigg, Associate Professor of English, University of Melbourne
"John Ganim is one of the few scholars who see that orientalism is a tortuous form of self-
up0recognition. His new book is timely and state-of-the-art: interdisciplinary, transhistorical, cross-cultural, engaging with literature, historiography, aesthetics, and architecture, with work in all periods between the medieval and now, and with much major scholarship in the various fields. It is also lucid, engaged, and intriguing - a book to be read for serious pleasure." - David A. Lawton, Professor and Chair of English and Professor of Religious Studies, Washington University