Faculty in the News In the News

June 6, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Slate Interviews Uhalde about Medievalism, NHL’s Golden Knights

Dr. Kevin Uhalde

Dr. Kevin Uhalde

Slate Magazine’s sports section recently featured an interview with Dr. Kevin Uhalde, Associate Professor of History at Ohio University, in an article headlined “Ye Olde Goblet of Stanley: How historically accurate is the Vegas Golden Knights’ medieval hockey pregame show?

The interview explored the medieval-themed home-game opening act of the Las Vegas NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights. The team has made the Stanley Cup Final in its first year, further elaborating each opening act and becoming an Internet sensation.

Slate’s Rebecca Onion called on Uhalde “to talk to me about misused catapults, sword fighting on skates, and whether or not the Golden Knights are actually ronin.”

Onion spoke with Uhalde about a number of issues, including the historical accuracy of the show, the use of history in popular culture, and the specific dynamics around medievalism. As Uhalde points out, “Historical slippage is always part of popular medievalism, whether you’re talking about Renaissance fairs, which are vaguely medieval and Renaissance-y, or even talking about medievalism in literature going back a couple centuries. There’s a great tradition of just picking and choosing whatever elements you want.”

Kevin Uhalde: I often distinguish between accuracy and authenticity, or realism, with the idea that you need some accuracy to have any sense of authenticity. Attention to detail matters up to a point, but for most people it’s the smallest part of what matters, and that certainly applies to medievalism.

One thing that’s not an “inaccuracy,” because I don’t think they’re trying to be accurate, but knights, historically, would have been on horseback, and there are obviously no horses on the ice, so that’s kind of out the door.

Another thing is that knights were generally not rogues….

Read the full Slate Magazine interview with Uhalde.

This is not the first time media have tapped Uhalde for his knowledge about medieval history and medievalism in popular culture. The hit television series Game of Thrones received much attention regarding questions of medievalism, and thus Slate Magazine, Brazil’s Veja, and other outlets sought out Uhalde’s views.

More recently, Uhalde teamed up with Dr. Edmond Chang, Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University, to expose his HIST 1222 Medieval History in Film and Literature to LARPing, or live-action role playing games. The course, which offers an introduction to history and medievalism, has been a staple offering of Uhalde at Ohio University.

For more on Uhalde’s research and teaching interests, visit his department profile.

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