¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Welcome to the open Crowd Review for postmedieval’s special issue on Comic Medievalisms, edited by Louise D’Arcens (University of Wollongong). The issue includes six original articles that have been culled by Prof. D’Arcens for the purposes of launching a collective investigation into the role of laughter and humor in “medievalism”—meaning, the uses of the Middle Ages in popular and other cultures over time. Prof. D’Arcens is a particularly apt editor for this project as she was recently awarded a 4-year Australia Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship for her project “Comic Medievalism and the Modern World” (2013-2017), and has a book forthcoming from Boydell and Brewer, Laughing at the Middle Ages: Comic Medievalism.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 All of the articles, initially solicited by Prof. D’Arcens, have been reviewed by Prof. D’Arcens multiple times and have also been revised multiple times by the authors, and they have already been accepted for publication by both Prof. D’Arcens and the editors of postmedieval (Eileen Joy and Myra Seaman). This crowd review will serve as a second layer of what might be termed “external” review, with the implicit understanding that all comments offered (and from whatever corners) are provided to assist the authors in strengthening their articles, whether in terms of methodology and theory, evidence and sources, structure and organization, styles and modes of address, and the like. This Crowd Review is thus a form of collective editing and even co-composing of material already deemed fit for publication, but which nevertheless could benefit from a multiplicity of perspectives, amateur to professional, non-specialist to specialist. As Jen Boyle and Martin Foys wrote in their “Editors’ Vision Statement” for postmedieval’s first Crowd Review of our special issue on “Becoming Media” (see HERE),
Why not invite a crowd? The concepts and frames of webby/webbies are likely to produce some anxiety. The “web” has become somewhat of a pejorative among some professionals, evocative as it is of the crowd on the street and “average” Joes and Janes. The concept of the crowd to some might seem particularly inimical to academic institutions or professionalism. Crowds imply mobs. Crowds imply amateur opinion, cajoling, and yelling. But crowds also now connect with activities like “crowdsourcing,” an open call for collaboration among a large group of informed participants interested in exploring, creating, or solving. And crowds also change things. The crowd potentially embodies an exciting challenge to the isolation and insularity of traditional academic organizations, as an opportunity to experiment with the re-structuring of professional and disciplinary affiliation.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 The Crowd Review for “Comic Medievalisms” will run from Wednesday, November 6th through Sunday, December 15th. You can find out more about how to read and comment on these essays by following the links in the Table of Contents on the right or by going directly to “About this site.” And if you have any questions or concerns about how to participate, please contact either Eileen Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Myra Seaman (email@example.com) directly.