(February 2016 – August 2017)
Medievalists struggle with popular misconceptions. This, for example:
And these, which are not Medieval but Early Modern:
Reader of everything. Writer. Performer. Creator. Stand up comedian, speculative fictioneer, improviser, paranomasiac, marvelling revelling adventurer in existence.
Public outreach educator and life-long learning experimenter in ways beyond the wildest imaginings of Proper Professionals in these fields before they or these fields even existed. The next time you consider using words like “innovation,” “innovative,” “innovator”: have some respect. Think first. Check with reference to Ken. If philology provides a theoretical meaning, it is Ken who provides—incarnates—a reference-point for lived active practice.
As we academics start the new year, welcome new students, and train new graduate-student Teaching Assistants, please consider giving half an hour of your time to Ken; from whom one can learn more, and more deeply, in that time than in a year’s worth of Professionalisation Training Programmes by Proper Education Specialists.
I miss Ken.
I love this video and hope you do too. May watching Ken again become an annual ritual, a commemoration to bring in the academic new year.
(TW: Contains death and diddling, and Latin and love.)
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 310D
Topics in Medieval Studies
2017 Winter Term 2
Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Dr Juliet O’Brien
Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies
Wonder. Delight. Awe. Joy. Imagination. Marvellousness (mirabilis, merveille, merveillos) (more…)
Margins and marginality are wonderful, as are their transgression and subversion and any play with them. But, as all wearers of glasses know, frames can be fun too.
This is a piece about frames and framing. Updates seem to be turning it into an illustrated prosimetrical short story about liminality and its horrors. Which was unexpected and is weird. Blame the uncanny conjunction of borders and walls in the news, UBC, bande dessinée, Guy de Maupassant, and Marguerite Porete. (more…)
The original title of this piece is “Criticism & commentary,” but it’s really about reading and writing as harmoniously-integrated activities within the larger whole that is a literary continuum and polyphonic collective; uniting all participants in a living textual network.
Premises and provisos: It views commentary as one of the core and ancient literary/communicative forms, along with story-telling and translation; with story-telling as the living beating heart of this human trinity of curiosity, criticism, and creativity.
It uses literature in its broad sense to extend to “any object that can be read, seen, interpreted” and reading in the broad / Barthes sense to include perception by any of the senses, with “making sense of” as its purpose, and an interpretation translated into expression via any of the senses. This piece sees literature as synonymous with communicative expression. Not as one kind of communication, but the other way around: what passes in other (non-literary) fields as “communication” is a more or less appropriately human, or humanly-appropriate, kind of literature. All writing has a right, duty, and responsibility to be beautiful, imaginative and innovative, and critical and creative. All writing can and should be literature.
Its base was the version used in MDVL 302: European Literature of the 14th to the 16th centuries – “Criticism” (UBC, Faculty of Arts, Medieval Studies Programme, Spring 2012) and MDVL 301A : European Literature of the 5th to the 14th centuries – “The Liberal Arts” (Fall 2016). It’s one of the oldest pieces on this present blog; its most ancient archaeological layer (writing resources) is from a now-deceased previous site, “The Rose of the Romance” (2003).
An admission: I don’t really like exams, and I really don’t enjoy having to invigilate them as that means watching people suffer. Here at UBC, in lower-level undergraduate courses we are stuck with obligatory final exams worth at least a certain percentage of the final grade (and another percentage for work done under controlled conditions, be that as exams or in class). I’d rather that exams, like much else, were more like the image above. And less black-and-white; more green, with birdsong… (more…)
It may be a symptom of midlife crisis. Perhaps I should worry. On the other hand, there’s already plenty to worry about without adding any artificial worries to one’s burden.
I’ve been thinking about the past. (more…)