Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier

Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier

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Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier

Edited by Kathryn Brush

Museum London, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-897215-30-2

Introduction: Art and cultural historians have traditionally examined the mythology of the Canadian frontier in light of the representation of the “wild” and “untamed” Canadian landscape produced by such artists as Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven in the early decades of the twentieth century. This collection of essays proposes a new thesis: that “medievalism: was vital to the imagining, experiencing, and representation of Canada’s “wilderness frontier.”


Introduction: Canoes, Crenellations, and “Medieval” Canada, by Kathryn Brush

Castle-Building in Canada’s “New” London: The Architecture of Authority, Ideology, and Romance, by Claire Feagan

Inventing and Marketing the Ideal Capital: Representations of the New London on the Thames, by Hillary Walker Gugan

“Middle-Aged” Men: Masculinity and Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier, by Simon Bentley

Medievalism and Feminism in Anna Jameson’s Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada, by Ahlia Moussa

Roughing it in the Bush: Representations of “Primitivism” at the Canadian Frontier, by Erin Rothstein

Dismantling Frontiers: Cross-Referencing the Material Culture of Europe and the Great Lakes Region, ca. 1000-1500 CE, by Stephanie Radu

Cross-Cultural Technological Adaptations: Exploring Intersections Between “Medievalism” and Native Material Culture, by Emma Arenson

Putting the Vikings on the Canadian Map, by Megan Arnott

Imag(in)ing the Medieval: Gothic Encounters in the Literary “Wilderness” of Upper Canada, by Rebecca Gera

Reframing Canada’s Wilderness Icons: Medievalism, Tom Thomson, and the Group of Seven, by Kathryn Brush

Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier exhibition – our video report on the exhibition, held in London, Ontario in the winter of 2010/2011, including an interview with Kathryn Brush

Review by Richard Utz – “Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier manages a full-scale investigation into such intricate questions and demonstrates the relevance of medievalism studies in new and exiting ways. I am particularly impressed by the broad range of sources – visual records, travel narratives, literary accounts, the history of ideas, gender studies – brought to bear upon the process through which the Upper Canadian frontier (or Ontario frontier) was conceptualized as a New World Middle Ages in numerous different ways. Although the editor modestly states that this collaborative project should only be seen as “an initial foray into a large and expansive topic” (p. 18), I believe the volume not only enriches existing readings of the mythology of the Canadian frontier, but also showcases an exemplary interdisciplinary methodology for future studies in medievalism.” Click here to read the full review

See also: “Viking” North America: The North American Public’s Understanding of Its Norse Heritage, by Megan Arnott

To order this publication, please visit the Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier website

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