The Week In Review, 3/16-3/22, 2014

Reading for Classes/ Independent Studies:

The Book of Margery Kempe, ed. Lynn Staley (Norton, 2001)

Clarissa Atkinson, “”Female Sanctity in the Late Middle Ages” in BOMK, pp. 225-236.

Lynn Staley, “Authorship and Authority” in BOMK, pp. 236-242.

Kathleen Ashley, “Historicizing Margery: The Book of Margery Kempe as ‘Social Text'” in BOMK, pp. 264-276.

Ruth Shklar, “Cobham’s Daughter: The Book of Margery Kempe and the Power of Heterodox Thinking” in Modern Language Quarterly 56:3, September 1995. Pp. 277-304.

The Cloud of Unknowing, ed. Denys Turner

Denys Turner, The Darkness of God: Negativity in Christian Mysticism, ch. 2, 4, 8

Joan Ferrante, To the Glory of Her Sex, Introduction; ch. 3, 4, & 6

Sylvia Huot, “A Book Made For a Queen: The Shaping of a Late Medieval Anthology Manuscript” in The Whole Book, eds. Nichols & Wenzel, pp. 123-143.


General Reading:

Geraldine Heng, “The Global Middle Ages: An Experiment in Collaborative Humanities, or Imagining the World, 500-1500 CE” in English Language Notes 47.1 Spring/Summer 2009, pp. 205-216.

Reading towards my presentation and essay on the Tale of Emaré:

Anderson, Sarah M. and Swenson, Karen. Cold Counsel: Women in Old Norse Literature and Mythology. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Ashton, Gail. “Her Father’s Daughter: the Realignment of Father-Daughter Kinship in Three Romance Tales.” The Chaucer Review, Vol. 34, no. 4 (2000), pp. 416-427. JSTOR. 20/12/2013. Web.

Broadwell, Nancy Elizabeth. “Women in Exile in Medieval Hagiography and Romance.” Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2004 Apr; 64 (10): 3678-79. U of Pennsylvania, 2003. Web. 12 March 2014.

Chestre, Thomas. “Sir Launfal.” The Middle English Breton Lays. Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury, eds. Kalamazoo: TEAMS, 2001. Pp. 210-239. Print.

Cordery, Leona F. “A Medieval Interpretation of Risk: How Christian Women Deal with Adversity as Portrayed in the Man of Law’s Tale, Emaré.” The Self at Risk in English Literatures and Other Landscapes/Das Risiko Selbst in der englischsprachigen Literatur und in anderen Bereichen. Innsbruck. Gudrun M. Grabher and Sonja Bahn-Coblans, eds. Austria: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Innsbruck; 1999. Pp. 177-185. Web. 12 March 2014.

“exile, n.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2014. Web. 10 March 2014.

“exile, n.2.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2014. Web. 10 March 2014.

“exile, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2014. Web. 10 March 2014.

Greenfield, Stanley B. Hero and Exile. London and Ronceverte: The Hambledon Press, 1989. Print.

Grettir’s Saga. Trans. Denton Fox & Hermann Pàlsson. Toronto: Toronto UP, 1974. Print.

Hopkins, Amanda. “Veiling the Text: The True Role of the Cloth in Emaré.” Medieval Insular Romance: Translation and Innovation. Judith Weiss, Jennifer Fellows, and Morgan Dickson, eds. Cambridge, England: Brewer; 2000. Pp. 71-82. Print.

Jochens, Jenny. Women in Old Norse Society. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1995. Print.

Laskaya, Anne. “The Rhetoric of Incest in the Middle English Emaré.” Violence against Women in Medieval Texts. Anna Roberts, Ed. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1998. Pp. 97-114. Print.

Laskaya, Anne and Salisbury, Eve. The Middle English Breton Lays. Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury, eds. Kalamazoo: TEAMS, 2001. Print.

Marie de France. “Lanval.” Trans. Robert Hanning and Joan Ferrante. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Volume One. Ed. David Damrosch. New York: Addison-Wesley, 2003. (179-192).

Njal’s Saga. Trans. Robert Cook. New York: Penguin Books, 2001. Print/

“Seafarer”. Old and Middle English c. 890-c. 1400, An Anthology. Second Edition. Elaine Treharne, Ed. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. Pp. 48-53. Print.

“Sir Landevale”. Middle English Romances. Stephen H. A. Shepherd, ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1995. Print.

Sklar, Elizabeth. “Stuffed with Ymagerye: Emaré’s Robe and the Construction of Desire.” Medieval Perspectives. 2007 (2011) 22: pp. 145-159. Print.

“Wanderer”. Old and Middle English c. 890-c. 1400, An Anthology. Second Edition. Elaine Treharne, Ed. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. Pp. 42-47. Print.

Reading toward my article and presentation on Melusine:

Donald Maddox & Sara Sturm-Maddox, Melusine of Lusignan: Founding Fiction in Late Medieval France (Georgia UP, 1996)

Jean D’Arras, Melusine: Or the Noble History of Lusignan ((Penn State UP, 2012)

Jean D’Arras, Melusine Part I, ed. Alexander Karley Donald (NY: Krauss Reprint Co., 1973)


I worked on a sample syllabus, assignments list and explanation, and rationale as support materials for an application for an award for instructional assessments, some of which appeared in an earlier blog post this week.

I rafted the first two pages of my essay on Emaré.


English 101 –  I returned graded assignments, and the students turned in the final drafts of their second essays. We began our unit on visual media and rhetoric. I like to begin this unit by showing them a series of images–the V-Day embrace, the Iwo Jima flag, the flag at Ground Zero, Gustave Klimt’s “The Kiss”–and looking at what they see initially, then what they see once we include context. We then watch a clip of the boarding scene from “Titanic”, noting everything–camera angles, lighting, characterization through visual means, setting the story in time through imagery, and the like. Then we look at Disney’s “Easter Eggs”. By looking at multiple images and video scenes, and considering them first as casual observers and then as rhetorical viewers, we set the stage for really honing in on and becoming hyper aware of visual rhetorical practices (Or, as I tell my students, they’ll never be able to just sit down and mindlessly watch television or a movie again….)

English 104 – Frankenstein! On Tuesday, we had a reading quiz and went over the novel as a genre and some contextual information for Mary Shelley’s writing of the novel. We then discussed some basics of characterization, setting, atmosphere, and thematic dualities. On Thursday, I oversaw their student-led discussions, and they did an amazing job, discussing issues as wide-ranging as “who’s the real monster”? “what is the role of community in the formation of the individual?” “Is there a spectrum of humanity?” “Is there a spectrum of ‘good’ and ‘evil'”? “What is the importance of literacy to identity?” And similar. For a general education course, these students really dig into a lot of deeper analytical and interpretive issues of text and character. Makes my heart glow in pride!


On Monday, I attended the department’s Graduate Studies Committee meeting.

On Tuesday, I attended the GSA executive board meeting to set the agenda for our general assembly, and on Thursday I presented our first-ever budget summary at the General Assembly. Thanks to the records I have been keeping, we have more money than we initially thought, and the assembly voted to create a new set of research funds for travel related to research–this is exciting! As far as I know, we have never had the funds to be able to offer grants devoted to travel for research, rather than simply for presentation or attendance at conferences. With funding being cut in so many places starting with department funding for such endeavors, it’s good to think we can make up that difference for some of our graduate students.

I completed final edits on the Postcolonialism chapter of Lenses, as well as second edits on the chapter on Irony, and first edits on the Feminism and Queer Theory chapters.

Nurturing my Self:

On Tuesday night I attended the usual after-class gathering at the local watering hole. I bought myself an early birthday present– a hairstick I had been eying for a while now. I got three good runs in this week, and two strength and stretching sessions of 30 minutes each. And I even got a nap in on Wednesday! I also discovered an online Dr. Who game courtesy of a friend of mine  that has been a little…. distracting….! And my husband and I are almost through the first season of “Once Upon a Time” now. It took me long enough!


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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