Profile: Asa Mittman

I am Professor of Art History at California State University, Chico. I have written Maps and Monsters in Medieval England (Routledge, 2006; paperback 2008), co-written with Susan Kim Inconceivable Beasts: The Wonders of the East in the Beowulf Manuscript (ACMRS, 2013), and a number of articles on the subject of monstrosity and marginality in the Middle Ages. I coedited with Peter Dendle a Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous (Ashgate, 2012), and am the president of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application), accidentally founded at Kalamazoo in 2008 to create a home for walkers in the margins of academia. I am co-director of Virtual Mappa, with Martin Foys.
I am now at work on a book about the Franks Casket, and another about images of Jews on medieval world maps. I am an active (and founding) member of the Material Collective, and a regular contributor to the MC group blog.

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The Greatest Zombie Lie Ever Told

Eight hundred years ago, a monk wrote a bogus account of the life of St. William, a boy supposedly abducted by Jews. This story is just one of many persistent and pernicious anti-Semitic fictions. To a skeptic, this looks like clear evidence of fabrication. To a believer, medieval or modern, this looks like evidence for an ancient, systematically orchestrated program of murder. This myth has now found a home online and perpetuates a familiar prejudice.

Category: History

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