I have been extremely busy since more or less late December, and you have presumably noticed things slowing up around here as a result. As of roughly yesterday, though, almost all of the most pressing tasks are dealt with and so I’m looking with distress at the extent to which I am Behind With the Internet. That means here and e-mail, but here is especially ridiculous because of the number of almost-written posts I have sitting as drafts. And it reflects badly on me because if this blog is supposed to function either as publicity for my brilliance and endeavours or as an outreach effort bringing medieval studies to a wider audience, it does neither of these things especially well if its content is a year backdated. Therefore I declare a period of dense blogging ahead. I am not going to say anything crazy like a post a day, though if I did do that it would still be October before I’d caught up, you know, but you can expect far more frequent posting for a while now. So you have been warned! First up, a resumption of my prolonged engagement with the work of Michel Zimmermann… Stay tuned?
Various things have kept me away from electronic media till today, more or less since I last wrote, but events march fast upon us and not the least of these is the 2012 International Medieval Congress, to which I shall be departing tomorrow (or, looking at the clock, today) and at which there has in recent years been a bloggers’ meet-up. I’m not sure we’re up to strength this year but since there will be at least five of us and possibly more Magistra has been canvassing behind the scenes and has settled upon the following time and place: the Stables pub at Weetwood Hall, on Monday evening, from 20:00. I and she will certainly be there, I perhaps from earlier, and if you are a blogger of any kind you would of course be very welcome to join us. (Please, bloggers and others, bear in mind that some who might attend do not necessarily want their real names and their blogs linked more widely, and we ask you to be suitably careful about that.)
This was taken shortly after a lengthy formal dinner, and doesn’t it show?
Thus, although Magistra’s academic identity is not what you would call secret any more, she has not yet gone so far as to put her name and likeness directly on her blog, whereas mine is all over the web, I suppose I will probably be recognisable for something other than probably being the only male in the gathering, and so if you’re looking for us you can look for me. And I currently look like this, not usually so formally attired but just about as tired… Maybe see you there!
Foreground, right to left: laptop displaying mark scheme; notepad and red marking biro; unmarked exam script, obscuring mark-sheet; mug of strong Kenya tea; typewriter with hard-copy comment sheet wound in.1 Rear of table: exam paper, atop one of three packets … Continue reading
Not my chosen mode of travel, alas
I’ve booked tickets and hotel, I guess I’m going. Which means I ought to say something like this:
Salutacions als meus lectors catalans! Estaré en el vostre païs bellic a la commençament d’abril. Del quart d’abril al novè, seré basat a Vic, i al onzè seré en Barcelona. Si algun dels meus lectors vulgui em encontre, pugui fer contacte amb el vostre autor via la adreça electronica a aquesta pàgina de web. Desprès trobaré com terrible es el meu català parlat! (No mento; jo puc recordar un temps i potser cinquanta paraules… Espero ho ameliorar.)
For the rest of you, what this means is that, working kit permitting, there will be a lot more photos of Catalonia here next month and I’m probably about to buy a few more books…
P. S. It was a wooden submarine powered by a chemical-driven steam plant that made its own oxygen. Also it worked. There is no more steam-punk than that.
… there has been rather more of me than there has been here, sorry about that. It’s not so much that this term has been impossibly loaded, it hasn’t really though keeping four new courses ready to roll week-to-week has been a challenge, I will admit. It is much more that I have also been trying to crunch through the next step of the Casserres project—I will write about this soon—and to read quite a lot of stuff I need to have a grip on for teaching, some of which I may also write about, and these have all filled quite a lot of time. I have kept coming to the Internet just before midnight and sleep has usually won out. Nonetheless, on Friday I did actually catch up with all the blogs I follow, more or less; and since then I even socialised with some people somewhere other than a seminar! Incroyable!
But, I have not been completely inattentive to the web, I’ve just been attentive elsewhere. In particular!
- I’ve updated my static webpages, so that if you really wanted an up-to-date Jarrett bibliography or to remind yourself of my conference-going history, or even to know what my big projects are supposed to be whenever the small ones temporarily die down, that information is now current. N. B. these pages may plug the book once or twice. Maybe.
- Not just one but two of the places I’m teaching for here have now got as far as acknowledging my existence on the web, and I have to thank Pembroke College, where I am only a Retained Lecturer, for actually giving me a full page to play with, yet another thing to keep up to date but very welcome as now Academia.edu is not going be the first hit for me when people Google me at Oxford; after all, there are others claiming an Oxford affiliation there who have nothing of the kind any more, and I don’t want to be mistaken for one of them.
- I have also been writing at Cliopatria. Ordinarily I can go months between posts there, because I only post when asked to or when something broader than my focus here crosses my synapses. But recently both of those happened, so you can find me writing:
- And, indeed, while I have your attention over there, I’ve also thrown in on a question that fellow contributor Chris Bray raised there, to wit: “in whatever place and period you study, do you find that the political ruling class was generally aligned with common people in a struggle against the economic elite? Where and when has that happened?” I had some weak answers but maybe you have a stronger one? Trot over and cast it into the pool if so, we can always use comments from out of field over there.
Meanwhile, I have five posts in some form of draft, quite a lot of seminar papers to talk about, and an imminent access of slightly more time, so with a bit of luck you’ll be seeing more of my Internet presence again shortly.
As often already, in lieu of the content about my stuff I would like to have written by now…
- Richard Hodges’s The Anglo-Saxon Achievement appears to be another of those books that sank very deep and I didn’t realise.
- There seems to be much more Romano-British archaeology nowadays than anyone cared about when I first learnt this stuff.
- This may well be because I was not being taught by a specialist in the field and I am very conscious that I am now repeating some of the same ignorances, in other words, we are the problem as has been said before.
- On the other hand it’s inescapably true that it’s much easier to give a good lecture (in so far as a lecture is ever useful) when you don’t know too much.
- I met some medievalists who say that no-one round here goes to the pub; I agreed that this was a crying shame and now that I’m beginning to balance my time to make this possible, find of course that I forgot who they were…
- Perhaps because of thinking in these terms too much, I am informed that:
The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test
I’m quite impressed by this. I should reassure readers that the high (or low, depending on where you wind up) ranking is mainly down to a few things that Dante thought were violent and irremediable crimes (not puns, though I had been warned about that) being considered harmless leisure activities in the twenty-first century West, at least in my state. All the same, if Pascal lost his wager, I should have some interesting company in eternal torment.
- I don’t really think two days, especially not two days in which I have a tutorial to give, a seminar to attend and a lecture to
write give and you know a job, is a fair amount of time to ask me to turn round final proofs of the book in, you know. I might call it unrealistic. But since to do so would probably prejudice its chances of finally emerging with a date on its titlepage that isn’t a lie, I may not be very evident online for a few days.
Posted in Anglo-Saxons, archaeology, Celts, Currently reading..., Currently teaching..., Humour, Institutions, Now working on...
Tagged AFK, Christopher Snyder, Dante, medieval theology, post-Roman Britain, publication, Richard Hodges, settlement archaeology, teaching, The Academy
It may have reached your notice that this Monday the International Medieval Congress, colloquially known as ‘Leeds’, starts, and the really keen-eyed may have already noticed that I am there (presenting on the Monday, too, do come, I am quite pleased with the paper). I may well see some of you there. For those intending to meet me there, and I may not be fooling myself about this, last year’s post on recognising the Jarrett may be of use. I will also be distinguished by a silver machine but if you see me with it I am probably going to be moving too fast to be hailed.
‘We’, whoever that shady international cabal may be, have completely failed to organise a blogger meet-up (at least, as far as I know). I don’t even know that there are enough of us present to justify one—I know of four counting me, though an excellent three the others be of course! If we do organise something, I guess it will have to be circulated by word of mouth, but I hereby declare that I shall be at dinner in Bodington and then at the Stables pub in Weetwood on Monday evening, outside weather permitting, and maybe we can organise something round that. Tuesday looks solid with unmissable receptions in the evening and Wednesday is the dance so otherwise I suspect it would need to be lunchtime, which is also possible but my lunches are all at Bodington. So now you know.
And then I am off to even further climes, for the New Chaucer Society conference in Siena, which I am attending mainly in my rather unlikely capacity as ‘Internet celebrity’. There I suspect that my brief presence will be entirely a long blogger meet-up but I’ll let that organise itself.
Anyway, the practical upshot of all this is that I’m not here this week. This has gone up automatically (or else you’re not seeing it) and so will one further post I already have written, but I’m not going to be around to answer or moderate comments or reading other peoples’ blogs till the 20th, for all practical purposes. Have fun, play nice, see some of you soon.