Right, this has gone on too long, which is more or less the point of the thread indeed but the time has come to wrap it up and make some pledges. Because, you see, I have a bunch of papers kicking around that are finished, ready to submit, in fact in some cases have been submitted and come back unloved, but this doesn’t mean I’m throwing away that research. No: these should be out there working for me and gosh-darnit I intend that they shall go out once more. There is no room in the 2-up, 2-down of my brain for academic output that has now fully grown to be lounging on the mental sofa eating crisps and claiming there’s no journals to apply to for work. Get out! I shall name and shame them.
- Oldest first: “Bishop and Brother: kindred and Church in an early medieval noble family”. This was a part of the thesis that kept getting cut. Never quite essential enough to make the grade, I gave about half of it as my first ever Leeds paper and then bound it as an appendix to my thesis to try and counterbalance the fact that I’d hardly considered the Church. At least, it seemed that way at the time but really, on rewriting stuff for the book it seemed to me that really, there was quite a lot of Church in it and I’m not sure why I was worried. Anyway. The other half of it is summarised in the book, but the two halves still belong together because the original catch was just that: it’s about Bishop Sal·la of Urgell and his brother Viscount Bernat of Conflent, who around the year 1000 are easily visible collaborating as a family to maximise their wealth and power but who use completely different tactics to achieve their individual aims. The point is a contrast of lay and clerical modes of power, and all it needs, I am convinced, with a couple of recent articles on related people assimilated at least, is a rewrite to make that agenda louder and then I have two journals in mind for it, one UK and one actually in Catalonia. I would like it to go the latter more because it would get me seen by the people in my actual field but it goes to the former first because that will get me seen by people who might hire me. Next time, Catalonia, next time.
- OK, next up. “Archbishop Ató of Osona: false metropolitans on the Marca Hispanica”. I first gave a version of this at a conference in 2003, and the first proper write-up some time in the next year after I’d learnt a lot more about papyri, which feature heavily. I have given about half of it here as a blog post, but only half. The trouble is, it’s huge. I sent it to a journal Gesta knows well a while ago and they came back saying “we like it but you need to cut it by half, somehow” and the reviewer was quite snippy about what bits weren’t contributing anything. If I’d cut everything he suggested, though, half the point would have been gone. So I consulted Professor McKitterick and she suggested an entirely different journal which would probably have it uncut. And then, to my great shame, I didn’t get round to it. Right, well, that’s enough of that. I have made a rapid attempt to check for related work, believe that I have found the most obvious examples and this one will now be next out the door, before even the Leeds papers book paper item because all it needs is formatting and submitting. Now, given its size that’s still no negligible task but it is stupid that I have not done this and I hereby pledge that this will end.
- “Documents that shouldn’t survive: preservation from before the archive in Catalonia and elsewhere”. This was put together in something of a hurry for Leeds 2008 and turned out to be one of my better papers even if I fluffed the delivery somewhat. Several people told me I should publish it forthwith as it’s important, or so they think, and suggested some very high-profile journals they thought I should try. And there’s really only two things I need to read for it and they’re both short, or at least the parts of them that need reading are short. But I can’t, because it’s based on Lay Archives work and I’ve been asked quite firmly not to do anything with that work, at least until the project itself has managed to publish. But because I have so much else that needs finishing, though it grates me I see no point in causing an upset by pursuing this until all concerned parties agree that I can.
- “Legends in their Own Lifetime? The Late Carolingians and Catalonia”. Mentioned already, born out of the twin wombs of “The Continuation of Carolingian Expansion” and “The Identity of Authority” fertilised by the pressing need to come up with something for last year’s Haskins Society conference. This actually turned out to be a good paper, or so I thought, and on good advice I got a professor who’d been there to critique it for me. Now all I have to do is revise according to his criticisms and send it off. Furthermore, a high-end journal already saw a version of this back when it was still basically “Continuation” in argh 2006 and they came back with a friendly revise-and-resubmit, which I should therefore have done straight away and maybe I’d have a job now. But I didn’t, because I wasn’t happy with it and it wouldn’t have been as good as I wanted. Now, this version is that good, so I think the first thing to do is to send it back to the same journal and see if they want it still. Failing that, another journal has actually asked me for it, so if its first home no longer has space or interest, they shall get their wish. This is another easy score and it will therefore go into third place on the list of shame, because I really don’t have an excuse for not having it done by now.
- Lastly the newest: “Nuns, Signatures and Literacy in late-Carolingian Catalonia”. Fresh from delivery, this one of course has a home, and when I say it’s finished I mean that I think it could be printed as it is and it would shame no-one involved. However, there is actually a lot more work on nuns in early medieval Spain than I have read, and I want to take Wendy Davies’s advice from my viva and make sure it’s in my thinking before I submit the final version. So perhaps it should have been in the previous version, as all the relevant reading is currently on my desk but there’s still a fair whack of it. Nonetheless, I intend finishing this one very soon, because I have done enough things for Professor McKitterick rather too late and by halves and this will not be another of them.
So, er, I make that fourteen papers I have in some sort of form without having done enough to get them published, and that’s ignoring the fact that I was contemplating a second book… This is really not helping me. There is a point of view that says that one can’t actually drop everything one’s working on to concentrate on one at a time and to do so would make me unhappy, it’s true. But this is just stupid.
There is a need for a resolve of sorts. So, here is my pledge. I will revise, format and submit “Archbishop Ató”. I will do all the necessary reading for “Uncertain Origins” and make sure that it isn’t me who is holding up the Leeds volume. I will try and do both of these in the next three months, but I won’t promise the timing because of now being teaching and having other papers in final stages, book about to reach proofs and so on. However, I will do it at the earliest feasible point. Then I will revise and submit “Legends” and then I will concentrate on “Succession to the Fisc” until delivery time and then we’ll see what happens next.
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It may not be sufficiently clear but this is years and years of backlog dating back from when I had a lot more time!
Get it submitted, you! Oh, and if you get a chance, do feel free to send an update on how things are going.
I am giving a lecture every Tuesday; writing a lecture every Wednesday; compiling a handout every Thursday; and building a presentation every Friday. Child-care and job applications at the weekend. And we’re opening an exhibition at work next week. So there isn’t time for there to be anything else to tell…
welcome to my world! (barring the childcare, obviously, and the hell that is job apps). Good luck with those, btw. I’d be very happy if you ended up getting the one near me, although I know you’d rather stay on your side of the pond!
I’m open to offers, or at least that seems to be my reputation in some quarters even now…
Wow. I’m glad I don’t have 14 papers in the pipeline. That would be frustrating. I guess my worst fault is that my book is still in that pipeline. I thought I’d have that polished off by, um, three years ago.
But I have one piece coming out hopefully soon, one that I’m (kind of) finishing off right now, and then contributing to and editing a Festschrift that should appear late next year or early 2011. 2011!!
So, counting the tally marks, you seem to be ahead of me. I take solace in the fact that you’re really doing the tenth century, while I favor the ninth. I only wish there were more local sources for the ninth. But I think our lines of questioning are in fact pretty different. You are doing a lot of work directly concerning locals in Catalonia, or so it seems to me, while I am trying to define “The Carolingian Empire” by looking around the edge here.
Speaking of which, do you know other folks doing similar works? That is, who are looking around the edges of the Carolingian world, rather than primarily at its center? I think one could organize a few conference sessions and perhaps a volume out of such work, were one so inclined (and provided enough contributors). Does this seem interesting to anyone besides me?
I think the big message of this post is that I’m either too ready to agree to write conference papers or too bad at finishing things. And, as I said to ADM, this is build-up of many years. None of either of our tallies count for much unless they actually emerge.
It is certainly true that we are working at different faces of the same mountain. For your period the Empire is still a working factor in the area, in mine it’s a thing that grasping locals remember to advantage their positions of power. But they are linked, all the same.
Other folks doing the same thing would be a welcome thing because of my promising Larry Swain that I’d try and edit, at some point next year now, an issue of The Heroic Age on Carolingian borderlands. There are lots of local terre et les hommes style works out there but I can’t find many people doing it as early as that would imply. So my initial reaction is that, no, I don’t know the right people, but it is interesting. The one exception is perhaps Brittany, where I know a couple of people locally at postgrad level with some interest in it, if that’s any use.
How do you want to define edges, Cullen? Fulda is at the edges when it’s founded, more or less, but by the death of Louis the Child, it’s pretty firmly near the center …
And, of course, what it’s at the edge or centre of has changed :-)
As for the journal I know well, the new editor is more sympathetic to longer papers and there is more space in the journal due to the fact that the production team have squidged up the text…
All the same, given the size and nature of the text, and the pictures it requires for palæographical purposes, I think Rosamond’s alternative may still have been a wise suggestion. I’m sure I shall come up with something else for you guys :-)
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