May is upon us! That's when the season of drinking spa waters started in the #earlymodern period: the mineral water was most efficacious in the summer months.
So, only in the Summer, the tiny town of Spa (current day Belgium) became an international hotspot, accommodating Protestants as well as Catholics. I wrote about the intriguing dynamics of that seasonal coexistence here:
"Support healthcare workers. Vote. Find beauty."
I'm super anti Twitter, but here's a good thread by Monica Green about sources of calm in the current moment:
“People are not rewarded for checking previous work,” Schatzberg said. “They’re rewarded for coming up with sexy new research findings. That’s true in the sciences, but it’s also true in the humanities.”
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)
(review by Dr Suzannah Biernoff)
"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
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
"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)
uhh, independent scholar now I guess?
medieval Latin, medieval medicine, all the medieval things
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