Arts Campus News

Book evaluates formation of American culture through feudal law, medieval literature

Medieval America analyzes literary, legal and historical archives that tell a new story about the formation of American culture. Author Robert Yusef Rabiee states that feudal law and medieval literature were structural components of the American cultural imaginary in the 19th century.

The racial, gender and class formations that emerged in the first era of United States nation building were deeply indebted to medieval social, political and religious thought. The early U.S. folded feudalism into its emerging liberal order, creating a knotted system of values and practices that continue to structure the American experience. Sometimes, the feudal residuum contradicted the liberal values of the U.S., while other times, the feudal residuum bolstered those values. Medieval America aims to reorient our discussions about American cultural and political development in terms of the long arc of European history.