Dr. Karra Shimabukuro’s book project based on her dissertation, Devilish Leaders, Demonic Parliament, and Diabolical Rebels in Medieval and Early Modern England, is under contract with Amsterdam University Press, as part of their new Crossing Boundaries series which publishes works placed at the intersection of disciplinary boundaries to introduce fresh connections between established fields of study. Shimabukuro’s book analyzes the previously unexplored political nature of the devil and how he is the vehicle for the fears, anxieties, and desires of a particular historical and cultural moment. The book takes a longue duree approach, crossing boundaries of periodization and genre. Chapter One analyzes the role of the devil as an object lesson for medieval leaders in William of Malmesbury’s Gesta regum Anglorum. Chapter Two revisits these issues, of what tempts a leader into evil, by illustration what constructs the demonic in 1 Henry IV and Macbeth. These places have devilish leaders at their center, but they are also constructed as demonic because they rebel.Throughout the later medieval period, as the role, voice, and power, of the common people changes, the anxieties of the ruling class are reflected in the demonization of the people, their voice, and their political structure as seen in Þe Deulis Parlement in Chapter Three. Chapter Four focuses on Paradise Lost, how Satan is a devilish leader, who rebels, and uses a demonic parliament, is a culmination of hundreds of years of the devil figure used as a political tool, both commenting and reflecting on political events of the time. Chapter Five examines how political pamphlets, both during the English Civil War 1642-1649, and the Glorious Revolution 1688, used the iconography, and political connotation, of the devil to demonize political enemies.
Additionally, Dr. Shimabukuro is editing a collection for Material Collective’s Tiny Collection series called #MedievalMarks, a series of essays from medievalists about their medieval inspired tattoos that is forthcoming in 2019.