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Wow-- a pretty unequivocal axe to the slender scholarly reed that RFB leaned on in her recent attack on Dorothy Kim

The tl;dr is that the window RFB relied on on in her attack was extensively restored, and so other scholars have avoided drawing historical inferences from it: so someone needs to learn more history herself!

"The Virgin at Chartres, White Supremacy, and Medieval Studies"

maybe because it's been a slower day for work, I have been thinking about one of my teachers, who died right after my first semester in grad school

of all the people who were encouraging early on, he was warm and entirely selfless in giving me advice, his time, and even a couple of his books (and I wasn't even really his student!)

it was tremendously encouraging at that early stage of the ph.d. to feel like someone thought well of me

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ah, well:

what I thought yesterday might be an interesting discovery turns out not to mean what I wanted it to

that's research, I guess; and at least I'm at a good library, so figuring it all out took less than a day of work

a funny coincidence of work and pleasure:

I've been thinking and reading about mirrors all day, and the song that I've had on replay is Kurt Vile's Pretty Pimpin (which talks extensively about mirrors, too):

If merely calling for a pedagogy that rejects the claims of white supremacists is enough to bring this kind of attack, then ironically for RFB, she's confirmed how essential Dorothy Kim is to the field.

More context:
Kim, "Teaching Medieval Studies in a Time of White Supremacy"

If nothing else, this episode reveals that RFB's invocation of free speech in her defense of Milo was nothing but pretextual bullshit. RFB evidently doesn't care at all about open and fair discussion, and is happy to attempt the nastiest kinds of bullying to silence those she disagrees with.

(It is clear on re-reading her Milo piece, however, that she believes free speech should-- primarily? exclusively?-- foster a certain kind of discussion about religious values.)

I don't think that we've yet heard from the senior scholars RFB cites in her post, though we can certainly hope that this convinces everyone in the field that our field has some deep, deep problems with race and power (a concern that the organizers of one of the two major confs in our field were inclined to shrug off as recently as this summer).

Many scholars have attempted to intervene:

Richard Utz' response is fairly comprehensive:
"See something, say something"

Kim's colleagues at the In The Middle blog have also responded, pointing out that "This is not normal scholarly exchange. This is unprofessional discourse by any standard."

and a number of other medievalists have also spoken up

A few days ago, tenured UChicago prof Rachel Fulton Brown used her blog to attack Vassar asst prof Dorothy Kim over Kim's arguments against white supremacists.

The text of the piece was ugly enough, but the subtext was even worse: I am connected to the most powerful people in our discipline, but you are junior, untenured, and a person of color (this bit was emphasized by the deployment of Kim's picture), and so you should know your place.

it's not that great, but still

for once in my life I seem to have come up with a half-decent title...

I don't really care about the brouhaha around the Gibbs "solution" to the Voynich MS (and I'm def disappointed in the snobbish response of medievalists to non-experts)

but as a palaeographer, it is a bit frustrating to see someone just try to make up their own bogus "system" to decode the highly regular system of expression in Latin MSS

this MS image may look cryptic, but it's actually a pretty logical, albeit compressed, form of expression

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whoa: a scholar I know pretty well appears to have had his position eliminated right after his tenure portfolio was submitted

that is absolutely crazy, even with the crazy stuff that's happened in higher ed recently

Unibos manages to escape their attempt to kill him by throwing him in the sea by convincing a gullible swineherd to trade places with him; when he comes back, with a bunch of pigs, he tells them of a magical land, bountiful in swine, under the sea-- which can, naturally enough, only be reached by swimming to the most dangerous part of the water, off a cliff...

Came across Unibos, a Latin fabliau, in Wolterbeek's Comic Tales of the Middle Ages

It's about a trickster who persuades his social betters to kill their wives, dig through horse shit looking for gold, and then kill themselves by jumping in the sea

Not the most scintillating Latin, but some of the tricks are good

omniadisce boosted

Happy back-to-school from!

good lord, looking at TT job postings is stressing me the f out

Sometimes abstract writing is this playful, almost frivolous thing, but there are definitely times it's a fucking chore...