Detail of BL Harley MS 4940, fol. 48r
Detail of BL Harley MS 4940, fol. 48r

Emerging Medievalisms:
Method, Media, Manuscript.

Questioning method, engaging media, and privileging manuscripts to find our emergent capacities within medieval studies.

Emerging Medievalisms is a hub for my various projects and teaching activities devoted to understanding the literary and cultural output of medieval England.

Emerging Medievalisms engages with the present study of the medieval, and imagines methods (by way of media and manuscript) for its future.  Emerging Medievalisms seeks to effectively investigate and disseminate the ways in which the medieval matters to knowledge as a whole.

Emerging Medievalisms is about the material witness of how the medieval matters, in teaching, and in research.

Why Emerging Medievalisms?


Why study the medieval? Those of us who do it – and do it well – know that medieval studies is crucial and relevant, yet we rarely articulate why we do it, and why it is necessary. Emerging Medievalisms is but part of an answer.

Studying the medieval is more important than ever: it encourages understanding of historical difference, promotes inclusivity, and helps undermine forms of prejudice. Emerging Medievalisms is a hub of some of the exciting activities happening in the research and teaching of medieval studies.

Emerging medievalisms investigates the prominence and importance of medievalisms in post-medieval culture, and the ways in which medieval material culture might inform our own popular culture.

About me

Dr. Kenna OlsenEmerging Medievalisms is the pivot where my research and teaching of medieval studies comes together. It is a place for engaging with my work, the work of my collaborators, and the work of some of my students.

I am a Full Professor of medieval English literature at Mount Royal University, located on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot and the people of Treaty 7 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I teach Old and Middle English literature, and the History of the English Language, along with a variety of specialized courses stemming from my current research, including medieval ecocriticism and women’s participation in medieval English literature. I’ve taught about how television shows like “Vikings” and “Game of Thrones” engage with the medieval. Recently, my thinking is particularly engaged by aspects of violence, memorialization, temporality, and landscape, and how all of these things come together in current medievalisms. Currently, I am also Associate Dean of Research, Scholarship, and Community Engagement for the Faculties of Arts and Teaching & Learning at Mount Royal University. I am a co-Director of the Research Cluster Oecologies. I am also a co-Convenor of the Phoenix Rising — Subjects that Matter initiative for the Faculty of Arts at Mount Royal University.