Louise D’Arcens

Professor Louise D’Arcens is an Associate Investigator (2012–2016) of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions in the ‘Shaping the Modern’ program led by Stephanie Trigg, and leader of the Centre’s Medievalist Emotions cluster. She is a Professor of English at Macquarie University.  From 2013–2017 she was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She received a BA (Hons) specialising in medieval literature from The University of Sydney in 1990. Her 1997 PhD thesis, also completed at The University of Sydney, examined the concepts of political and literary authority in the writings of medieval women. Since then, her research has mostly been on medievalism, the examination of post-medieval receptions and constructions of the Middle Ages. She is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism .

One of her key projects since 2000 has been the analysis of medieval afterlives in Australian literature, politics, and culture. This research was supported by a 2008–2011 collaborative Australian Research Council Discovery Grant with Prof. Stephanie Trigg (UMelb), Prof. Andrew Lynch (UWA), and Prof. John Ganim (UC Riverside), and by an Australian Academy of Humanities / British Council joint project grant with Dr Chris Jones (St Andrews). It has culminated in her book-length study Old Songs in the Timeless Land (Brepols/UWAP: 2011/2012), a co-edited special issue of Australian Literary Studies (2011), and the collection co-edited with Andrew Lynch, International Medievalism and Popular Culture (Cambria 2014). She has also published many refereed articles and chapters on Australian medievalism, and was one of the curators of the web repository ‘Medievalism in Australian Cultural Memory’.

Louise’s Australian Research Council Future Fellowship project, ‘Comic Medievalism and the Modern World’ is the first extended analysis of how humorous adaptations of the Middle Ages reveal the aspirations and anxieties of later societies. This project, which was funded to mid-2017, has resulted in the book Comic Medievalism: Laughing at the Middle Ages (Boydell and Brewer, 2014) and a special issue of the journal Postmedieval (2014). In addition, she has published numerous essays and organised two symposia on this topic (UOW 2012 and UManchester 2013), and is in the process of developing a co-edited essay collection based on the Manchester symposium. The next book project on which she has begun work, which grows out of her humour project, is currently titled Feeling Medieval, and focuses on emotional contact with the past.




Comic Medievalism and the Modern World

Medievalist Emotions

Selected Publications


The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism, ed. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Laughing at the Middle Ages: Comic Medievalism. Boydell and Brewer, 2014

International Medievalism and Popular Culture, eds. Louise D’Arcens and Andrew Lynch. Cambria, 2014.

Old Songs in the Timeless Land: Medievalism in Nineteenth-Century Australian Literature. Brepols / University of Western Australia Press, 2011.

Unsociable Sociability in Women’s Lifewriting, eds. Anne Collett and Louise D’Arcens. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Maistresse of My Wit: Medieval Women, Modern Scholars, eds. Louise D’Arcens and Juanita Ruys, Making the Middle Ages Series Vol VII. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004.

Journal special issues

Editor with C. Barrington, of ‘The Global Middle Ages and Global Medievalism’, special issue, Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures 8.1 (Spring 2019).

Editor, with Andrew Lynch, of 'Feeling for the Premodern', special issue, Exemplaria 30.3 (2018).

Editor of ‘Comic Medievalism’, special issue, Postmedieval 5.2 (2014).

Editor, with Leigh Dale, of ‘Literature and Impact’, special issue, Australian Literary Studies  (2014).

Editor, with Stephanie Trigg and Andrew Lynch, of ‘Medievalism, Colonialism, Nationalism’, special issue, Australian Literary Studies (2011).

Editor, with Helen Dell and Andrew Lynch, of ‘The Medievalism of Nostalgia’, special issue, Postmedieval (2011).

Editor of ‘Screening Early Europe’, special issue, Screening the Past (December 2009).

Refereed chapters and articles

D’Arcens, L. ‘Emotions in Fiction’. In Sources for the History of Emotions: A Guide, edited by K. Barclay, S. Crozier-De Rosa and P. N. Stearns, pp. 114–26. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2020.

D'Arcens, L. ‘The crimson thread of medievalism: haematic heritage and transhistorical mood in colonial Australia’. In Historicising Heritage and Emotions: The Affective Histories of Blood, Stone and Land, edited by A. Marchant, pp. 134–47. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2019.

D'Arcens, L. ‘Medievalism: From Nationalist and Colonial Past to Global Future’. Parergon 36.2 (2019): 179–82.

D’Arcens, L and A. Lynch. ‘Introduction: Feeling for the Premodern’. Exemplaria 30.3 (2018): 183–90. 

D’Arcens, L. ‘Nostalgia, Melancholy, and the Emotional Economy of Replacement: Feeling for La France Profonde in the Novels of Michel Houellebecq’. Exemplaria 30.3 (2018): 257–73. 

D’Arcens, L. ‘Mirthful Faces in The Name of the Rose’. postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 8.1 (2017): 35–50

D’Arcens, L. ‘Art, Heritage Industries, and the Legacy of William Morris in Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory’. Studies in Medievalism XXV (2016): 7188.

D’Arcens, L. ‘Introduction: Medievalism: Scope and Complexity’. In The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism, edited by L. D’Arcens, pp. 1–13.  Cambridge University Press, 2015.

D’Arcens, L. 'The Crimson Thread of Medievalism: Blood, Love, and Shame in Colonial Australia'.  In The History of Heritage: Emotions in Blood, Stone and Land, edited by A. Marchant. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

D’Arcens, L. 'The BBC Knight’s Tale in the Prison-House of Free Adaptation'.  In Cinema Chauceriana, edited by K. Kelly and T. Pugh. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

D’Arcens, L. 'Australian Medievalism: Time and Paradox'. In Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture, edited by G. Ashton, pp. 177–86. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

D’Arcens, L. 'Medievalist Laughter'. Postmedieval 5.2 (2014):116–25.

D’Arcens, L. 'You had to be there: Anachronism and the Limits of Laughing at the Middle Ages'. Postmedieval 5.2 (2014):140–53.

D’Arcens, L. 'Living Memory and the Long Dead: The Ethics of Comic Medievalism'. Studies in Medievalism XXIII (2014):11–18.

D’Arcens, L. 'Presentism'. In Medievalism: Key Critical Terms, edited by E. Emery and R. Utz, pp. 181–88. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2014.

D’Arcens, L. 'Introduction'.  In International Medievalism in Popular Culture, edited by L. D’Arcens and A. Lynch, pp. ix–xxx. Cambria, 2014.

D’Arcens, L. 'Coming Home: International and Domestic Medievalism in the Films of Ridley Scott'.  In International Medievalism in Popular Culture, edited by L. D’Arcens and A. Lynch, pp. 39–58. Cambria, 2014.

D’Arcens, L. 'Excavating the Borders of Literary Anglo-Saxonism in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Australia'. Representations 121, Winter (2013): 85–106. Co-authored with Chris Jones.

D’Arcens, L. 'Dario Fo’s Mistero Buffo and the Left-Modernist Reclamation of Medieval Popular Culture'.  In Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture, edited by G. Ashton and D. T. Kline, pp. 57–70.New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 

D’Arcens, L. 'Meta-medievalism and the Future of the Past in the ‘Australian Girl’ Novel'. Australian Literary Studies 26:3–4, Oct-Nov (2011):69–85.

D’Arcens, L. 'Laughing in the Face of the Past: Satire and Nostalgia in Medieval Heritage Tourism'. Postmedieval 2.2 (2011):155–70.

D’Arcens, L. 'The Middle Ages in Australia: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Antiquarian Imagination'. Florilegium: journal of the Canadian Society of Medievalists/Société canadienne des médiéviste 27 (2010):1–26.

D’Arcens, L. 'From “eccentric affiliation” to “corrective medievalism”: Bruce Holsinger’s The Premodern Condition'. Postmedieval 1.3 (2010):299–308.

D’Arcens, L. 'Introduction' (with Anne Collett).  In Unsociable Sociability in Women’s Life Writing, edited by A. Collett and L. D’Arcens, pp. 1–17. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.

D’Arcens, L. 'The Prison of Human Life'. In Unsociable Sociability in Women’s Life Writing, edited by A. Collett and L. D’Arcens, pp. 18–36. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.

D’Arcens, L. 'Most gentle indeed but most virile: The Pacifist Medievalism of G. A. Wood'. In Medievalisms in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of “The Middle Ages” Outside Europe, edited by K. Davis and N. Altschul , pp. 80–108. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

D’Arcens, L. 'Iraq, the Prequel: Historicising Military Occupation and Withdrawal in 300 and Kingdom of Heaven', Screening the Past.

D’Arcens, L. '“She ensample was by good techynge”: Hermeine Ulrich and Chaucer under Capricorn'.  Eminent Chaucerians? Early Women Scholars and the History of Reading Chaucer, special issue of Philologie im Netz, (Beiheft | Supplement 4/2009).

D’Arcens, L. 'Deconstruction and the Medieval Indefinite Article: The Undecidable Medievalism of Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale'. Parergon 25.2 (2008): 80–98.

D’Arcens, L. '"The last thing one might expect": The Mediaeval Court at the 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition'. The La Trobe Journal 81 (2008):26–39.

D’Arcens, L. 'The Past is Another Country: Forms of Australian Medievalism', Medievalismo/s. De la disciplina y otros espacios imaginados, ed. César Domínguez. Special Issue, Revista de poética medieval 21 (2008): 319–56.

D’Arcens, L. ‘"Nee en Ytale": Christine de Pizan’s Migrancy’.  In What Nature Does Not Teach: Didactic Literature in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, edited by J. F. Ruys, pp.81–105. Turnhout: Brepols, 2008.

D’Arcens, L. 'Petit Estat Vesval: Christine de Pizan’s Grieving Body Politic'. In Healing the Body Politic: Christine de Pizan’s Political Philosophy, edited by K. Green and C. Mews, pp.201–26.Turnhout: Brepols, 2005.

D’Arcens, L. 'Inverse Invasions: Medievalism and Colonialism in Rolf Boldrewood’s A Sydney-Side Saxon'. Parergon 22.2 (2005):159–82.

D’Arcens, L. ‘"Where No Knight in Armour Has Ever Trod": The Arthurianism of Jessica Anderson’s Heroines'. In Medievalism and the Gothic in Australian Culture, edited by S. J. Trigg, pp. 61–80. Turnhout: Brepols, 2005.

D’Arcens, L. 'Introduction'. In Maistresse of my Wit: Modern Scholarship, Medieval Women, edited by L. D’Arcens and J. F. Ruys, pp. 1–26. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004.

D’Arcens, L. 'Her own Maistresse? Christine de Pizan the Professional Amateur'. In Maistresse of my Wit: Modern Scholarship, Medieval Women, edited by L. D’Arcens and J. F. Ruys, pp. 119–45. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004

D’Arcens, L. 'Antipodean Idylls: An Early Australian Translation of Tennyson’s Medievalism'. In Postcolonial Moves in Medieval, Early Modern, and Baroque Studies, edited by P. Ingham and M. R. Warren, pp. 237–56. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2003.

D’Arcens, L. 'From Holy War to Border Skirmish: The Colonial Chivalry of Sydney’s First Professors'. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 30.3 (2000):519–45. 

D’Arcens, L. 'Europe in the Antipodes: Australian Medieval Studies'. In Medievalism and the Academy II: Cultural Studies. Studies in Medievalism X, edited by D. Metzger, pp. 13–40. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2000.