Tag Archives: Michelle Ziegler

Kalamazoo on the Blogs

Last year I saw relatively few bloggers posting about Kalamazoo. This year they’re all over the place. This page will be my attempt to provide a list of bloggers who have posted about the 2012 International Congress on Medieval Studies and who have described something about it, beyond simply, “I was there.” As I’m posting this just three days after Congress I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ll be adding more links. Also, if I link to a blog post about Kalamazoo and that blogger adds additional posts, I won’t add all of their links (I don’t think – if I change my mind this sentence will disappear). If you know of a blogger posting about K’zoo and I haven’t included it here, feel free to either e-mail me or post a comment. The same goes if I’ve posted a link to your blog and you’d prefer I remove it. made their initial K’zoo post here and mention there may be more. I wonder if they’ll describe how they were featured at the Pseudo Society Session?

At Modern Medieval Matthew Gabriele provides his contribution to a BABEL Panel, “Against the 19th Century: A Mini-Manifesto.”

Notorious PhD posted about a strange encounter she had at this year’s Congress. I think I may throw a post in sometime about how I approach Medievalists with suggestions.

JJ Cohen discusses his Kalamazoo experience on the group blog, In the Middle. Because this is a group blog I will try to provide a link to a K’zoo post from each individual blog author as they appear.

On Grateful to the Dead, Chris Armstrong posted his Congress Paper, “C S Lewis: The classical and medieval resonances of his moral teachings.”

Historian on the Edge posted his paper from a BABEL Session (I really need to get to these), “History and Commitment: A Miniature Manifesto.”

Steve Muhlberger posted a couple of links from BABEL Session papers, including the one from H.O.T.E.

Jonathan Hsy guest posted about Kalamazoo on In the Middle.

From a new blog, for me, Bachanal in the Library discussed his first Kalamazoo experience.

Michelle Ziegler of Heavenfield and Contagions provides a summary of her Kalamazoo experience.

Jonathan Hsy just shared a post from James Smith of Australia where he talks about his Kalamazoo experience on his blog, Fluid Imaginings.

I hardly ever come across LiveJournal Blogs for some reason, I really don’t know why, but here’s what looks to be the final Kalamazoo Post from The Rose Garden. Heather Rose Jones was live blogging from Kalamazoo – I mean posting about sessions pretty much as they happened. And she has a bunch of ’em. I’m in awe.

Charlie Rozier at Rozier Historian offers a few Kalamazoo observations.

Jonathan Hsy also shared a post by Anne from Medieval Meets World. This post is less about the events of Congress than its spirit. It’s a different way of looking at Kalamazoo, at least for me.

In the Middle’s Eileen Joy authored a lengthy post in which she provides a summary of the Exemplaria Roundtable (Session 12) as well as her perspective on some issues related to Medieval Studies as a discipline and as a profession.

Jim Tigwell, another individual whose blog was previously unknown to me, posted some of his thoughts.

Megan Arnott from The Society for the Public Understanding of the Middle Ages posted a summary of their Kalamazoo session.

MEARCSTAPA, the Medieval Monster Group, (I’m not gonna try to type that out) posted a quick summary of their two sessions.


Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Conferences, Other Blogs


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Cool Stuff on Other Blogs IV

You know how it is; you post something and immediately afterward a bunch of stuff comes out which makes you wish you’d waited a couple of days (I’ve had the same thing happen with publishing articles). This weekend appears to have been a profitable one for some of my favorite blogs.

Before I get to that I want to mention that I’ve updated my Kalamazoo page to include my posts from 2011. I’m not sure I’m thrilled with how it looks so I may tweak that a bit but the content is all there. I’ve been planning to do this for months and kept putting it off so I think this is more to brag about a relatively insignificant accomplishment than because it will matter to anyone right now. I must be in search of validation or something at the moment.

Also, I’ve put up the labels I’ve used for posts in the lower left of the blog. It looks messy and confusing to me – but it may be helpful to people trying to find stuff and by being stuck down there, they’re not overly visible. So I’ve also put a poll up, towards the upper right. If you feel the urge, please vote and let me know whether I should leave the labels in.

I’ve also added a button so you can follow this blog by e-mail, rather than having to log on to follow posts. I should have done this a while ago though it is a fairly recent add-in for Blogger. I believe once you go in it gives you options on when you receive the e-mails and I’m pretty sure it comes in digest form – if I post more than once in a day you’ll receive a single message. I’ve been told this is easier to read on mobile devices.

On to the blogs, in chronological posting order.

Michelle Ziegler has a really cool post on Heavenfield summarizing some National Geographic documentaries, as well as offering her own thoughts on the Staffordshire Gold Hoard.

Magistra et Mater has a great post recounting a seminar on the characteristics of Viking slavery. She also comments on how these characteristics compare with slavery in other societies as well as warning us all against over-generalization, a message I have increasingly come to appreciate (and to date have not grown tired of) over the past few years.

Moving a bit out of my period but something I’m increasingly troubled by, over at Modern Medieval, Scott Jenkins has put up a post which covers some broad turf; the current University funding situation in the UK, 60’s protests and a medieval institution – the “student university.” I enjoyed this post tremendously — extremely insightful.

This last is more contemporary than I usually post about but I’m having some real problems dealing with the images coming out of Cal-Davis over the past few days and I’m battling a strong urge to break my “this blog is for medieval stuff only” vow. I think I’ll get past it. There are far smarter people than I talking about it.

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Other Blogs


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Cool Stuff on Other Blogs III

I should subtitle this, “and Cool New Blogs.” Meaning blogs I just found out about, not newly created.

At the moment I have nothing to say but some time to say it. This is a perilous situation but I will attempt to avoid boring you all.

My first kudos goes to Michelle Ziegler. Michelle has her excellent blog on the Early Medieval British Isles, Heavenfield. She also has a second blog, Contagions. I happen to not have this on my blog list because about 80% of the content is well over my head. I mean, I took Epi in college but along with Physics and Advanced Calculus I seem to have eradicated it from my brain. But every so often she posts a Round-up. These are very interesting, even when none of my stuff is mentioned, and this time it introduced me to four new blogs I’m planning to pay attention to.

First up is Kristina Killgrove’s Roman DNA Project Blog. There are a couple of reasons I’m interested in this, even though it’s before my period. First is that how the Empire was populated is interesting in and of itself. Second is that DNA evidence is coming up quite frequently in Medieval research and by following a project from its beginning (If I can – I didn’t donate) I should be able to learn a lot about methodology. As I’ve said before, this is not so I can go out and do my own research, which I expect to never do, but so I can better assess the validity of an argument when I read it.

Rosemary Joyce has a blog, Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives which seems (I’ve just started reading it) to be about archaeological evidence disclosing the roles of gender, in particular women, in ancient societies. I’ve always been fascinated in trying to find out (from a reading what other people write perspective) what happened to two massively underrepresented groups, peasants and women. While for her blog ancient does indeed seem to cover the ancient period, women were just as underrepresented in pretty much all of history and going earlier will still be very interesting.

Senchus is a blog about Early Medieval Scotland authored by Tim Clarkson and I’ll just say that I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t already know of it.

I think I’m going to enjoy reading Bones Don’t Lie. Katie Meyers is a PhD student at Michigan State and it looks like she knows her stuff.

So thanks Michelle!

Gabriele from The Lost Fort always has excellent posts with great pictures. She has two posts which cover historic sites including a lot of reconstructed Germanic (sorry Goffart!) buildings, bridges, etc. Really good stuff.

As always, it seems, I can’t do one of these without mentioning Jonathan Jarrett. Even though I don’t know enough about it to comment, his opening report on Leeds has some fabulous pictures of Whitby Abbey. If Jonathan ever gets tired of this Medieval stuff he might do pretty well as a photo journalist (He could get some serious competition from Gabriele). He does far better with images than I could ever hope to and these are particularly good when he breaks out his camera.

And yet again, one of the things I got from this post, based on clicking on the links for some of the comments, ended up being two things; new blogs to follow. I really need to mine Jonathan’s Blogroll one of these days.

First up is L’Historien Errant. Christian Opitz says his main focus is Late Medieval which makes it several hundred years later than mine but I was impressed enough by the quality of the posts to want to start reading what he has to say, whether I understand much of it or not.

Slouching Towards Extimacy looks to have an Anglo-Saxon focus. I couldn’t find out who the author was so either he/she wishes to remain anonymous or I couldn’t figure out where to look. Of course I had to look up what “extimacy” means but it’s such a cool word. Looks like a pretty cool blog too. And give me a break – 15 years ago I didn’t know what exegesis meant. 1

I wasn’t going to focus on Jonathan’s most recent post about Richard Hodges’ book on the Vikings but it was through comments on that post that I found Norse and Viking Ramblings authored by Viqueen. I have not read a ton on them but I have several books on the Vikings and am interested in them and figuring out their impacts on Western Europe, in particular (for now, I always find more to be interested in when I start reading) on the evolution of fortifications in Western Europe. From scanning the first page of posts I think this is another gold mine.

So thanks again Jonathan – not just for the great posts but for helping me find some other terrific blogs.

I had a bit more to add but this seems long enough for now. I may follow up in a couple of days with a bit more. But reading three posts and finding seven new blogs? That’s a pretty good couple of days there.

1 Another broken vow. I swore when I started this blog to never use “exegesis” or “exegetical” in a post. I suppose I’ll just have to remember not to use it in a historical context or in a review while discussing how the author examines texts.


Posted by on November 19, 2011 in Other Blogs


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Cool Stuff on Other Blogs II

I had a post I really wanted to get out before I leave tomorrow until realizing that it may generate some discussion and while I’ll have internet access, I should be near my books, depending on what questions or comments come up. It’s mostly written so I should get it out next weekend.

Since I have nothing else to offer, here are a few recent posts by other bloggers which have caught my attention.

Steve Muhlberger put up a post a week or so ago which I found very interesting. In the US at least, and this may be true of other countries in what we’d call Western Civilization, we have a tendency to think of an entire country as being of basically the same culture. I’d argue that while this is more true in the US than many places, it’s not absolute even here. His post is a nice reminder that multiculturalism is the rule, not the exception even today, and was so to an even greater extent in the past. When I started reading about the Crusades one of the things that struck me was how many different Arab groups there were and how this had such an impact on their initial inability to resist the crusaders and crusade states. They were very willing to enter an alliance with Christians if it gained them an advantage against a rival Arab group. The Crusades have often been portrayed as a simple “Christian vs Islam” struggle. It was much more complex than that.

This is a bit of an old song here but once again I’m impressed with the latest post by Jonathan Jarrett detailing his travels in Catalonia. This one, in addition to having a lot of excellent historical information, includes some great pictures.

Magistra et Mater has two very good posts detailing IHR Early Medieval Seminars. Between her and Jonathan I feel like we got the whole set of sessions. I’m particularly interested in the earlier of the two, discussing continuity with some comments on the use of evidence, two topics I’m really interested in. I started to reply to that post three (I think) times and each time I got to over a hundred words with more to say – too long for a post comment, even for an over-writer like me. Her second post, on the, sort of, survival of free speech into the Middle Ages is also interesting and has its own implications for continuity.

Michelle Ziegler has two good blogs, Heavenfield and Contagions. She recently put up a post discussing her thoughts on Cuthbert’s impact on Aldfrith’s succession to the English throne in the late 7th century. Contagions is good if you’re interested in a more scientific discussion of diseases and their evolution, spread, and impacts. She also periodically puts up summaries of what other people are blogging about – and I’m not saying this just because I received a mention in her latest one! It’s a good way to find out what people are talking about.

My final reading suggestion isn’t exactly about history but about how to do academic work. Another Damned Medievalist and Notorious PhD have started an online writing group. I’ve been following this and find it very interesting. I debated signing up but my current major writing project is much more along the lines of “unwriting.” I have been asked to take elements of a two-hour presentation I’ve given probably two dozen times over the past 2 years and break it down into several 1,000-2,000 word publications, along the lines of fact sheets. I decided not to curse the group with this particular task.

However I’ve been following the discussion and I think, even by lurking, I’m going to learn a lot. The folks in this group are so much more disciplined than I. It’s also interesting to see, once again, how very different humanities presentations are from those in my field. I received an e-mail yesterday asking me to give an hour-long presentation on June 30. Now it’s on a topic I’m very familiar with but I’ve never presented on it before. If I had to present it from an academic paper, I don’t think I could get that put together in less than three weeks, however well I know the topic. But I’m going to create an outline, flesh it out, develop a powerpoint (I don’t read from ppt’s – I use them like I used index cards in the pre-digital age) and am very comfortable with being able to do that, though this has changed what I’ll be doing on my flight tomorrow. Anyway, if you are involved with writing, I encourage you to keep an eye on this discussion. Very good stuff.

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Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Other Blogs


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