Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Year's Work in Medievalism






(First Paragraph) Gwendolyn Morgan reminds us that medievalism and authority are complementary fictions.1 Recognizing that the "past with which we identify actually reflects our present needs," she examines the way that contemporary writers establish the authority of their works by adapting, if not explicitly fabricating medieval sources.2 The result, she argues, is a kind of "double practice of medievalism," one that invokes the authoritative power of the Middle Ages by appropriating the medieval appeal to auctoritee, which is to say the pretense of "citing real and invented classical authorities" to both disguise and justify authorial invention.3 Morgan thus proposes an arguably operational approach to medievalism. Grounded in an emphasis on praxis, Morgan attempts to come to terms with the "somewhat slippery" ways in which the medieval manifests itself in mass culture and academia by asking what the medieval authorizes.4 In so doing, she broaches the larger question of how the medieval works to legitimize the "ideology and the practices of the culture making the appeal."5


Published under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Original Publication Citation

Moberly, K., & Moberly, B. (2016). Gay habits set strait: Fan culture and authoritative praxis in Ready Player One. The Year's Work in Medievalism, 31, 30-44.