Session: #442

Theme & Session Format

3. The new normality of heritage management and museums in post-Covid times
Session format:
Round table (without formal abstracts, only list of confirmed discussants / session co-organisers to be provided)

Title & Content

Misuse of the Medieval in the Early 21st Century
The historical misuse of archaeology in order to defend and promote ideological standpoints is finding new expressions in the early 21st century, partly due to the development of communication technology and increasingly harsh debate rhetoric in politics and elsewhere. Social media and media in general are demonstrably aiding this development. This affects both the academic community as a whole and individual academics, whether these researchers are online and opposing the outputs or not. Perhaps more worryingly, various productions, commentaries, and debates based on false, skewed, and/or cherry-picked archaeological evidence influence public opinion concerning a series of central cultural-historical, social, and political issues today. This MERC roundtable session will focus on examples of misuse of the medieval in a variety of contexts and referring to a range of archaeological material and research. Furthermore, we wish to discuss the social responsibility and capability of academics to discuss and counter these tendencies in a fruitful way.
medieval, misuse of the past, heritage politics, media
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Main organiser:
Marte Spangen (Norway) 1
Søren Sindbæk (Denmark) 2
1. UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
2. Aarhus University