life goes on

Or, Big Hairy Post no. 2: the more-or-less good news.

Assorted glanures from email and browsing …

Medieval conferences, hot/cool topics (NB a selective list, remember also that I’m not a historian): some previous “new and hip” topics might now be said to be stable, expected, and–by any 17th-c. French definiton–classics.

  • animals: very hot right now; also animality vs. humanity, questions of identity and ethics, and–
  • –the environment (“Blame Canada“: on our government research criteria hit list, this is one topic that’s the nearest a Medievalist can wiggle to getting the nice juicy funding; though other governments have done this too…), wilderness
  • medicine and history of science and technology (ditto)
  • monsters, monstrosity, otherness/alterity/difference/différance/etc.
  • marginality
  • all things marvellous and weird and wacky
  • women
  • men
  • other people
  • the othering of other people, and the othering of that othering
  • people in general
  • people in groups
  • people individually
  • monastic communities
  • anchorites and hermits
  • gender, trans-, The Body (see also: animality, above), fluidity/mouvance in bodily identity, how this fits with oher aspect and determinations of identity… bref, as in other fields and periods
  • castration, dismemberment, and other gothickry
  • darker medievalism: and the medievalism that’s associated with vampires (and whichever other undead have come back into fashion, Twilight-style). See also: the individual, the human, the body
  • individuality, subjectivity, privacy
  • publics/the public, audience, performance, and a culture of larger “literacy”
  • society, sociology, and social justice
  • race and comparative perceptions: east/west, north/south, Medievalism expanding into Africa
  • Medievalism and the near and middle East, and South, South-East , and East Asia: inc. intersections with subaltern studies and postcolonialism. Again, the Good Stuff is looking both ways. Or rather, in many directions at once.
  • exchanges and interchanges, travel, trade, networks, maps and mapping. Exemplary case: moves towards a maritime rather than continental Europe: what was marginal becomes the new decentralised centre.

Medieval news, new websites, & resources of particular note:

Translation stuff… and Catalan is doing well:

  • LINGUISTIC DUALITY (OR MORE BOOKS IN FRENCH?)… Over the next three years, more money than ever before will be available for official language translations by Canadian professional publishers through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing . In addition to increasing the availability of books in English and in French, the program will include three pilot initiatives to build capacity in the industry and improve the quality of translations. The Department of Canadian Heritage is extending for three years its one-year agreement signed in 2009-10 with the Canada Council for the Arts and is transferring a total of $4.25 million to the Council to help publishers in Canada translate Canadian-authored books into English and French, as part of the Government’s Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality.
  • GO CATALAN!! The Budapest Cultural Observatory has analysed information from the Index Transnationum published by UNESCO and unearthed the interesting fact that, by 2005, the annual number of books translated from Catalan has doubled since 1995, and the number in 2005 was 50% ahead of the total of the next 25 most frequently translated European minority languages.

And now, for your greater viewing pleasure, a classic of “life goes on”: not making omelettes without breaking eggs, finding joy in the smallest things in life. If life gives you grapefruits, make grapefruit juice and dance while you’re at it:


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