ideas underway

The Joy of Consent: Feeling Together (in some medieval Occitan poetry); FHIS research seminar (2 = talk + slides)


The Joy of Consent: Feeling Together (2: slides & references) #MLA18

The 133rd MLA (Modern Language Association) Annual Convention, New York
2018 Presidential Theme: States of Insecurity
Session 92: LLC Occitan Forum – “Joy: Thinking / Feeling”
Thursday 4 January 2018, 3:30 p.m.


Slides from talk, in PowerPoint and PDF (and yes, the talk was under the allotted 20 minutes):



“Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016 (1): before the climactic event, an introduction to international medievalist congress

The Old Occitan Romance of Flamenca has long been known, to Occitanists and other similarly fine noble persons of taste and distinction as A Good Thing. And fine, noble, etc.

It has been growing in repute. Part of that is its availability in four new paperback editions and translations, all in the last ten years. In Medievalist, publication, and book-historical terms this is Major.

Here’s a rough list, in chronological order, of editions and translations. (more…)

Un nouveau cours @UBC en janvier 2017 !

affiche pour le cours

Credo (2): Mashup remix: #4wordpedagogy + #UBC100


Credo for universal lifelong higher education (1)

This post is essentially a statement of teaching philosophy, as academic outreach, most of which originally appeared as Tweets. It is also a contribution to #UBC100. I do not have much to give. I am not financially wealthy. But I can offer other riches—as can any faculty and many other members of the universitas that is the university community—riches beyond a banker’s wildest dreams or a property magnate’s most far-sighted imaginative speculations.

A statement of teaching philosophy, then.

Or: what is the point of it all?

Or: why am I here?

Or: why are we all here?

Or indeed: why am I?


It’s that time of year again.

Catching up with marking, marking final exams, composing final grades.

A time of endings.

A time of marvel and awe. A time to marvel and to be awed by the awesome. May we all aspire to the joyous freaky magic Heavenly Assumption Of The Blessed Guitar.


On applied medievalism and being more like whales

I woke up quite early this morning. It was already gloriously sunny. Not too hot, a balmy spring breeze. A perfect day for drying laundry outside (except my strata won’t allow it because it would be unsightly or lower-class or something). I’ve spent the day marking, sorting out “hardship exams” (for students with 3 exams in 24 hours etc.), doing laundry, and reading and writing. Much of the latter activities have gravitated around one of the first things I saw online today, which made my day. It also made my day yesterday. Here it is:



Sneak preview: new course next fall, THE LIBERAL ARTS

(Feat. replacing half of STEM where it belongs, in the arts & humanities; a.k.a. “rehumanising S & M.”)

A new version of an old course, MDVL 301 being as it is one of the regular stalwarts in the UBC Medieval Studies Program

More information coming up over the next six months, and then during the course itself, at

Some things will be openly freely publicly available there; some (student work, interaction, course notes) will not, for reasons of privacy and intellectual property rights.

Philosophy and the seven liberal arts – from the “Hortus deliciarum” of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)

MDVL 301: European Literature from the 5th to the 14th Century
The Liberal Arts”
(3 credits, 2016-17, winter session, term one: September to December 2016)  (more…)

On good government

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, The Allegory of Good Government (Sala dei Nove, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena: 1338-39)


This piece started out as some Tweets yesterday. It is intended as a friendly useful guide to our Board of Governors on the art of good government; be that as is, or in using ideas from it and adapting them to new ideas of governance. Medievalists are, as ever, here to help in the here and now …

UBC, a public university, is currently celebrating its centenary. And in the midst of governance crises. Here are two reasons why some frescos in a council chamber can help.