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Richard Utz

Professor & Chair

Member Of:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Fax Number:
404-894-1287
Office Location:
Skiles 337
Related Links:
Overview

Richard Utz is Chair and Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before joining GT, he gathered experience as a educator and administrator at the Pädagogische Hochschule Dresden, the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Tübingen, and Western Michigan University. 

Utz has taught a wide range of topics, from Geoffrey Chaucer's medieval poetry through Bruce Chatwin's postmodern prose, and his scholarship centers on medieval studies, medievalism, the interconnections between humanistic inquiry and science/technology, reception study, and the formation of cultural memories and identities. He is the author and (co)editor of 21 book-length publications as well as member of the editorial advisory board of journals and book series based in Australia, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, and the United States. He has published more than 130 essays and reviews and presented invited plenaries at Canterbury Christ Church College (England), Ewha Womans University (South Korea), Towson University (USA), the University of Bamberg (Germany), Western Michigan University (USA), the University of Hamburg (Germany), and the University of Groningen (Netherlands).

Utz has been the recipient, at the University of Regensburg, of the Dr. Katharina Seiler Award for Outstanding Work in the Field of English Studies and, at the University of Northern Iowa, of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts Teaching Award; the College of Humanities and Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award; the Donald N. McKay Research Award; the Dr. Philip Hubbard Award for Outstanding Educator, the University Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Iowa State Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence. He currently serves as President of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism and editor of its review journal, Medievally Speaking, and its Proceedings, The Year's Work in Medievalism. In 2017, he was Johann von Spix International Visiting Professor at the University of Bamberg, Germany.

Education:
  • Dr. phil. Universität Regensburg, Germany
Awards and
Distinctions:
  • President, International Society for the Study of Medievalism
  • Johann von Spix International Visiting Professor (U of Bamberg, 2017)
  • Dr. Phillip Hubbard Award for Outstanding Educator (U of Northern Iowa, 2006)
  • Faculty Excellence Award (College of Humanities & Fine Arts, U of Northern Iowa, 2004)
  • University Distinguished Scholar Award (U of Northern Iowa, 2003)
  • Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (Iowa State Board of Regents, 2002)
  • Donald N. McKay Faculty Research Award (U of Northern Iowa, 2001)
  • Outstanding Teaching Award (College of Humanities & Fine Arts, U of Northern Iowa, 1995)
  • English Department Professor of the Year (Sigma Tau Delta, U of Northern Iowa, 1993)
  • Dr. Katharina Sailer Award for Outstanding Work in the Field of English Studies” (Dissertation Prize, U of Regensburg, 1991)
Areas of
Expertise:
  • History Of Humanistic Inquiry, Science, And Technology
  • Late Medieval English Culture, Literature, And Language
  • Medievalism Studies
  • Reception Studies
Interests
Research Fields:
  • Communication
  • Digital Media
  • German
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
Geographic
Focuses:
  • Europe
  • Europe - United Kingdom
  • North America
Issues:
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Digital Humanities
  • Education
  • Higher Education: Teaching and Learning
  • History and Memory
  • Literature
Courses
  • LCC-3502: Medieval Lit & Culture
  • LCC-3823: Special Topics Lit/Cult
  • LCC-4100: Seminar in STAC
  • LMC-3226: Major Authors
  • LMC-3502: Medieval Lit & Culture
Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • Medievalism and the Subject of Religion
       In: Studies in Medievalism 24 [Peer Reviewed]

    2015

    Assesses the reasons for the relative disregard of scholarly work on studying the continuity of religious thought and faith by scholarship in Medievalism Studies over the last 25 years. Postulates that medievalism scholars have an ethical obligation to investigate and historicize religion and theology, at least in its temporal manifestations.

  • Quo Vadis, English Studies

    2014

    The Modern Language Association's Division on the History and Theory of Rhetoric and Composition had invited me to contribute a paper on the topic of "Rhetoric as a New Paradigm for English Studies" for the 2014 annual meeting of the MLA in Chicago. While the other participants at the session, Douglas Hesse (University of Denver), Peter Leslie Mortensen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Michael Bernard-Donals (University of Wisconsin, Madison), focused on illustrative examples of the cultural work rhetoric can do within the "English" paradigm, my own proposition as the only "English literature" person now at a major technological research institution turned out somewhat more radical. My thought experiment asked whether we need "English" departments at all, extending previous deliberations published in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Utz 2013) 

  • The Good Corporation? Google's Medievalism and Why it Matters
       In: Studies in Medievalism 23 [Peer Reviewed]

    2013

    Examines the role of the corporation in its attempt at using the positive aspects of a return to the Middle Ages, and examines the support its technologies (specifially the N-gram Viewer) has afforded historical and cultural semantics. 

Chapters

  • Academic Medievalism and Nationalism
       In: The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism

    2016

    Medievalism - the creative interpretation or recreation of the European Middle Ages - has had a major presence in the cultural memory of the modern West, and has grown in scale to become a global phenomenon. This essay surveys the nationalist tradition in the reception of medieval culture among amateurs, dilettantes, enthusiasts, and antiquaries to full-time academic scholars. 

  • Robin Hood, Frenched
       In: Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture

    2012

    Between 1963 and 1966, French Television broadcast a medievalist series entitled Thierry La Fronde, or Thierry the Sling. This successful series, which was also shown in Canada, Poland, Australia, and the Netherlands, transposes the English Robin Hood narrative into late medieval France in fascinating ways. Drawing from the postmedieval English tradition surrounding Robin Hood, in which the protagonist appears as a member of the nobility who has fallen from grace, Thierry de Janville, a young Sologne nobleman, who had fought against the English occupation by the French during the Hundred Years War, loses his title and lands because of his disloyal steward. Taking up the name "Thierry La Fronde" and surrounding himself with a host or merry men (and Isabelle, his "Maid Marian"), he wields his knightly sword as well as the popular sling in his résistance against the oppressive Black Prince and his allies. My analysis of the series addressed the feuilleton's indebtedness to numerous elements of the Robin Hood narrative, characters, and episodes, specifically those in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Ivanhoe, two TV shows targeting Anglo-American audiences in the 1950s.

Internet Publications

Recent Publications

Chapters

  • Academic Medievalism and Nationalism
       In: The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism

    2016

    Medievalism - the creative interpretation or recreation of the European Middle Ages - has had a major presence in the cultural memory of the modern West, and has grown in scale to become a global phenomenon. This essay surveys the nationalist tradition in the reception of medieval culture among amateurs, dilettantes, enthusiasts, and antiquaries to full-time academic scholars. 

Internet Publications