Call for Papers: Fragments : Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Ancient and Medieval Pasts
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The epic hero is a cyborg. This apparently anachronistic claim agrees both with contemporary definitions of “cyborg” and with the construction of heroes in pre-modern epic. The paper offers a test case in Cethern Mac Fintain, a minor character in the Irish Táin Bó Cuailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley), who after being wounded in battle is fused to his chariot in order to continue fighting. The argument here is expanded to the Táin more broadly as well as to the Iliad and Beowulf; it concludes that the post-human figure of the cyborg provides a useful lens for examining the intersection of biology and technology in epic heroism.This article offers a critical assessment of the field of Song history in the United States as it has developed since World War II. By placing the development of Song studies in the United States within the wider context of the philological tradition of European sinology, the development of academic discourse in Republican China and Meiji Japan, and the social-scientific methods preferred of postwar area studies, this essay recovers narrative strands that have been commonly omitted from accounts of the historiography of China in the United States. By their partial resumption of the philological methods of sinology, cultural historians of imperial China have created a filiation that is distinct from the new medievalism in the historiography of Europe and that complicates recent discussions of the methods and politics of social history and cultural history.
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