Apr 26 2010


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Medievalists: pre-registration deadline is the 28th, after which a late fee will be applied.

Register  now, save that late fee to buy me a beer.  (lol)

Apr 12 2010

Twitter, Congress, and thou

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

The International Congress on Medieval Studies has a Twitter account:


If you’re a Twitter-using medievalist, please follow!

There’s also a designated a hashtag #Kzoo2010 for use before, on-site, and after Congress for Congress-related tweeting and micro-blogging for searching ease.

Let the tweets begin!

(Yes, it’s me tweeting in my significantly more boring official capacity.)

Feb 22 2010

medievalists: fyi

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

The Program for the International Congress on Medieval Studiesonline for a month–is printed and has been winging its way through (priority) US and international mail for a week. US bulk is going out in waves (so many thousands of books to process!) and should be complete this week.

Don’t forget to register. See you all in May.

Oct 22 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Today I ended up in conversation with a couple of the grad students about when I first started attending the Congress, as an undergrad (1990).

They called me an old fart. o_O

I regaled them with Back In The Day tales that included that of a thrice-dammed full-sized traction trebuchet I was conscripted to help assemble and demonstrate, and the infamous dance, as it had been (held in a cafeteria, open bar, Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball).

And I told them of the first time I had attended the dance… it was 1992, a few months before Nine Inch Nails’ Broken came out.

This is important.

You see, I walked into that dimly-lit cafeteria (but the academics inside were already well-lit, I assure you) to see two nuns (Remember, these are medievalists—there are members of many of the orders present every year… in fact, there are staff members who persist in the idea that we’re a Renaissance Festival because they see monks walking around. Rly. Srsly.) on the outskirts of the dance floor (such as it was) dancing—you know, the classic stand-and-sway while moving the arms in a vaguely robot-fashion kind of dancing—to NIN’s Sin.

I turned around and walked out of that cafeteria.

Despite how very much I needed that open bar at that moment (you can imagine how my brain and soul cried for blessed oblivion), I just couldn’t take one more step forward.

I was so very happy when Broken was released—I hadn’t been able to listen to PHM (since that moment in May when my brain broke) without going into blink-blink-shudder-AAAaaaagh every time that song came on.

So I leave you with the cognitively dissonant image of nuns doing the white-people-boogie to the voice of Trent Reznor.

You’re welcome.

Sep 29 2009


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

There is a discussion in a community on Facebook that medievalists/attendees of the International Congress on Medieval Studies might find interesting. Or not – in which case there’s always scrabble.

Sep 26 2009


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Session Organizer paperwork for the International Congress on Medieval Studies is due Oct. 1.

Get on it!

Jul 02 2009


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized
May 09 2009

Weblogs and the Academy

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Whoah, I’ve never liveblogged — this will be interesting (and not just the papers – I *know* those will be interesting!!)

Weblogs and the Academy: The Scope of the Professional and Boundaries of the Personal in Open, Pseudo-Anonymous, and Anonymous Blogging (organized by Shana Worthen and myself)

Personalizing the Profession: The Value of “Academic Life” Blogs, Christina M. Fitzgerald:academic life blogs v. narrowly discipline-focused blogs. The former works to humanize academics, showing demands of personal and professional and blurred lines between academic life and personal life. Blogs can be read for insight into other types of institutions, situations, or positions to gain broader knowledge of the workings of academia. Academic life blogs can shed light on the process to graduate students beginning the process, demystifying it in the process. Reminds readers that medievalists are not only what they publish, gives voice to their work, but also to the way their work impacts their personal lives and shapes their professional experience.

Balancing the Personal and the Professional in Academic Blogging, Kristen M. Burkholder: reasons for choice to pseudononymously blog and the ramifications of that decision. blogging under own name involves a certain circumspect treatment of blog contents, given the potential negative ramifications of name googling by an institution during a tenure process or job search. activities or opinions outside of academic life communicated in connection to a blogger’s real identity can still shadow that individual and color the opinions of readers. Medievalists, as a fairly ‘rare bird’ in academia, are easy to possibly ferret out based on clues to identity, so a pseudonym alone can’t be considered protection of identity. Blogging under a real name, however, allows the blogger to take credit for the blogging (ex: showing engagement with discipline). Can be a way to establish professional relationships and engage in discipline-based discourse. Blogs used as teaching tools can, obviously, not function pseudonymously if that blog is revealed to students in the course of utilizing it in pedagogy. Closed course blogs can’t be used as an ongoing tool, nor can they engage the scholarly community as a whole. The size of potential audience requires care to balance casual discussion of academic topics (like deconstructing conference sessions) with making actionable statements, and the positive visibility of a scholar as a representative of a discipline or university has another side of the coin if discretion is not applied to the blog topically or in the treatment of the topic.

“A Blogger by Any Other Name”: Pseudonymous Blogging and the Creation of a Legitimate Academic Voice, Julie A. Hofmann: academic blogging has changed significantly since 2002. Initially bloggers were discipline-focused and written primarily by males, whereas blogging by medievalists has exploded in the range of voices and the increase in academic life blogs. In general, the more personal the blog, the more likely the author is female, the blog pseudononymous, and the voice collegial/casual — but increasingly junior faculty are joined by senior faculty and graduate students and independent scholars in bloggingl. Despite the Ivan Tribble series, this expansion in types of bloggers shows that blogging and bloggers aren’t the scary things naysayers feared. Professional voice appears side by side with this casual, personal voice, thus presenting blogger as scholar and serving the discipline and community via information exchange and a space for discourse. Many (although not all) blogging with an academic voice post under their real identity, whether individual or group-constructed. The professional voice is carefully constructed, but the collegial voice is equally as carefully constructed and the pseudononymous blogger that uses it is not, as often accused, trying to hide something nor necessarily over-personal or under-professional. They are not *less* academic – they are *differently* academic. Most academics do not find jobs at research universities, so to stress the purely-professionally-voiced academic blog presents an image of the discipline that doesn’t match reality. And medievalists are often isolated on campuses — collegiality creates community. Questions: why are most academic life blogs written by females? why do males feel more comfortable blogging under their own names? and, if blogs are clearly academic and legitimate, why do so many academic life bloggers still feel compelled to blog pseudononymously?

My Blog Is Not Myself: Negotiating Identity in the Academic Blogosphere, Janice Liedel: Psychologists working on blogs have shown that the elaborate creation of online identity is actually rare – in reality, personal identity is grafted onto avatars and communication. In fact, the internet pulls some to reveal more of the personal than they would otherwise, and that has in part helped form the list of negatives leveled at bloggers: recklessness, senior colleagues can adversely impact careers, posts can create animosity in departments, popularity can create a form of professional jealousy. Even so, the internet identity is a construction (whether publicly blogging or no) however much it’s informed by the personality of the blogger. And the blogger must be cognizant of that identity constructed — a vitriol-fueled personal, for example, it surely not a good choice nor positive contribution to professional goals when bridges are burned with senior faculty and graduate students, alike. Although nothing disappears on the internet, choices can be reconsidered and personas remade to better serve the personal and professional goals of the blogger.

Apr 30 2009


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Shana Worthen and I have co-organized the series of sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies on ‘Weblogs and the Academy’ for the past three years.

2006 – Weblogs and the Academy: Internet Presence and Professional Discourse among Medievalists (A Roundtable)

2007 – Weblogs and the Academy: Pedagogy, Professionalism, and Technical Practices (A Roundtable)

2008 – Weblogs and the Academy: Professional and Community Outreach through Internet Presence

And this, our final year:

2009 – Weblogs and the Academy: The Scope of the Professional and Boundaries of the Personal in Open, Pseudo-Anonymous, and Anonymous Blogging — Please join us Saturday, May 9, at 3:30 p.m. in Bernhard 213!

We’ve enjoyed organizing the sessions, and they’ve been very good (if I do say so myself – and this year looks excellent, too!) To our delight they’ve resulted in spirited discussion both at the conference and online, and they’ve helped in the creation of a real and lively community of medievalist bloggers. We’ve been fortunate in the wide and outstanding variety of scholars who have come aboard, and in the generous support the medievalist blogging community has given us in the form of suggestions, ideas, and kudos – many, many thanks to all!

I’m (inordinately!) pleased that academic blogging in our discipline is still going full-force, that sessions on blogging have become (almost) commonplace at other academic conferences, and that our sessions have helped shine a spotlight on the bloggers who have spoken in them and on the greater world of medievalist bloggers.

But wait – I said final, didn’t I?

Shana and I have decided to exit, stage left. The topic is hardly exhausted, despite our presenting speakers on some of the biggest issues that either we identified or that grew out of previous sessions, but we’re bowing out while we’re ahead — and that means there is an opening for any of you to continue the show. I can’t think of any major issues we’ve missed – but I suspect you may have ideas (that is, if the sessions are still of interest and still needed – and that’s a question only you, collectively, can answer), and we’re happy to support you in organizing these sorts of sessions at Kalamazoo in the future.

But ya gotta let us know.

So – what do you think?

Apr 27 2009


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized