The so-called “Middle Ages” (media æva) were the mediating ages of European intellectual history, whose commentaries, protocols, palimpsests, and marginalia anticipated the forms and practices of digital media. Edited by Thora Brylowe and Stephen Yeager, this ground-breaking collection of essays calls for a new, intermedial approach to old media periodizations and challenges the epochs of “medieval,” “modern,” and “digital" with the goal of enabling new modes of historical imagining. Essays in this volume explore the prehistory of digital computation; the ideology of media periodization; global media ecologies; the technics of manuscript tagging; the haptic negotiations of authority in medieval epistolarity; charisma; and pedagogy. Old Media and the Medieval Concept forges new paths for traversing the broad networks that connect medieval and contemporary media in both the popular and the scholarly imagination. By illuminating these relationships, it brings the fields of digital humanities, media studies, and medieval studies into closer alignment and provides opportunities for re-evaluating the media ecologies in which we live and work now.
"This collection is a gift to any teachers of cultural and social history, regardless of the epoch on which they focus. The fact that this book can be read in many directions--as a book about the theory of media, about manuscripts, about inscribed objects or about the digital world--makes it an instant scaffolding for many university courses. This is only strengthened by the citation practice which is open and inclusive as well as the diverse bibliography."
-Mateusz Fafinski in The Medieval Review, 22 May 2022