Return from afar

We have that well-documented thing going on here at the moment where, if I don’t post, my viewing figures rise steadily. I’ve never figured that one out. Still, I must break in on my increasing readership with some content, though annoyingly less than I’d like. This is for two reasons, one being that as many of you have heard from me in person by now I’m waiting for a letter that will let me make a fairly large announcement and it’s still not here; but what is here is the second reason, which looks like this:

Two proof copies of Jonathan Jarrett, Rulers and Ruled in Frontier Catalonia

Look! I have proof!

It does look like this publication thing might be taking a step forward, even if those who look carefully will notice that something predictable has occurred. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying, sorry, posting may continue to be light.

That said, I have loads to write about, an excellent Leeds and a trip to Siena for what, for me at least, was largely an extended social and about the awful privations of which Jeffrey Cohen has already written. I also have an awful lot of photos, some of which at least I want to share with you. But for the moment I will just put up three, and since they serve little purpose but to continue a harangue you all probably hoped was over, I’ll do so behind a cut and those who would like actual historical content can wait a day or two when I will answer an old request of the Naked Philologist’s with a story that may or may not be about a loose woman. And if that doesn’t bring in the page-views, well, what will?

Oh wait! There was something else. I am hosting the next ancient/medieval Carnivalesque. So far I am doing all right for ancient stuff, there have been some fairly marvellous recent finds and some quality arguments, but the medieval count is really quite thin; as others have been observing, we’ve all been away. If you know of some quality medieval blogging, please submit it hither using The Form. Otherwise I’ll just nominate my own posts till it looks finished…

Right, for those who’ve continued this far. Accommodation at the Leeds International Medieval Congress falls into four classes of ascending cost:

  1. the Bodington Halls, which are student rooms with single beds arranged ten or so to a floor and using a shared kitchen with a fridge and microwave and sometimes tabletop electric hobs, and one shared bathroom with a bath, two loo stalls, two shower stalls and in some cases urinals; these are segregated one gender to a floor for Leeds, though the bathroom is not always allocated to the right one (since the lowest floor has no bathroom)
  2. the Bodington Flats, same sort of room but six to a corridor all sharing its separate shower room, loo and kitchen; here the kitchens have proper stoves with gas hobs and ovens and there is a table big enough to sit at with whatever you’ve cooked
  3. the Oxley Flats, the same deal but rather nicer but also quite a lot further from the action, I believe four suites to one kitchenette and dining room
  4. the Weetwood Hotel, hotel standard (duh) and on one of the two campuses used for the congress, its own restaurant and next to a pub that does food

I stay in Bodington Flats these days, they are only slightly more expensive than the Halls and you can guarantee having a cooker which makes self-catering a lot easier to arrange. They cost as many pounds sterling per night as the Kalamazoo dorms do dollars, so Kalamazoo accommodation is somewhere between half and two-thirds of the price I guess. With that established, here are the pictures. You will probably not need reminding of the point I’m making

'Careful, his bowtie is really a camera'





I realise that these last two photos are mainly illustrating the same thing but, “I thought it was such a biggie it was worth mentioning twice.” And that’s why I’m more use in the mornings at Leeds than I was at Kalamazoo. That and the lack of jetlag. That’s all.

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13 responses to “Return from afar

  1. The very existence of a kitchenette in the dorms makes them better than the cinderblock prisons at Kalamazoo. But you’re right – tea makes a major difference. I will be bringing an electric kettle and mugs to Kalamazoo next May. :)

  2. Dear Vellum,

    Rumor has had it, that one scholar of note in years past brought an extensive and larder with him to Kalamazoo, staying in the dorms, and kept himself and his comitatus quite comfortable for the duration….

    • I’m sure it can be done, I do something not dissimilar with Leeds and those in Oxley flats make a proper go of it; a certain Dutch medievalist’s parties there are legendary and involve a lot of food. It’s a bit harder to do this when coming from overseas though!

  3. I don’t know if you’ve got her on the list for the carnival already, but Bavardess is having an interesting time in several posts reflecting on what doing oral history is teaching her about medieval history. And the Woruldhord project ought to get a mention.

    • Bavardess should be there, I agree. The Woruldhoard project has been announced in several places I watch but I’ve yet to see anyone actually write anything reflective on it; this is a carnival, after all, it’s supposed to have blogging in it. That news has already been through at least three aggregator sites, it doesn’t need me adding to it. There’s scope there for a post about the pros and cons of crowd-sourcing academic information, which I’m just waiting for someone to write. Not me, though. I wonder if Derek the Ænglican will cover it…

      • Most of the historical crowd-sourcing projects I know about deal with modern/early modern history, but if you really want a bit of not terribly well-informed blogging on the topic, I can probably do you some, as an extra for my 23 Things blogging. When’s your deadline for the Carnival?

        • I did wonder about that, but you will almost always have something worth mentioning so I wouldn’t want you to do something specially for it. However, if you were so minded… the deadline is August 22nd.

    • Just chipping in to say thanks for the shout out. And yes, the more I think about the methodologies and theory behind oral history (and as I watch some of my fellow postgrads grappling with it in their own research), the more I think there is quite a lot of relevance, in one or the other, to medieval sources and how we question and interpret them.

  4. Some of Curt’s posts ought to be in there, and the newish blog Burgundians in the Mist ought to be mentioned too…after all, how many blogs devoted to the Burgundians are there? Perhaps a listing too of blogs reflecting on Leeds and Kalamazoo 2010…slightly off topic, but I think something of service. I have an April post on Avitus, I liked it anyway…but as I look over my own entries, I see I haven’t been blogging much and I haven’t been doing as much early medieval as is my want.

    • Curt’s only written one post that’s actually about medieval stuff since the last Ancient/Medieval Carnivalesque; but it will go in, not least because it talks about Catalonia a great deal. Your Avitus post is similarly out of the bracket, good though it was. I know Burgundians in the Mist, but until it makes up its mind whether it’s attempting scholarship or novelisation I’m loath to try and introduce its content.

      Blimey, I’m the Carnivalesque Grinch, aren’t I.

  5. I’ve now done my promised post on crowd-sourcing. It’s higher on opinion than actual fact, and only partially medieval, but it at does at least introduce the term ‘comitatus-sourcing’.

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