Content You have a free choice as to the example of the use of the Middle Ages in popular culture that you analyse. Don’t necessarily go for the first example that occurs to you; a less immediately obvious example might well prove more productive. You will want to be able to examine the example in detail and look at its wider context. Some of the questions you may ask are: 1: How can the choice of example be justified as a useful case study? What sort of context – e.g. film, advertising, games, leisure – is at stake, and how might this influence your analysis? 2: Are there particular stereotypes about the Middle Ages that the chosen example exploits? 3: Are there other bits of popular culture that exploit the same or similar stereotypes? If so, what patterns can be detected? 4: Why are the Middle Ages, rather than another piece of the past, used in your example? What particular messages are being sent by singling out the medieval past? Or is the medieval past blended with other eras? NB: ‘popular culture’ means ideas, images, and stereotypes current in contemporary culture, but for the purposes of this exercise you may extend back over the last 30 or 40 years if a good example from that period presents itself. Form 1: Be precise when explaining what your example is. Rather than offer a blanket description, what are the features that you think deserve to be emphasized? 2: Organize your ideas, e.g. starting with a description of the most important features of your example; then the reasons why it is a good choice; points of comparison and contrast; what the example says about the use of the Middle Ages in popular culture overall. In other words, start with the specifics of the example, then structure your argument to broaden it out progressively to wider-ranging remarks. 3: Don’t try to squeeze too much into the paper. For example, if you want to make comparisons between your example and other manifestations of the Middle Ages in popular culture, select specific comparisons and explain why they are expecially useful for your argument. THINK ABOUT ARGUMENT STRUCTURE. 3-4 pages, 11-12 point font, 1″ margins due by Friday, September 14, 2012
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