medieval romance

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


the tale of the squirrel

It all started innocently enough:


“Le Roman de la Rose”: fear, danger, & walls vs. #bridgesnotwalls #NoWallsNoBan #LoveTrumpsHate



Teaching the “Roman de la Rose” in hyper-really allegorical times: Apocalypse Now

Previously on UBC Medieval Studies 301A: European Literature from the 5th to the 14th Century – “THE LIBERAL ARTS”:

Expanding an excerpt from the previous post, going beyond embedded screenshots, welcome to The Middle Week of the course en direct. 17-23 October 2016; with classes on the 18th and the 20th.

At the midpoint of the term, the course, and the book: expect chiasmic hinges. A week before Samhain: expect a thinning of the veils between realities. I didn’t expect that this would be the class where we digressed the most from The Rough Plan and where those digressions were all relevant: this was the set of class notes that expanded the most, from the preparatory pre-class version to the full version after the week’s classes. I certainly didn’t expect that this would be the class that really brought us all together, in delighted fascination at the actual mathematics of the number 666, as shown by an actual mathematician (whose final project was an allegory, a dystopian speculative fiction short story).

Expect the unexpected, as ever, in teaching.


Of field-work & marriage



Sunday morning special: in accidental praise of L’Europe sans frontières




  • short
  • includes a very pretty picture of a butterfly at the end


  • includes neomedievalism
  • may reduce your faith in “quality serious authoritative” people and “quality serious” publications (more…)

On early science fiction / SF

image (more…)

“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…)

Medievalising “The Fall” (2): further intertextuality

Further, that is, to “Medievalising The Fall and power-pointing” (24 September 2015).

Three things:


In a most curious bit of genius casting, the actress (Laura Donnelly) who plays the first murder victim, Sarah Kay, in the first two episodes of the first season of The Fall also appears elsewhere as a the love-interest of a character played by the actor who will be Tom Anderson, Stella Gibson’s love-interest in the last two episodes of the second season.


That other character was Merlin in the eponymous BBC TV series. Should that trigger some audience expectations for development of the Anderson character in series three?

Adding an incestuous frisson, the actor (John Lynch) who plays Merlin’s father Balinor also plays one of Stella Gibson’s ex-lovers, Jim Burns.


If that weren’t already curious enough, here’s what Laura Donnelly’s character Freya turns into at midnight every night (like the previous screenshot, still taken from Merlin season 2 episode 9): (more…)

On writing and cross-overs

Two things, which intersect: twitter and blogging.


I’ve recently reconnected my Twitter account, after letting it lapse and moulder for some time. I had only Twittered around passively in between, reading, mostly short items first read about via other sources and keeping up to date with a conference (or a parallel session) through its # coverage and updates. Twitter has changed over the years and continues to do so. I’m curious to see how (why too, like any other historically- and speculatively-minded reader) and what this means for short-form writing and how it interacts with long-form. You’ll see that most of the Twitterers I’m “following” are comedians; this is partly to see how they work in short-form. (more…)