In 1987, David Aers published a polemical essay about what he then saw as the reactionary conduct of medieval studies as a discipline. He argued that medieval literary studies in particular “systematically occluded” the “interlocking histories of class and gender relations, of changing economic realities, [and] of conflicting ideologies” in favor of idealized “harmony-models,” that is, visions of a Middle Ages characterized by “quiet hierarchies” rather than social conflict.1 Aers also attempted a still-useful analysis of Piers Plowman based in precisely those histories of conflict and in the material conditions of agricultural labor in late medieval England. Twenty years later, however, as more and more medievalists have heeded Aers’ call for a criticism of medieval culture that foregrounds the conflicts of classes and ideologies, the main polemical thrust of his essay may seem to have lost some of its immediacy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Money, Morality, and Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||20|
|State||Published - Dec 5 2016|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)