speculative fiction


It’s that time of year again. Time for updating the general-purpose appendix to all syllabus for all courses…

LAST UPDATED: 2018-02-15

la règle du jeu / renoir


Radical professionalism (2b): … but it can be about imagination …


University undergraduate liberal arts education is #AntiFascistSFF


A special bonus post in celebration of the Happy Academic New Year; all images (except one) are from the brilliant Scarfolk Council (scarfolk.blogspot.com), which you MUST visit forthwith if you have not already done so.  (more…)

Make the essay Montaignian again (2)

This started out as a short post about worrying. It is dedicated to my FREN 220 students who will be sitting their final exam next week, to other students preparing for and sitting exams (notwithstanding amusing attempts to undermine our exam season), and to students more generally. You are why faculty are here. And we are here for you. We worry. We want to help: in respectful support.



THE RULES (2016)

It’s that time of year again. Time for updating the general-purpose appendix to all syllabus for all courses.

LAST UPDATED: 2016-09-01

la règle du jeu / renoir


I. Aims and objectives
II. Expectations
III. Responsibilities
IV. Grading criteria
V. Plagiarism
VI. Late work
VII. Extensions and making up for missed work
VIII. Tests and examinations
IX. Quick links to UBC rules, policies, and procedures



Medievalising Modern French & hope

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…)

“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

Littérature = imagination 

(En français à l’exception du prologue et des enluminures en anglais.)

(Postcript preamble: this piece is in French, sorry, it just kind of happened that way.

It was triggered by a video from La Brigade du Livre, and I’m currently back to reading Montaigne’s Journal de voyage en Italie, par la Suisse et l’Allemagne as a digressive pause from Infinite Jest and as a palate-cleansing entremets after the wonderful Station Eleven which is one of those beautiful imaginative adventures after which one needs a pause just to get one’s breath back; and where I felt it would be rude, maybe difficult, to read more SF immediately after. Forgetting as ever that SF, speculative fictions, and imagineering are always all around: in Montaigne too. Besides, Montaigne always leads to Thinking. That’s bad enough already. Worse: Montaigne leads to Thoughts about writing, and reading, and big questions about literature and blogging and The Meaning Of It All.

So. In French because of Montaigne and LA BRIGADE DU LIVRE.

As a compromise, I’ll add some pretty pictures of recent reading. They kind of punctuate the text, so it’s a medieval-manuscript-like bit of bilingualism.)

La lecture, la littérature, et la vie littéraire sont désormais bel et bien en vie. Vive la vie imaginaire !

Comme tout lecteur assidu.e de meta-meta-medieval aura remarqué, je n’ai pas beaucoup publié.

identity and academic identity

–some timely self-flagellation. By “some,” I mean quite a lot and at some length and with some wind, of the long-winded sort (to which there’s been some additions and rewriting subsequently–ed., 2011-10-07 @17:42).