The academic and public visions of the Middle Ages are very different, but they’re never really separate. Popular culture influences how everyone approaches the past, even in the classroom. That’s why Paul Sturtevant and I are working on a book for students, professors, and fans of all things medieval that details the use and abuse of the Middle Ages throughout history and sheds a little light on the so-called “Dark Ages.”
Misusing the Middle Ages—in the works with The University of Toronto Press—will be a compact, affordable book that explores how the idea of the medieval is used and abused for all kinds of agendas. We contrast long-held illusions about the Middle Ages with true stories from a rich, complex, and vibrant medieval world. And we’ll have a full bibliography and companion website to help students launch their own explorations of how the past and present shape each other.