PhiN 58/2011: 70

Richard Utz (Kalamazoo)

Negotiating Heritage: Observations on Semantic Concepts, Temporality, and the Centre of the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals

Negotiating Heritage: Observations on Semantic Concepts, Temporality, and the Centre of the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals
This essay is a revised version of a paper originally presented at the "Fifth Conference on the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals" at University of Copenhagen on October 26, 2009. It seeks to review the interdisciplinary scholarship done by the Centre of the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals, a project funded by the Danish National Research Foundation since 2001, from the perspective of Reinhart Kosellek's work on semantic concepts and temporality, focusing specifically on a recent Centre publication: Negotiating Heritage: Memories of the Middle Ages, edited by Mette B. Bruun and Stephanie Glaser as volume 4 in Brepols Publishers' book series, Ritus et Artes: Traditions and Transformations. By bringing the "father" of conceptual historiography to bear on some of the scholarship in Negotiating Heritage, the essay contributes to tracing, from a meta-perspective, the momentous mutations through which Western societies and their scholars continue to conceive their experiences of the medieval past.

1 Prolegomena

Since 2001, the Copenhagen Centre of the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals, a project funded by the Danish National Research Foundation, has pushed the epistemological boundaries of the reception of medieval culture in postmedieval times. As conference participant and member of Advisory Board for the Centre's book series, Ritus et Arts: Traditions and Transformations, I have been able to accompany the Centre scholars on their path toward a theoretically informed and innovative approach to the negotiation of western civilization's medieval heritage. During this process, it appeared to me that Reinhart Kosellek's work on semantic concepts and temporality provided a helpful perspective to assess the Centre's research and scholarship. Since I view Negotiating Heritage: Memories of the Middle Ages, edited by Mette B. Bruun and Stephanie Glaser (2009), as paradigmatic of the work done at the Centre over the last eight years, I will concentrate my application of Kosellek's thought to this specific volume.

PhiN 58/2011: 71

And while I am not external to the scholarship produced at the Centre, I hope my perspective will add to the emerging appreciation of its value and consequence for interdisciplinary and international medievalism.

2 Kosellek's Conceptual Historiography, in a Nutshell

In 1843, in a treatise reflecting on the "the movement of production" (Die Bewegung der Produktion), radical German democrat Wilhelm Schulz had the following to say about the relationship between historical events and linguistic activity:

The emergence of new words in the language, their growing frequency of use, and the shifting meaning stamped upon them by prevailing opinion – all that which one can call the currently ruling linguistic fashion – is a not inconsequential hand on time's clock for all those able to see in seemingly trivial phenomena changes to the real substance of life. (Kosellek 2004: 222)1

More than 120 years after Schulz, Reinhart Kosellek, widely considered one of the most influential German intellectual historians of the post WWII era, said the following in an essay on the semantics of modern concepts of movement.

Concepts within which experiences collect and in which expectations are bound up are, as linguistic performances, no mere epiphenomena of so-called real history. Historical concepts, especially political and social concepts, are minted for the registration and embodiment of the elements and forces of history. This is what marks them out within a language. They do, however, possess […] their own mode of existence within the language. It is on this basis that they affect or react to particular situations and occurrences. (Kosellek 2004: 223)

Both of these views attempt to describe and better define a foundational methodological predicament for scholarly work on the past, namely the fascinating dynamic between historical events and their linguistic realization. While historical events and experience can only be conveyed through language, neither events nor experiences are realized by their linguistic articulation. While most extralinguistic conditions for all occurrences remain dependent on language for their effectiveness, they are not fully assimilated by it. "The prelinguistic structure of action and the linguistic communication by means of which events to take place are intermingled, yet do not coincide." (Kosellek 2004: 222)

PhiN 58/2011: 72

If most scholars are aware of this methodological impasse in their historical research, and if most post-enlightenment cultural historians acknowledge that an historical document or event warrants continuous rereading based on the difference between the actual historical events and their linguistic realization as well as the temporal distance between historical event, linguistic realization, and contemporary readers/investigator, there are those who would not view certain documents as profiting from linguistic re-present-ation (Ver-gegenwärt-igung), from rereadings that would take into account social, cultural, and – closely related – semantic change. More often than not, such contemporary refusals to view historical texts as organic documents are connected with conservative ideological and religious views. For example, the Foundation of American Christian Education (FACE) adamantly rejects requests to update its official linguistic reference works to an at least recent, if not current, incarnation of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, but has been reprinting and consulting the 1828 edition of Webster's reference book. When asked why the organization would prefer to consult a dictionary that does not include an entry on "airplane" and was published in the same year in which Henrik Ibsen, Hippolyte Taine, and Leo Tolstoy were born, its President, Carole Adams, responded that FACE viewed the 1828 edition of Webster's as a primary text of American history which "shows the biblical worldview and vocabulary of the founding generation as recorded by Noah Webster, father of American Christian education." (Shea 2009: 17)

Similarly, some judges on the current United States Supreme Court embrace the constitutional theory of so-called originalism. Of these justices, Antonin Scalia in particular has shown a marked habit of citing older reference works in an attempt to negate the temporal and cultural difference between the time at which the U.S. constitution originated and his own present.

PhiN 58/2011: 73

In a 1994 article for the Harvard Law Review, Kevin Werbach detailed how, in addition to using modern standard dictionaries, Scalia employed Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828), James Buchanan's Linguae Britannicae (1757), Nathan Bailey's Dictionarium Britannicum (1730), John Kersey's New English Dictionary (1702), Thomas Sheridan's General Dictionary of the English Language (1780) and John Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary (1791) — in the legal opinions he produced between 1988 and 1992, thus demonstrating a unmistakable preference for the philological rather than the historical approach to determining meaning. (Werbach 1994)2

These kinds of activist cultural negations of the essential non-contiguity between past and present are rare nowadays, at least among scholars. More common are linear historical accounts that would acknowledge historical difference on the one hand, but focus on the forward looking aspects of past events on the other hand. As examples of the latter tendency, William of Ockham and John Wyclif serve as forerunners of the Reformation, Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde prefigures the nineteenth-century realist novel, and the Florentine Camerata prepares the grounds for the opera.3 What distinguishes, in my view, the work done over the last eight years by the Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals from these two other approaches to reading cultural history is its members' conscious negotiation of temporality and the semantics of temporality. In what follows, I would like to examine some of these negotiations, applying some of Reinhart Kosellek's tenets in the essay collection, Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, a text Hayden White once characterized as ushering in "a new era in the conceptualization not only of what history means to Western culture but also what Western culture means for history." (White 1987: 1176)

PhiN 58/2011: 74

At the beginning of Futures Past, Kosellek compares two distinct moments in the reception history of the famous Battle of Issus, in which Alexander the Great's Greek army defeated the Persians in 333 B.C. One, Albrecht Altdorfer's widely known historical painting, Alexanderschlacht, unites on a canvas of 1.5 square meters everything that was known, in the early sixteenth century, about the impressive military victory that ushered in Hellenism. Noting various kinds of anachronism employed by Altdorfer, Kosellek remarks:

Viewing the painting in the Pinakothek, we think we see before us the last knights of Maximilian [scil. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor of the Habsburg empire, 1493-1519] or the serf-army at the Battle of Pavia. From their feet to their turbans, most of the Persians resemble the Turks who, in the same year the picture was painted (1529), unsuccessfully laid siege to Vienna. In other words, the event that Altdorfer captured was for him at once historical and contemporary. Alexander and Maximilian, for whom Altdorfer had prepared drawings, merge in an exemplary manner; the space of historical experience enjoys the profundity of generational unity. The state of contemporary military technology still did not in principle offer any obstacle to the representation of the Battle of Issus as a current event. Machiavelli had only just devoted an entire chapter of his Discourses to the thesis that modern firearms had had little impact on the conduct of wars. The belief that the invention of the gun eclipsed the exemplary power of Antiquity was quite erroneous, argued Machiavelli. Those who followed the Ancients could only smile at such a view. The present and the past were enclosed within a common historical plane. (Kosellek 2004: 9–10)

If for Altdorfer temporal difference between the year 333 B.C. and his own historical moment was not apparent, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829), who documented his impressions of the painting in the early nineteenth century, "was seized 'upon sighting this marvel,' " as he wrote, by a boundless 'astonishment.' Schlegel praised the work in long sparkling cascades of words, recognizing in it 'the greatest feat of the age of chivalry.'" (Kosellek 2004: 10) Although Schlegel conflates Antiquity and the Middle Ages in the term "chivalry,"

PhiN 58/2011: 75

he had […] gained a critical historical distance with respect to Altdorfer's masterpiece. Schlegel was able to distinguish the painting from his own time, as well as from that of the Antiquity it strove to represent. For him, history had in this way gained a specifically temporal dimension, which is clearly absent for Altdorfer. Formulated schematically, there was for Schlegel, in the three hundred years separating him from Altdorfer, more time (or perhaps a different mode of time) than appeared to have passed for Altdorfer in the eighteen hundred years or so that lay between the Battle of Issus and his painting. (Kosellek 2004: 10)4

3 Negotiating Heritage: What Would Kosellek Say?

Kosellek's conclusion is that in the three centuries that separate the reactions to the Battle of Issus by Altdorfer and Schlegel, a period commonly referred to as early modernity (frühe Neuzeit), history underwent a process of temporalization (Verzeitlichung), one that finally accelerated toward the concept of historical process that informs modernity and the modern university. If Kosellek's assumption is correct, could it be said that the Cistercian bridging of the temporal gap between the eleventh-century Exordium Cistercii or the twelfth-century Exordium parvum on the one hand, and the seventeenth-century writings of Armand-Jean de Rancé, abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of La Trappe, was perhaps less astonishing a feat than modern readers might assume? Could it be said, perhaps, that the retrieving and revitalizing of a Cistercian 'golden age' through the "wilderness topos," as described by Mette Bruun in "The Wilderness as 'Lieu de Mémoire': Literary Deserts of Cîteaux and La Trappe" could have been realized somewhat more easily because the "wilderness" of a high medieval Cîteaux would still have corresponded to a quite similar notion of "wilderness" among seventeenth-century Cistercians at La Trappe? Was, to repeat my question in different terms, the Cistercians' work at a collective identity as "desert dwellers" so successful because they still were in temporal "harmony with the past?" (Bruun 2008, 42)

PhiN 58/2011: 76

Or, asked more generally about the section on "Authority and Heritage" in Negotating Heritage, can genealogies within textual universes be established and sustained more credibly when their semantic and temporal difference is unchallenged by the idea of modern progress, which clearly repositioned the past and the future in relation to each other?

Martin Gosman's essay on "The Ceremonial in the Estates General of France" seems to confirm the longe durée of a medieval mentalité within which the national harmony between the absolutist French King and his Estates could be sustained by the Crown's clever utilization of the symbolic public union between the persona of the current King and the divine institution of kingship. (Gosman 2008). The temporal contiguity between medieval past and early modern present, avowed by the nation's legal, semantic, and symbolic heritage, was strong enough to keep the Estates delegates from seeing "that the Crown was merely exploiting that legacy to organize its own 'show.'" (Gosman 2008: 213) But what of post-Enlightenment contiguity when, according to Kosellek's claim, the process of temporalization or Verzeitlichung would have created even more complex conditions for various forms of ritual to bind together past and present? M. B. Pranger's essay on "Devotion and the Present: Memory and Oblivion" confronts two scenarios for modern theology. (Pranger 2008) On the one hand, Pranger speaks of Friedrich Schleiermacher's early nineteenth-century attempt to reconcile Enlightenment thought and Protestant Christianity by positing faith as an atemporal, timeless, and intuitive experience, a deeply felt harmony between critical reason and creation. Karl Barth's twentieth-century reaction to the challenges of accelerating temporalization, according to Pranger, was to "criticize and historicize the atemporality" of Schleiermacher's Romantic and medievalizing theology of experience (Erfahrungstheologie) and "restore a degree of historicity" and world-orientedness to religion. (Pranger 2008: 239)

PhiN 58/2011: 77

However, Pranger, who believes that Barth only succeeds in destroying the "complacency of nineteenth-century religion" but fails "to articulate the hidden presence of transcendental subjectivity inside revelation," secretly "continued a kind of Schleiermacherian-pietistic Romanticism – like a Schoenberg without a future, stuck in his late Romantic phase." (Pranger 2008: 240-41) Only true modernists who, not unlike the medieval mystic, Meister Eckhart, abandon traditional discursive concepts or narrative temporal configuration, achieve memory that is indistinguishable from oblivion, a symbiosis of both. In Pranger's words about Meister Eckhart's experimental description of the simultaneity of light and darkness, memory and oblivion, and being and nothingness in his vision of Saul's conversion into Paul:

[L]ike Paul's conversion itself, the unforgettable can be expressed in (biblical) words that at once follow and transform the sequential order of time, as the tiny little step towards pure and undivided essence; that is, towards blindness with eyes wide open. Ultimately, that move can be seen to absorb any devotional subject just as it turns the split second of the blinding light into the monumentality of mere being. (Pranger 2008: 248)

What is it that motivates post-Enlightenment thinkers, writers, artists, and scholars to resort to either timelessness or processual historism in their various expressions? Or, in other words, what kind of temporal experience is facilitated by the emergence of modernity? Kosellek finds the answer to this question in the emergence of the concept and term neue Zeit (Neuzeit) since the second half of the eighteenth century. "Time," in his words,

is no longer simply the medium in which all histories take place; it gains a historical quality. Consequently, history no longer occurs in, but through, time. Time becomes a dynamic and historical force in its own right. Presupposed by this formulation of experience is a concept of history which is likewise new: the collective singular form of Geschichte, which since around 1780 can be conceived as history in and for itself in the absence of an associated subject or object. (Kosellek 2004: 246)

PhiN 58/2011: 78

In the final thirty years of the eighteenth and the first thirty years of the nineteenth century Grimm's Deutsches Wörterbuch records more than 100 neologisms, compounds which qualify Zeit/time in a positive historical fashion. In addition, Zeit was related to the following terms: "section," "regard," "view," "task," "expense," "predicament," "movement," "formation," "character," "duration," "development," "epoch," "event," "requirement," "fulfillment," "appearance," "abundance," "course," "feeling," and "spirit." (Kosellek 2004: 247)5 The Oxford English Dictionary records the first use of "movement" as indicative of "The way in which events or conditions are moving at a particular time or in a particular sphere; a tendency, a trend," for 1789 (with Thomas Jefferson); "formation" is increasingly employed as "The action or process of forming; a putting or coming into form; creation, production" after 1830; "duration" and "durational," meaning a "[l]asting, continuance in time; the continuance or length of time; the time during which a thing, action, or state continues," takes off in the early eighteenth century; "development," as a "gradual unfolding, a bringing into fuller view; a fuller disclosure or working out of the details of anything, as a plan, a scheme, the plot of a novel" can be shown as a term unknown before 1750; "epoch," meaning "[t]he beginning of a 'new era' or distinctive period in the history of mankind, a country, an individual, a science," is recorded as a seventeeth-century invention.6

These neologisms, which point toward a foundational experiential change in the qualifying and conceptualizing of time enter, according to Kosellek, into competition with the already existing sources providing insight into time's movement until the eighteenth century, for example the stars, nature, living conditions, calling, fate, or chance.

PhiN 58/2011: 79

While the new concepts never completely eradicate the old ones, they quickly began to afford a change in the perspective of an "open future," and within such an "open future" social strata as well as cultural and artistic expression were now open to choice and diverse paths. (Kosellek 2004: 247) From the early nineteenth century on, "[t]ime itself becomes a title of legitimation open to occupation from all sides. Specific legitimizing concepts" are "no longer possible without temporal perspective." (Kosellek 2004: 248) This is mirrored as well as propagated by the long string of –ism terms that are being coined to project historical movement into a future perspective: Immanuel Kant is the first to coin "republicanism," a term which Friedrich Schlegel replaces with "democratism," and "socialism" and "communism" were to follow, soon to be resisted by terms using –isms to evade the pressure of this new obsession with temporality and the pressure towards movement and change, such as "conservatism." (Kosellek 2004: 249) However, all ideological criticism as well as historical thought is now rendered relative by temporality and competes "with concepts of movement whose burden of proof can only be summoned up in the future." (Kosellek 2004: 254)

Extending Kosellek's observation, I would like to claim that the process of temporalization, as a linguistic weapon from the arsenal of historism, not only dissected the present with the aid of concepts of movement, but even trickled down into the general concepts used to describe the past. Thus, the discovery of the historical world and the emergence of historical relativism may have helped usher in just one more –ism which is now commonly used to speak about the reception of medieval culture in postmedieval times, Medievalism. The term "Medievalism" can be said to be a linguistic performance responding to particular pressures in and outside the academy as well as to the existence of competing terms and practices of "Medieval Philology," "Medieval History," and "Medieval Studies."

PhiN 58/2011: 80

The accelerating (and sometimes willfully accelerated) sense of historical and methodological distance between modern academic medievalists and medieval culture becomes obvious in the scholarly insistence on establishing strict boundaries between pastist research of the 'real' Middle Ages ("philology," "history," "studies") and the various non-academic presentist representations of the medieval past.7 The Oxford English Dictionary's definition of "medievalism," "[b]eliefs and practices (regarded as) characteristic of the Middle Ages; medieval thought, religion, art, etc. Also: the adoption of, adherence to, or interest in medieval ideals, styles, or usages," indicates that nineteenth-century voices like John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or John Addington Symonds employed the term simply as a synonym for the medieval period, equivalent to other emerging abstract period descriptors such as "classicalism," "orientalism," or "feudalism," all of which now encapsulated the realization of their non-contiguous pastness on the one hand and their shifting, perhaps future-oriented temporal boundaries on the other.

Academic scholars of the Middle Ages, keen on presenting their subject matter as demanding much more serious intellectual rigor and solid academic Sitzfleisch than the popular or dilettantish reception of medieval culture, recognized the polysemous quality of "medievalism" as chance for better defining their own social relevance and status as experts and critics. Consequently, the semantic narrowing of "medievalism," especially by English-speaking medievalists, into just another Victorian whim, can be viewed an essential part of the process of academizing and institutionalizing the reception of the Middle Ages.8 "Medieval Studies," the early twentieth-century interdisciplinary North American amalgamation of nineteenth-century European medieval philology and history, increasingly cordoned itself off as exclusive of any self-reflexive, subjective, empathic, or playfully non-scientific work on medieval culture.

PhiN 58/2011: 81

As Kathleen Biddick has intimated, medieval studies became a discipline "based on expulsion and abjection and bound in rigid alterity." (Biddick 1998: 6)9

The recognition of a future-oriented temporality and an encroaching rigid academic pastism is, perhaps, what informs John Ruskin, whom the Oxford English Dictionary records as the first documented user of the term, "medievalism," and who is quoted by Mette Bruun and Stephanie Glaser in one of the mottos to the third section of Negotiating Heritage, "Artistic Negotiations with the Medieval Heritage." In 1849, in The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Ruskin writes:

How cold is all history, how lifeless all imagery, compared to that which the living nation writes, and the uncorrupted marble bears! […] there are but two strong conquerors of the forgetfulness of men, Poetry and Architecture […] And if indeed there be any profit in our knowledge of the past, or any joy in the thought of being remembered hereafter, […] there are two duties respecting national architecture whose importance it is impossible to overrate: the first, to render the architecture of the day, historical; and, the second, to preserve, as the most precious of inheritances, that of past ages. (Ruskin 1849: 164)

Modern history, which begins to exert exclusive ownership over the academic reception of the past, is too "cold" and "lifeless" to overcome the otherness that is now the Middle Ages. Only poetry and architecture (anthropomorphized in caps), whom the modern scientific disciplines increasingly treat as lifeless textual corpora and corpses to be dissected, categorized, and archived, can still bridge, from Ruskin's Victorian vantage point, what early modernity has increasingly set apart. Therefore, he argues for sustaining at least a sublimated form of enthusiastic direct contact with the past, one that preserves a flavor or touch of the past in which his (national) present might find its own origins. Reading and preserving past poetic or architectural texts is his and many of his contemporaries' acceptance of the Janus-faced quality of medievalism, its simultaneously back- and forward looking aspects.

PhiN 58/2011: 82

The scientific character of philology, history, archaeology, paleography, etc., continually replaces existing knowledge about the Middle Ages with new, better, more comprehensive knowledge, while the everlastingness of poetic and architectural monuments appear to guarantee a more stable, unshifting appreciation of the "real" Middle Ages, mnemonic devices based on the less and less valued aspects of the direct connection of the eyewitness or the tactile.10 Such attempts at a comprehensive, whole, and holistic reception become rare around the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century, especially when reception moves away spatially from its direct geographical anchors.11 As Jens Fleischer (Fleischer 2008) demonstrates in his essay on "Spolia as Architectural Memory", the Chicago Tribune Tower, built in the 1920s and thousands of miles removed from the remains of the "real" European Middle Ages, invokes the stately entrances of a Gothic cathedral while using, at the same time, the supremely modern technique of the collage, a visual strategy similar to cubism. Concepts of modern art create the mere aura of medieval history on a North American inner city façade that includes shattered pieces from the city hall at Arras and the cathedrals of Ypres and Notre Dame de Paris, and the building presents a fragmentary and willingly non-harmonic artistic sedimentation of the European Middle Ages. It implants the medieval as one of many elements of alterity in the formation of the New modern World.

4 Conclusion

In summary, what has the Centre for the Study of the Heritage of Medieval Rituals contributed to the reception study of medieval culture since its inception in 2001? It has joined historicity and experience, discussing the reception of cultural artefacts and texts and events as a progression through the horizons of expectation of a motley succession of readers.

PhiN 58/2011: 83

These readers' horizons of expectation are constituted both by their historical circumstances as well as the more or less stable forms, genres, and discourses they successively come across. The work at the center has moved the study of the medieval past away from a consideration of texts merely for their artistic, political, or literary qualities to a study of the transformational process brought about by the continuing reception of texts. The Centre Director, Nils Holger Petersen, and his collaborators have drawn attention to the fact that, when we read medieval and postmedieval historical texts, we cannot read them as their respective contemporaries would have done, but through various rewritings and rereadings decades or centuries of other post-hoc commentaries. Any such temporalized palimpsestic cultural text will no longer be considered a constant and objectively demonstrable entity, but will be subject to fundamental transformation by this reception. Conversely, it reveals itself as an element in the transformation of the experience of its readers and is thus reproduced as a work of political economy. As Keith Tribe paraphrases Hans Robert Jauss in the "Introduction" to Futures Past, not only is it necessary to balance the diachronic emphasis of historical reading through "synchronous structures of reception;" one must also realize that it is "the junction of the synchronic and diachronic that makes comprehensive historical understanding possible. By its very nature, this junction is constituted by a concatenation of diverse elements, of different histories advancing at different rates and subject to varying conditions." (Kosellek 2004: xvii–xviii)

For these reasons, Reinhart Kosellek speaks of the "contemporaneity of the noncontemporaneous" (Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen), the "characterization of the moment of a specific experience as a point of contemporaneity in which all that occurs together by no means enters into this moment in a uniform fashion." (Kosellek 2004: xviii)

PhiN 58/2011: 84

The Centre has provided the scholarly space and time for the development of such thick, theoretically informed descriptions of the past, and the cultural heritage of medieval rituals, those stubbornly efficacious reenactments of individual experience at varying historical moments, has become something like a 'real presence' for medieval and postmedieval scholars. And since reception history should always include the history of semantic concepts, or so Kosellek has helped us understand, let me rephrase my last statement one more time: Like the efficacious medieval rituals throughout postmedieval times, the Centre itself has achieved a highly effective re-present-ation (Ver-gegenwärt-igung) of the medieval past for all those who would care to read its publications. Its joyously interdisciplinary conceptualizations of authority and heritage, ritual commemoration, memory and oblivion, and artistic negotiations with the medieval heritage, all part of Negotiating Heritage, are not simply epiphenomena of so-called 'real' history. They have begun to shape, and will continue to shape, our ongoing scholarly representations and reinventions of the Middle Ages; they help us better register as well as embody the elements and forces of history. As such, the Centre's contributions to scholarship can be said to play an essential role in the continuing process of creating the Middle Ages.


Aurell, Jaime (2006): "El Nuevo Medievalismo y la Interpretación de los Textos Históricas," In: Hispania. Revista Española de Historia 66, 809–32

Biddick, Kathleen (1998): The Shock of Medievalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

PhiN 58/2011: 85

Bruun, Mette B. (2008): "The Wilderness as 'Lieu de Mémoire': Literary Deserts of Cîteaux and La Trappe," In Negotiating Heritage, Memories of the Middle Ages, ed. Mette B. Bruun and Stephanie Glaser. Turnhout: Brepols, 21–42.

D'Arcens, Louise (2000a): The Colonial Chivalry of Sydney's First Professors," In: Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 30(3), 519–45.

D'Arcens, Louise (2000b): "Europe in the Antipodes: Australian Medieval Studies", In: Studies in Medievalism 10, 13–40.

Fleischer, Jens (2008): "Spolia as Architectural Memory", In: Negotiating Heritage, 257–85.

Gosman, Martin (2008): "The Ceremonial in the Estates General of France," In: Negotiating Heritage, 191–213.

Kamar, George (1999): "The Constitutional Catechism of Antonin Scalia," In: Yale Law Journal 99 (6), (April 1999), 1297–1357.

Kittredge, G. L. (1970): Chaucer and His Poetry. [1912]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Kosellek, Reinhart (2004): Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, trans. Keith Tribe. New York: Columbia University Press.

Oberman, Heiko A. (1966): Forerunners of the Reformation. The Shape of Late Medieval Thought. New York: Rinehart & Winston.

Østrem, Eyolf, and Nils Holger Petersen (2008): Medieval Ritual and Early Modern Music. The Devotional Practice of Lauda Singing in Late-Renaissance Italy. Turnhout: Brepols.

PhiN 58/2011: 86

Pranger, M. B. (2008): "Devotion and the Present: Memory and Oblivion," In: Negotiating Heritage, 239–48.

Rhuys, Juanita Feros (2004): "Playing Alterity: Heloise, Rhetoric, and Memoria," In: 'Maistresse of My Wit': Medieval Women, Modern Scholars, ed. Louise D'Arcens and Juanita Feros Ruys. Turnhout: Brepols, 191–210.

Ruskin, John (1849): The Seven Lamps of Architecture. London: Smith, Elder.

Schulz, Wilhelm (1974): Die Bewegung der Produktion. Eine geschichtlich-statistische Abhandlung zur Grundlegung einer neuen Wissenschaft des Staates und der Gesellschaft. [1843]. Glashütten/Taunus, 1974.

Shrimali, K. M. (2001): "Medievalism Defined," In: Frontline 18 (13), June 23 – July 6, [ 18130740.htm; accessed May 15, 2009].

Tyrell, George (1908): Medievalism. A Reply to Cardinal Mercier. London, New York, Bombay, Calcutta: Longmans, Green, and Co.

Utz, Richard (2009): "Medievalitas Fugit: Medievalism and Temporality," In: Studies in Medievalism 18, 31–43.

Utz, Richard (2005): "'Mes souvenirs sont peut-être reconstruits': Medieval Studies, Medievalism, and the Scholarly and Popular Memories of the 'Right of the Lord's First Night,'" In: Philologie im Netz 31, 49–59.

Utz, Richard (2004): "'There Are Places We Remember': Situating the Medieval Past in Postmedieval Cultural Memories," In: Transfiguration: Nordic Journal of Christianity and the Arts 6(2), 89–108.

PhiN 58/2011: 87

Utz, Richard (1998): "Resistance to (The New) Medievalism? Comparative Deliberations on (National) Philology, Mediävalismus, and Mittelalter-Rezeption in Germany and North America," In: The Future of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Problems, Trends, and Opportunities for Research, ed. Roger Dahood. Turnhout: Brepols, 151–70.

Werbach, Kevin (1994): "Looking it Up: Dictionaries and Statutory Interpretation," In: Harvard Law Review 107(6), 1437–1454.

White, Hayden (1987): "Review of Futures Past," In: American Historical Review 92(5), 1175–1176.


1 I am quoting Keith Tribe's English translation of Schulz's manifesto (Schulz 1974), from Tribe's translation of Futures Past (Koselek 2004). I would like to express my special gratitude to my friend, Rüdiger Hartmann, who recommended Kosellek's work to me many years ago at the University of Regensburg.

2 On Scalia's 'philological' methods, see Kamar (Kamar 1999: 1305).

3 For the first two examples, see Oberman (Oberman 1966) and Kittredge (Kittredge 1970). For a critical discussion of the third example, see (Østrem 2008), another volume from the Centre's book series, Ritus et Artes.

4 I have extended Kosellek's example of the reception of the Battle of Alexander and his notion of temporality to the study of "medievalism" (Utz 2009).

5 Kosellek adds: "This register can be conveniently broken off with Zeitgeist, certainly the most widespread compound and the most often invoked."

6 For these terms, I accessed the electronic version of the Oxford English Dictionary available at Western Michigan University's Waldo Library on September 25, 2009. The OED's definitions are, of course, current ones, but are in their general nature descriptive of the historical uses of these terms in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

7 For an enlightening discussion of "pastism" and "presentism" in relation to medievalism see Rhuys (Rhuys 2004).

8 By 1908, as the public altercation between the former English Jesuit, George Tyrell, and Cardinal Mercier of Malines, Belgium, about the medieval or modern orientation of the Catholic Church reveals, "medievalism" had turned into an umbrella term for everything retrograde and unsophisticated see Tyrell (Tyrell 1908). As any web search will demonstrate, this negative semantic shading has remained prevalent, especially in the political discourse of countries which, like India, are caught in an ongoing national argument about their (allegedly medieval) heritage and their swiftly growing global economic importance. See, for example, K. M. Shrimali's review of R. S. Sharma's Early Medieval Indian Society. A Study in Feudalisation (Shrimali 2001).

9 While other cultural, linguistic, and national traditions may not know the English terminological division between "medievalism" and "medieval studies," the division between a popular/writerly/artistic and a scholarly reception of the Middle Ages exists in similar or even more pronounced form. The history of medievalist practices and terminological development in the German-speaking world, into which the term "medie[a]valism" entered as a loan translation, see Utz (Utz 1998); see Aurell (Aurell 2006) and Utz (Utz 2005) for terminological discussions in the Spanish- and French-speaking world.

10 For a recent overview of medievalism and the mnemonic power of 'place,' see Utz (Utz 2004).

11 On the influence of geographical distance on forms of Australian medievalism, see D'Arcens (D'Arcens 2000a) and (D'Arcens 2000b).