medievalisings: comparative contemporary commentary

Translation, transformation, magical mid-points, and other werewolves


In the “Animal Reading” lecture this week, we had a backdrop of changing forest scenery while attempting werewolfish reading; today is under the sign of the dog, wolf, and werewolf.

References are to the Penguin Classics editions (Marie trans. Burgess, Montaigne trans. Screech), as this course is taught through English and using translations—with occasional reference, today for example, to the original—in readily-available cheap paperback, that can be obtained second-hand for little, as a compromise between keeping student costs down and retaining content and quality. ‪And having complete books—not dismembered extracts—out of ecosystemic respect.‬

From the syllabus:


  • TOPIC:
    Animals communicating with humans and reading them, anthropomorphic animals, and metamorphosing humans
    • Marie de France: Bisclavret, Yonec
    • Montaigne: I. 8, 11, 14, 36, 48 – II. 11, 27, 30
    • (+ II. 12 excerpts)


Syllabus (1): 200-level Romance Studies, medieval to early modern, “Animal Reading”

Here’s another syllabus, again in the interests of sharing resources, in case it helps others elsewhere and as this is a public university in a part of the world (BC, Canada) that’s keen on open education. This one is for UBC RMST 221B. There’s a publicly-accessible version at UBC Blogs (this is just a copy from there). That site also has other materials for students (there will be more next week), and more on UBC’s “Learning Management System” (yes, I know, sorry). These are just for my students (sorry). I have once again over-complicated my own life, and perhaps that of others, by including not one but TWO kinds of weekly discussion (on that LMS, Canvas). And by integrating peer assessment and self-assessment. And by trying to figure out a Cunning Plan for reading Montaigne’s Essays in one term. And it’s not the only reading. The Cunning Plan hinges on different kinds of reading, and on collaborative reading in a way that, I hope, will create a community of learning and knowledge in the class. (Famous last words, ask me again in December. Or in two weeks.) There will be a Public Knowledge contribution: “Humanimals Reading: A Local Bestiary.” More on that in December.

I am very excited about all of this.


An old talk: Arts ISIT workshop, “Multidimensional Learning through Digital Platforms” (September 2018)

In mid-September last year, four of us UBC faculty were invited to share our experiences with open learning platforms in a UBC Arts ISIT (Instructional Support and Information Technology) workshop. It was fun, and what we’re doing and have done might be useful for other people too. The workshop is archived here and you can watch our presentations here. Our organiser and chair was Meena Kahlon, and my co-presenters were Dr Katherine Bowers (CENES, European Studies, Science & Technology Studies, and one of this year’s Wall Scholars), Dr Tristan Grunow (History, East Asian Studies; and now at Yale), and Dr Jenny Peterson (Political Science, International Relations, and Vantage College). (more…)

A gratuitous rant against the hypocritical obscenity of the paedophagocene


Sneak preview: #RMST221B – “Animal Reading” course design work in progress