Ten Years Blogging at The Mast

I began this blog on January 21, 2002. My very first post is here. My friend and former colleague iPaulo is still blogging. My friend Kip started blogging in 2002 as well, and is celebrating. I’ve started a few other blogs since then, on IT: Technology, Language and Culture (also started in January of 2002, and life in the Pacific Northwest, and an entire site related to the books I co-wrote about the iPad. (And others too!)

I’m delighted that Medievalist bloggers Scott Nokes and Michael Drout of Wormtalk and Slugspeak are back blogging. (Professor Drout also began blogging in 2002). The blogosphere, as some call it, has changed a lot since I started, but then so have I. Michelle Ziegler is actively blogging at Heavenfield, Tim Clarkson at Senchus, and a number of other medievalists in the blog roll to the right are still going strong, but I’m especially happy to see Scott and Michael back and blogging.

Smart Essay about Tolkien’s Monster and the Critics

Michael Drout, he of the almost completed second edition of Beowulf and the Critics, has a short piece on a LOTR forum on “”Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics”: The Brilliant Essay that Broke Beowulf Studies.” The essay is, not surprisingly, smart, and well-worth reading. It’s a good background and introduction to Tolkien’s essay, and I suspect even those who haven’t read Tolkien’s essay will read Drout’s piece. I like very much that Drout nods at some more recent Beowulf scholarship in providing a better context for the reactions and reception of Tolkien’s essay. The comments (you can find them here) are worth reading as well, as Drout notes.

It makes me very happy to see this sort of outreach and deliberate cross-pollination; we need more.

Birth of a Blog: Reprise

I began Scéla, my first real blog, on January 21, 2002. That’s eight years of more-or-less regular blogging. You can still read my first post, which is very much an instance of me trying to figure out blogging as a tool for sharing content.

Since then, I’ve finished my Ph.D. I’m now blogging quite a lot—though not, alas, blogging as often as I would like here. I’ve moved Scéla from my primary site at Digitalmedievalist.com, to here, at Digitalmedievalist.net [ETA: and back again as of 11/15/2014]. I’ve also converted from Blogger to WordPress, and am iconverting the Celtic Studies Resources content from static pages (pages that go back in some versions to 1997) to WordPress.

When I began, I was the Digital Medievalist. Now, there’s an organization. When I began, I was one of about five Medievalist bloggers; now, there are about sixty of us, and three or four that emphasize Medieval and Celtic.

That said, here’s a tip of the hat to the folks who’ve been doing this as long or longer than I, or more reliably, especially: S. Worthen/Owlfish, the keeper of the Medievalist Blogger List, Richard Nokes of Unlocked Woardhord, Elizabeth Carnell of The View From Kalamazoo, and Michael Drout, who started blogging on Wormtalk and Slugspeak at the hind end of the same year I did, and makes much more sense.

The Medievalist bloggers as a group, never mind those I’ve been lucky enough to meet at Kalamazoo, have added a lot to my life, scholarly and otherwise.

Thanks guys.

Happy birthday Richard Scott Nokes!

In honor of Professor Nokes‘ birthday, and given his interest in weasel blogging, I present the following:

According to medieval bestiaries, with help from Pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville, “the weasel conceives through the mouth and gives birth through the ear”—Isidore, after describing this genetic miracle, says it is false, but that didn’t stop John Davies from using it in a sonnet.

John Davies of Hereford, Wittes Pilgrimage, Sonnet 29

Some say the Weezel-masculine doth gender
With the Shee-Weezel only at the Eare
And she her Burden at hir Mouth doth render;
The like (sweet Love) doth in our love appear:
For I (as Masculine) beget in Thee
Love, at the Eare, which thou bearst at the Mouth
And though It came from Hart, and Reynes of me
From the Teeth outward It in thee hath growth.
My Mouth, thine Eares, doth ever chastly use
With putting in hot Seed of active Love;
Which, streight thine Ear conveyeth (like a Sluce)
Into thy Mouth; and, there but Aire doth prove:
Yet Aire is active; but, not like the fire
Then O how should the Sonne be like the Sire?

Via Cliosfolly

Muddles, Anonymity, and Scholars

I note that the “muddled” site has this to say for itself:

In response to a prior restraint order requested by a university close to government, this blog will be shut down. The owners and contributors will do their utmost to resist this form of censorship.

Thank you for reading, and for the emails of support.

In other words “The lurkers support me in email.”

Yeah. Right.

And I was expecting Godwin’s Law to appear in the next post, too . . .

It’s terribly disillusioning to see that academics, scholars at the height of their profession, are just as idiotic and cowardly as the dweebs I deal with in my non-scholarly geek life, like the anonymous cowards who attacked Kathy Sierra.

This particular incident though, has very much affected my own thinking about scholarly blogging/academic blogging that’s anonymous. The “Muddle” is the first such attack blog I’ve seen in academe, and I confess to being very much disheartened by it, both as a geek and as a scholar in the very early stages of my career.

I expect better, from scholars, particularly from established scholars who ought to be mentors and positive examples, instead of, well, standard, typical Internet trolls.

Carol Dana Lanham requiescat in pace

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Carol, the beloved wife of Richard A. Lanham, died November 5, 2007 of a brain hemorrhage at age 71. Her husband of fifty years was at her side when she died. Carol was born in Englewood, NJ on January 18, 1936, the daughter of Irma P. and David W. Dana. She was educated at Marblehead High School, Marblehead, Massachusetts; and at Connecticut College for Women, New London, CT, where she graduated, in 1957, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She took her Ph.D. at UCLA in 1973, with a special field in Medieval Latin. She subsequently was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Brown University and tutored in Latin at the Getty Center. From 1978-87, she was Senior and then Principal Editor at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She was a member of the American Philological Association, the Medieval Latin Association of North America, and the Medieval Academy of America, where she served as a Council member, 2002-2005. She is the author of Salutatio Formulas in Latin Letters to 1200: Syntax, Style, and Theory (1975) and the editor of Latin Grammar and Rhetoric: From Classical Theory to Medieval Practice (2002). Her best essay, in her husband’s estimation, is “The Bastard at the Family Reunion: Classics and Medieval Latin,” which appeared in Classical Journal in 1975. Although her name does not appear on the title pages of her husband’s books, her learning and good sense appear on almost every page of them. She is survived by her husband, Richard; by her aunt, Marion Spear; and by her cousins, Kathryn Spear Lacey, Robert Spear, and Stephen Spear. A memorial will be held Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 5 p.m., in the Hacienda Room of the UCLA Faculty Center, 480 Charles E. Young Drive, East.

I can’t begin to describe how much Carol affected my life, as friend, mentor and role model. She taught me more about editing and scholarly ethics than anyone, just by watching how she worked. This is a sample of the kind of thoughtful, intelligent, and solid scholarship she routinely produced, with care and joy.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli:
in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chrous Angelorum te suscipiant, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.

Medievalist Bloggers at Kalamazoo

Elizabeth Carnel (AKA Lisa), one of the prime movers behind the 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, and Dr. Shana Worthen, also known as Owlfish (and keeper of the Medievalist Weblogs List), organized a panel on medievalist bloggers at this year’s Congress. Thanks to Elizabeth’s kind efforts, I was able to file the paperwork last summer, and I’ll be joining medievalist bloggers Elizabeth Carnell, Michael Drout, H. D. Miller, Richard Scott Nokes, Michael Tinkler, and Alison Walker to talk about medievalist blogging.

The Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo is the only large academic conference I have ever heard people speak of positively; you don’t go to Kalamzoo to get a job, or earn tenure points; you go because it’s interesting, educational, and because of the community of scholars. It’s my first time, so I’m looking forward to it—especially because I’m hoping to meet some of the people responsible for the many medieval Web logs I regularly read.