really interesting piece on what may be a pervasive problem in historical scholarship, and maybe the humanities more generally: one scholar makes a tentative or poorly sourced claim that slowly morphs into accepted fact, and then proves v difficult to dislodge
(also: sex toys)
"Images of faces abound in medieval art, and Skinner doesn’t overlook iconography as a potential source of evidence, but what we don’t have are detailed, naturalistic portraits of specific individuals from this period. An absence of actual faces – let alone disfigured ones – reflects the widespread conviction that appearances and essences were different and irreconcilable things."
this generalization seems a little broad to me, though I certainly can't think of any good counterexx
medieval reactions to disfigurement, domestic violence Show more
for me, this dovetails interestingly (though grimly!) with the way that the disfigurement of (for example) adulterous women in fabliaux, Boccaccio, etc. is meant to play as uproariously funny
medieval reactions to disfigurement Show more
"Rather than embarrassment, horror, pity or disgust – the constellation of emotions most often evoked in modern accounts of facial disfigurement – the word that recurs through early medieval sources is ridicule (p. 214). As Skinner elaborates, ‘In a medieval culture that valued honor and face, being laughed at, or being the object of not-so-amusing comments, was just as much an injury as physical damage’ (p. 214)."
really interesting review of Trish Skinner's new book on Living with Disfigurement in early medieval Europe, with consideration of material from Ireland to Byzantium, and going into the 12th c.
also, there have been two great posts on the medieval medical blog I co-run:
Winston Black kicked off the aca. year with a great discussion of the dissemination of Constantine the African in English MSS:
and Monica Green followed up with an exploration of the "fantasy pharmacy" of high medieval medicine-- refs to ingredients that wouldn't have actually been accessible:
sometimes my field of study is pretty great:
I've just been listening in to a fascinating conversation (via email) about moldy bread, the moldy Eucharist, the rapidity of use of the Eucharist, medieval understandings of mold, etc., and it's gotten super wide-ranging 😁
someone just mentioned that Gilgamesh talks about the state of a set of bread loaves baked over a series of days
THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF RESEARCH LIBRARIES RELEASED THEIR JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTION COSTS 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘
46% of 80 million Canadian dollars go to Elsevier. F*cking A.
Link to article & data: http://www.carl-abrc.ca/news/carl-members-release-journal-subscription-cost-data/
This is a really great blog post about
a problem with publishing which libraries and others struggle with. Publishers are actively hostile to users getting content which is either OA or even available through the library’s subscription (eg they’ll leave a “buy this” button when the user has the rights to just download it for free). This post uncovers even more... https://researchremix.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/wheres-waldo-with-public-access-links/
compelling thread about who certain fields of the humanities are for (in this case, 19th c. lit, but the point can be made more broadly)
A programming historian tutorial by a student of mine https://programminghistorian.org/lessons/getting-started-with-mysql-using-r
Islamic Studies in Germany, Holocaust Show more
Berthold Spuler, chair of Islamic Studies 1948-1980 (and whose survey of Islamic history I read in school when I was like 17) also appears to have been a Nazi asshole:
"In 1967, when students unfurled a banner that read "Gowns hide the mildew of 1000 years", Spuler cried out: "You all belong in a concentration camp!"" ["Sie gehören alle in ein Konzentrationslager!"]
postdoc at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto
medieval Latin, medieval medicine, all the medieval things
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