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Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages
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Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  5 reviews
This book examines the place of the Middle Ages in modern popular culture, exploring the roots of the stereotypes that appear in films, on television and in the press. The book also asks whether "medieval" is indeed a useful category in terms of historical periodization. It investigates some of the particular challenges posed by medieval sources and the ways in which they ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published January 1st 2005)
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This is a brief, highly readable book: at once an argument for the relevance of the field of medieval history, and for why the whole concept of the Middle Ages needs to be abandoned. Bull manages to be thought-provoking without being polemical, and while I don't agree with everything he says, it was a good exercise for me to parse out why I didn't agree with him. So for instance, I think his rightful disdain for what he terms 'wormhole history'—saying that A caused B when that only works by coll ...more
'Thinking Medieval' serves as a brief intellectual introduction to the field of Medieval Studies, the musings (nay, defense) of a self-critical scholar worried about the fate of his field. There's good stuff here, but its mostly on the level of a scholarly chat around the dinner table with the hip new medievalist in the department, one who understands pop culture and postmodernism along with Beowulf and the Crusades. I certainly agree with Bull's core message, with is essentially traditional and ...more
Roxana-Mălina Chirilă
Actually 3.5 stars would be more accurate of my feelings towards it.

A brief introduction to the field of Medieval Studies, taking us from what we 'know' about the Middle Ages from the media to the reality of the Medievalist's struggle, with a few good points and references in between.
Okay, so this isn't really a mass-market paperback, but nor is it an over-the-top practice in being an erudite ass. Bull's examination of what we mean--and what we DON'T--when we talk about the Middle Ages is funny, fast, and incredibly well-argued. Although it can be a little depressing (as a medievalist) sometimes, it's very honest about the field and its uses and what those interested in the medieval era should be aware of when they're discussing it with those studying it, those mocking it, t ...more
I love this book. It's a great teaching book. It's funny, provocative, works with undergrads. I can't say enough good about it.
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