Webpage updates and current plans

In a brief lull in the job market (he laughs hollowly) I have finally got round to updating my academic web-pages, so that they actually reflect what I’m currently working on rather than promising that Lay Archives will publish something in 2007 and so on. But actually, even though I’m happy with how it looks, it’s not really descriptive of what my time is currently going on. It emphasises the spread of my research and the impact of my various projects, but I’ve learnt now not to promise when things are actually coming out…

All the same, the sidebar here is always a truer reflection of what’s actually passing across my desk or computer and I feel the need to set out plans somewhere… So this is the top few things I’m actually working on at the moment. I could add more and more but that would be digging into the strata of works undisturbed except for accumulating extra footnotes for years while I try and find time to read the three or four books they need to be aware of, or the various eager plans I have that will get in the way of my finishing those things… Anyway. So here goes.

  1. First and foremost is the book of the thesis, Rulers and Ruled in Frontier Catalonia 880-1010: pathways of power. About four-fifths of this is now in its final form and then there’s the new introduction and conclusion, plus bibliography, prelims and index (never done an index…). I’m giving maximum time to this as there’s nothing that can do my employment prospects as much good, and I sincerely hope to have a final text with the editors before the end of June so that I can go back to Catalonia with a clear conscience.
  2. Next in line and getting the primary focus of my reading at the moment is a paper called “Digitizing Numismatics: getting the Fitzwilliam Museum’s coins to the world-wide web”, which is basically an academic explanation of what my job is for. This, which is destined to go online, should have been done ages ago (and I apologise to the editor whom I know is reading—this will be the best thing this blog has so far done for me other than provide a really important sense of relevance and a bundle of offprints from Professor Feliu), but a first draft shown to an actual numismatist proved that I wasn’t one and I’ve been filling in gaps. Done soon I hope, only four more articles…
  3. Waiting for an editor to come back with a revised version is “Currency change in pre-millennial Catalonia: coinage, counts and economics”, a paper about a renewal of the currency of Barcelona that I think Borrell II made in about 982 to quell worries about the silver standard in the area. This needs some slight extra reading and a brutal revision then it’s good to go.
  4. In a similar state, but arguably more urgent since not waiting for the editor, is “Settling the Kings’ Lands: aprisio in Catalonia in perspective”, which is about the process, in law and on the ground, by which pioneers on the Catalan frontier took in waste land for cultivation, and what rubbish has been written about it. Third priority.
  5. On the back burner for ages and possibly the most important thing I will write, if I can only ever finish it, is a methodological article about the interpretation of charter evidence. This began as the introductory chapter of the thesis, to show my markers that I knew that these things weren’t simple, but it became clear to me that this was not widely known other than among charter historians, and I gave a version at Leeds and eventually found a journal that would take it; but they wanted it to be much expanded into a kind of review article, and this meant an awful lot of reading that I have since then been struggling to fit in. There really is a lot of stuff I should know that I don’t in this field, having started with my own peculiar originals rather than the secondary work that other areas have generated. If I ever finish it, it’ll be something to refer people to for decades, he says modestly, so I very much want to keep this moving however slowly.
  6. Needing very little work, but a decent publication strategy, is a long article I wrote and gave at the IHR a while ago about the Arabic-named communities that occur in tenth-century charters of León. I blogged about this at the time I gave it, but since then I’ve been at something of a loss. It’s two ideas in one paper, being used to illuminate each other, and it would in many ways be better as two separate pieces, but the obvious places even for the first half all want something shorter. I shall persist in looking for other venues.

That seems to be six already, which is probably enough, There are two more papers in complete text, a draft of an introduction for what I hope will become a volume of contributed essays based on our Leeds papers, plans for two more books… but I have to focus a bit here I think. So you’ll hear more here when one of these things actually gets finished and out where you can see it. For now, I should get on with it…


2 responses to “Webpage updates and current plans

  1. Pingback: Name in print IV « A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

  2. Pingback: Name in print V: the new Early Medieval Europe has me in it twice « A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

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