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06 April, 2017

LMC's recent public footprints

My colleagues' various recent public humanities activities:

The AJC recently reviewed The Museum Of Design Atlanta's exhibit Food by Design: Sustaining the Future. The exhibit features projects from Carl DiSalvo's Public Design Workshop. For our GT Press release, see HERE.

Rebecca Burnett and Jillann Hertel both recently won a Woman of Distinction Award given by GT's Women's Leadership Conference, in the categories of "faculty" and "staff," respectively. This means that LMC this year won two of the five campus-wide awards provided by the WLC. Congrats to Jillann and Rebecca (the great photograph of the two awardees is ©William Jeffries)!

Brittain fellow Caroline Young recently published a piece in WCP's TECHStyle, discussing her collaboration with Poetry@Tech in her classroom. You can access her essay HERE. As you know, TECHStyle content is often picked up and disseminated by media and colleagues worldwide.

Assignment for my Medieval Atlanta class...

Based on your reading of W. Scott's Ivanhoe (1819), respond to Scott Horton's 2007 (Harper's Magazine) statement:

"No doubt you learned in grade school that it started at Fort Sumter and that slavery and states’ rights had something to do with it. But no. The Civil War sprang with fully loaded double-barrels from the pages of Ivanhoe. No doubt about it."

04 April, 2017

Cupid at the Castle @ The Public Medievalist

As part of my ongoing quest to engage with extra-academic audiences, here is a piece recently published with Paul Sturtevant's The Public Medievalist. It tells the story of an Atlanta castle, built in 1904 and currently a site for many Atlanta weddings. The Middle Ages are not dead, we are in their midst.

30 March, 2017

Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages @ The Public Medievalist

Questions of race/-ism have emerged over recent years as essential for a comprehensive picture and history of medievalism. Most recently, Paul B. Sturtevant and his team at The Public Medievalist have provided us with a wealth of thought for our research, scholarship, and teaching in a special series on Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages. Contributors include the mysterious Dr. Dark Age, but also Andrew B. R. Elliott, James M. Harland, Marianne O'Doherty, Clare Vernon, Helen Young, Luca Asmonti, Eric Weiskott, Chapurukha Kusimba, and of course Paul himself. Highly recommended reading for you, your students, and the general public. Please share widely.

26 March, 2017

Recently reviewed Earth, by J.J. Cohen and L.T. Elkins-Tanton

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, and Linda T. Elkins-Tanton. Earth. New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.

For several years, I have now been thinking about how to define, practice and encourage “co-disciplinarity”. I had grown tired of “cross-”, “trans-”, and especially “inter-”, which have all been (ab)used into meaninglessness by those who applied a little dose of philosophy to explain a novel, a smidgen of psychoanalysis to explain a film, etc., but almost always by reducing the ‘second’ discipline to an auxiliary status.

23 March, 2017

LMC colleagues win Georgia Tech innovation/teaching awards

Great news to report:
...that our own Nassim JafariNaimi is the winner of the Georgia Tech CTL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. This award highlights the excellent teaching and educational innovation that junior faculty bring to campus. 
...that our own Jillann Hertel is the winner of the Georgia Tech Innovation in Co-curricular Education Award. This award honors full-time general faculty of any rank who increase student learning outside the traditional curriculum and help Georgia Tech achieve its strategic goal of graduating global citizens who can contribute to all sectors of society. (And Jillann was also featured in The Whistle as Technological Humanist)
Nassim and Jillann will be honored at the Annual Faculty & Staff Honors Luncheon on Friday, April 21. Thanks to both of them for confirming that LMC contributes to GT excellence in innovation and teaching.

19 March, 2017

Medievalism: Key Critical Terms now in paperback!

Elizabeth Emery and I published the original version in 2014, and now the volume is finally out in paperback.


13 March, 2017

Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M.R. James

Happy to have been involved in the review process for Patrick Murphy's new book, Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M.R. James, for Penn State UP.

Here's what I wrote, and I recommend the book to all students of medievalism: “There are some seminal studies that have shed light on the genesis and development of medieval studies: Ulrich Wyss’s work on Jacob Grimm, Tom Shippey’s on J. R. R. Tolkien, and Michelle Warren’s on Joseph Bédier. Patrick Murphy’s book completes these other studies by telling the story of M. R. James, a fascinating medievalist forefather working at the exact moment of transition from English antiquarianism and extra-academic medievalist enthusiasms to a medieval studies almost entirely exclusive of writers, artists, and musicians. Murphy’s meticulously researched narrative provides ample proof that both enterprises, the creative and the scholarly reception of medieval culture, should not be viewed as mutually exclusive but richly symbiotic.”

10 March, 2017

Sewanee Medieval Colloquium: Borders of the Academy

Sewanee Medieval Colloquium's plenary roundtable on: Borders of the Academy: Medievalisms Academic and Popular (Co-sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Medievalism):
Brantley Bryant, Sonoma State University
Mallory Ortberg, Slate
Kim Zarins, Sacramento State University
Chair, Richard Utz, Georgia Institute of Technology
As a bonus, Valerie Johnson, collaborator and former LMC Brittain fellow, was at Sewanee, too.

01 March, 2017

25 February, 2017

Festschrift for Helen Cooper reviewed in Medievally Speaking

Meg Pearson recently reviewed Andrew King and Matthew Woodcock, eds. Medieval into Renaissance: Essays for Helen Cooper (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016) at Medievally Speaking

Professor Helen Cooper, the author of vital texts ranging from the recent Shakespeare and the Medieval World to her groundbreaking book, Pastoral: Mediaeval into Renaissance, consistently forces literary scholars to rethink and even reject labels of periodization for the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This collection in her honor, a lovely thank-you note to Professor Helen Cooper from her former research students, so recreates the exciting entanglements and continuities of Cooper’s own work that even organizing a review of the essays is challenging. The richly researched offerings may focus on a topic or a trope, but they are also constantly engaging in periodization and genre and reception as well.... 

18 February, 2017

The possibility of failure as an acceptable risk...

Georgia Tech recently honored Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter with the Ivan Allen Prize for Social Courage. During the panel discussion that preceded the ceremony, I learned that Atlanta's Carter Center has the following brilliant phrase in its mission statement: The Center addresses difficult problems in difficult situations and recognizes the possibility of failure as an acceptable risk. And one of its other stated goals is "to wage peace."

13 February, 2017

Medievally Speaking reviews: Shaw, Saint Joan (Bedlam)

Kevin J. Harty recently reviewed: George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan performed by Bedlam at the McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ.

Bedlam is known for staging multi-part plays using only four actors to play all the required roles—in this case Andrus Nichols as Joan, and Eric Tucker (who also directs), Edmund Lewis and Tom O’Keefe playing more than two dozen different characters and changing roles multiple times often in mid-sentence.  The result is mesmerizing theatre that trusts Shaw’s often problematic text to tell the story of a character whose life and legacy have always been the subject of, to use current parlance, alternate facts, and whose trail and execution were based on both extraordinary rendition and false equivalencies, and fueled by nationalism and its attendant concerns. Why do Shaw’s Saint Joan today? The answer is simple: the play’s relevance to contemporary events is more than apparent without even the slightest stretch.... READ FULL REVIEW

04 February, 2017

Medievally Speaking reviews: Woods, The Medieval Filmscape

Our most recent review for Medievally Speaking: Erin Lee Mock on: William F. Woods.  The Medieval Filmscape: Reflections of Fear and Desire in a Cinematic Mirror. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014. 

Writing about “period” film as “period film” is rife with difficulty as William F. Woods admits in The Medieval Filmscape: Reflections of Fear and Desire in a Cinematic Mirror.  Beyond the question of period itself, all studies of genre or subgenre present the problem of “quality,” and the “medieval filmscape” does so more than most.  A responsible scholar must attend to a variety of texts which include, to use Rick Altman’s term, the “semantic” elements of that genre, including many films which are frankly terrible.  Simultaneously, most scholars who undertake subgenre study do so to argue for its critical function.  Woods manages this problem structurally and through one major metaphor (the mirror), which is his greatest strength.  READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

03 February, 2017

First LMC Salon event: Race and Media in the Post-Obama Era

Thanks to all for a great first Salon event, an outcome of our discussions in our LMC Diversity Working Group. Although some of us decided to participate in the student protest (apparently the first on GT's campus for many, many years, we had 21 participants, staff and faculty, and we shared our views and observations on "Race and Media in the Post-Obama Era." No publishable deliverables really, except for tips about how we deal with the current situation and the role of the media inside and outside our classrooms. Some suggestions emerged: Perhaps we should create a common reading list for LMC to help each other be inclusive of questions of race, gender, disability, etc., in our teaching and other interactions? And perhaps we might read certain texts, all of us, and discuss them together, so that they might become part of a community of inclusive practices for ourselves and for our students?
The picture shows Karen Head (LMC; and member of Diversity Working Group) and Colin Potts (IC), who were included in GT's recent Diversity Narratives project. More of the pix are at: http://sdie.gatech.edu/transformative-narratives/

30 January, 2017

Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage

I am thrilled to be a guest at the reception honoring Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter as the recipients of the 2017 Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage on February 17. Proud that Georgia Tech honors "the power of their partnership, which has enabled a lifetime of social courage."