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Popular Culture and the Deep Past 2014: Game of Thrones

Popular Culture and the Deep Past

A day-long event on February 8th, 2014, sponsored and produced by CMRS, intended as a means to bring together faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and local communities to explore, celebrate, and critique the diverse historical and cultural themes that relate to the Game of Thrones television show and the Song of Ice and Fire novels. The multiple spaces reserved will allow for simultaneous academic panels, culinary demonstrations, arts and crafts presentations, live-action demonstrations, and other exhibits or activities, reflecting the juxtaposition of historical and cultural traditions to fantasy and creative invention that characterizes Game of Thrones itself. 

This is projected as the first in a yearly series of events under the broader CMRS theme of 'Popular Culture and the Deep Past,' in which contemporary pop-cultural manifestations will be explored and celebrated with attention to their profound and wide-ranging historical and cultural contexts. A guiding principle of the series is to bring diverse communities together in and around Ohio State, including the academic and non-academic, scholarly and performative, creative, educational, and reflective communities. 


Conference Schedule: February 8th, 2014. Unless otherwise indicated all events will occur in the lower level of the Ohio Union, 1739 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210.

9:00-9:30: Registration and Sign-in, Ohio Union Lower Level Desk

9:30-10:00: Introductory Remarks, Ohio Union Lower Level Room 

Mark Shanda, Dean of Arts and Humanities

Graeme M. Boone, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

9:30-2:00: Rare Books and Manuscripts Exhibition,  Creative Arts Room

10:00-1:00 and 2:00-5:00: Screening of Game of Thrones Season 2, Hagerty 180

10:00-12:00 Session 1:  Classicism and Orientalism in Game of Thrones, Maudine Cow Room

Jesse Weiner, Greek and Roman Studies, Illinois Wesleyan U. "Across the Great Divide: The Poetics of Fantasy"

Kevin Bloomfield, Classics, Ohio State University. "The Dance with Dragons: Dynastic Conflict in Byzantium and Westeros" 

Robert Haug, History, University of Cincinnati. "Between the Steppe and the Throne: The Rise of Daenerys Targaryen and Turko-Persian Empire Building"

Matt Senn, Archaelogy, Ohio State University. "Digging for Ice and Fire: an Archaeological Approach to Historical Fantasyand Historical Fact"

10:00-12:00 Session 2: Gender in Game of Thrones, Lower Level Meeting Room

K. A. Tuley and Sarai Silverman Star, Arabic and English, Ohio State University. "Seven Kingdoms, Seven Styles: Power and Politics in Women's Costuming in Game of Thrones"

Steven Bruso, English, Fordham University. "Monstrous Male Bodies: Sir Gowther and A Song of Ice and Fire"

Lauryn S. Mayer, English, Washington and Jefferson University. "'Gladly lerne': The Problems and Profit of Male Mentorship for the Women of  A Song of Ice and Fire"

Robey Clark Patrick, Spanish and Portuguese, Ohio State University.  “(Un)Sexed Bodies in Men’s Clothing: The Armor of Gender Performance”

10:00-12:00: SCA Combat Demonstration I, Dance Room 1

12:00-1:00: Lunch Break

12:15-1:00: Lunch Hour Presentation from Tara Walker of Ice and Fire Con, Maudine Cow Room

1:00-3:00 Session 3: Literature, Culture, and History, Maudine Cow Room

Clare Simmons, English, Ohio State University. "Tournaments and Wagers of Battle: Replaying Ivanhoe in A Game of Thrones"

Karen Winstead, English, Ohio State University. "Ice and Fire:  George R. R. Martin’s Faux Medieval"

Richard Firth Green, English, Ohio State University. "Les Rois maudits and the Game of Thrones"

Jonathan Combs-Schilling, French and Italian, Ohio State University. "Romancing the Throne: George R. R. Martin and Medieval Narratology."

1:00-3:00 Session 4: Myths and Stereotypes, Class and Culture, Lower Level Meeting Room

Sarah Lampkin, English, Lynchburg University. "Northern Identity: Stereotypes in Popular Culture"

Elizabeth Wawrzyniak, English, Marquette University. "George R.R. Martin and the Myths of History: Postmodernism and Medievalism in A Song of Ice and Fire"

Dana Plank, Music, Ohio State University. "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things: Tyrion Lannister, Class, and Disability in the Middle Ages"

Misho Ishikawa, English, University of Colorado at Boulder. “Dragons, Books, and Bards: Technology and Innovation in A Song of Ice and Fire”

1:00-2:00: Falconry, Hagerty 180

2:00-3:30: Renaissance Guild Performers Dance, Dance Room 1

3:00-5:00 Session 5 Scenography, LL Meeting Room

Sean O'Sullivan, English, Ohio State University. "The Best Piece of Business in the History of Television"

Angus Fletcher, English, Ohio State University. "Different Roads to the Same Castle: Game of Thrones from Page to Pilot"

Karl Whittington, Art History, Ohio State University. “The Game of Thrones title sequence and the tradition of maps in fantasy fiction”

Arved Ashby and Graeme M. Boone, Music, Ohio State University. “’Ice and Fire’: Medieval and Modern Signifiers in the Music of the Game of Thrones”

3:00-5:00 Session 6: Round-table Discussion: Getting Medieval(ish), Locating Our Enjoyment in the Middle Ages, Maudine Cow Room

Laurie Finke, Women's and Gender Studies, Kenyon College, Mary Kate Hurley, English, Ohio University, and Travis Neel, English, Ohio State University

3:30-5:00: SCA Combat II, Dance Room 1

5:00-5:45: Cosplay Parade and Contest, Reception Area

5:00-5:45 Session 7:  Concluding Round-table Discussion:  Popular Culture and Academia Now, Maudine Cow Room

Barry Shank, Comparative Studies, Ohio State University, Jared Gardner, English, Ohio State University, Ola Ahlqvist, Geography, Ohio State University, and Graeme M. Boone, Music, Ohio State University

5:45-6:00: Prize Announcement for Cosplay Contest and Final Remarks

Instructional Kitchen Events (Tickets required for alcohol tasting): 

2:00-3:00: Omega Bakery and Stauf’s, breads, teas, and herbs.

3:00-4:00: Drake’s - Mead, tasting and discussion

10:00-1:00 and 2:00-5:00: Screening of Game of Thrones Season 2, Hagerty 180


If you would like to attend or obtain more information, sign up here. You may also contact either David Sweeten at sweeten.6@osu.edu or Robey Patrick at patrick.161@.osu.edu for more information.


To join the discussion of panel construction and content, see the Facebook group