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The Middle Ages in the Modern WorldTwenty-first century perspectives$
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Bettina Bildhauer and Chris Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266144

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266144.001.0001

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The Medium Is the Byzantine: Popular Culture and the Byzantine

The Medium Is the Byzantine: Popular Culture and the Byzantine

(p.305) 15 The Medium Is the Byzantine: Popular Culture and the Byzantine
The Middle Ages in the Modern World

Roland Betancourt

British Academy

The legacy of Byzantium in late modernity is still underdeveloped, particularly as it relates to the history of popular culture and new media. Tracing the interlaced narratives of excess and iconicity often associated with the Byzantine within British and American popular culture, this chapter explores how technological innovation and new media intersect with notions of the Byzantine so as to triangulate a system whereby the Byzantine operates as a fundamentally queer category amidst other narratives of medievalism. However, rather than focusing on citation and revivalism, this argument comes to seize ‘the Byzantine’ as a methodology for accessing and articulating the ontological shifts in the image and its medium in contemporary popular culture and art through the lens of contemporary queer theory.

Keywords:   Byzantinism, popular culture, medievalism, new media, icon, image, queer theory

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