Slammed by the Standard

Hey, nice attack piece in the Weekly Standard on medievalists and Kalamazoo — best of all, it includes a personal swipe at my panel. Whoo hoo:

The blowout, or perhaps the reductio ad absurdum, of these scholarly endeavors was Session 531 on Sunday morning, “Medieval Masculinities on Film.” That session featured four separate papers: yet another examination of A Knight’s Tale, an effort to prove that the 1961 movie El Cid, starring Charlton Heston, was a piece of Franco-engineered propaganda, a cinematic look at the story of Tristan and Isolde, and “Medieval Masculinity as Modern Monstrosity,” a postmodernist analysis of Hannibal Lecter. Such presentations proved to be among the better attended, and at least some of the individual papers (although maybe not those read in Session 531) displayed more literary depth and passion than many of the papers dealing with “real” medieval literature run through the postmodernist meat-grinder.

All of which makes it sounds like she didn’t actually attend the panel, which is often the way of these attacks (e.g. there’s no doubt that El Cid was Franco-funded propaganda, which paid off big time for Spanish tourism). Looks like Charlotte Allen is trying to be a cut-rate Coulter while using her graduate studies. Wow, she is just chock-full of self-hatred (maybe she looked at how bad the job market was for medievalists, particularly those who research poorly, and decided becoming a conservative opinionator was much easier to do). Gee, maybe things would have gone differently if someone asked her to dance on Saturday night.

Hey, I’m finally as big of a danger to the academic world as my husband. Yes!

Tip o’ the keyboard to Michael Torregrossa for passing the link along.


  1. Wendy says:

    Sounds like she was just irritated by being in Kalamazoo after being told it was some international hotspot. And what’s this about dumping on scholars who talk about poo? That’s what is great about studying medieval literature — people aren’t afraid of the body! That’s funny that she picked on your panel. I was sorry to miss the El Cid paper which sounded extremely interesting. After all, since she writes for the Weekly Standard, aren’t they used to co-opting medieval history to justify modern atrocities (a la the Crusades — hello???)

  2. I’ve always considered you a danger to the academic world, Wombat!

  3. Yeah, you are in good company.There’s something wrong with the mainstream press. They are very anti-intellectual. Case in point: Just recently, H-Connecticut had someone post about a negative experience they had with the local newspaper.

  4. K. A. Laity says:

    Apparently Leeds got a similar treatment in the Guardian as Johnathan Jarrett notes.

  5. The Queen says:


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