The Week In Review, 3/31/2014-4/6/2014

I didn’t post the Week in Review last week, because I took the weekend off to celebrate my birthday. But, I’m back! here’s a rundown of what I’ve been up to….

Reading for Classes/ Independent Studies:

Yvain, translated by Burton Raffel (Yale UP)

Marc Pelen, “Madness in Yvain Reconsidered”
Ralph Hanna III, Pursuing History: Middle English Manuscripts and Their Texts: Introduction, Ch. 1, ch. 7, ch. 9
Rebecca Krug, Reading Families: Women’s Literate Practices in Late Medieval England: Introduction, ch. 2, ch. 4
June Hall McCash, The Cultural Patronage of Medieval Women: “Overview”, Karen Jambeck, “Patterns of Women’s Literary Patronage, England , 1200–c. 1475”; Ralph Hanna, “Some Norfolk Women and Their Books, ca. 1390-1440”
The Cloud of Unknowing
Denys Turner, The Darkness of God, ch. 2, 4, & 8Research:

Reading towards my 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 drafted the introductory statement for my essay on feasts in mystical and devotional texts, and the introductory statement for my Kalamazoo presentation on Melusine in the French tradition.

I wrote a precis and worked on the annotated bibliography for my essay on the Tale of EmareTeaching:

English 101 –  I returned graded assignments, they took a quiz on visual rhetoric, and the students turned in the first drafts of their third essays. I went over the parameters and guidelines for their multimodal essay assignment — this is a means by which I build deep revision practices into my course. For the portfolio, they are required to evince substantial revision of their essays beyond the final graded product. By requiring them to take one of their graded written essays and reconfigure it as a mutlimodal piece, I am requiring that such substantial revision occur, and also giving them the chance to practice looking at their subject in very different ways, which aids in developing critical assessment skills.

English 104 – we finished our discussion of Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, and began working on Ekaterina Sedia’s The Alchemy of Stone, which teaches beautifully against Frankenstein. The students are really focusing on what alchemy and alchemical imagery and language is doing in these texts, and I am beginning to see the kind of critical thinking and analysis I was hoping this class would produce in many of my students, which is very exciting! With only one more text to go, I have to say that this literature of alchemy class has been a real success.


I held office hours for GSA, and found out that I have been nominated for a second term as the Vice President of Finance. It feels good to know that our constituents (or at least one or two of them!) have that kind of confidence in the work I have done so far in this office.

I also oversaw a meeting of the GSA Finance Committee to go over draft policies for the newly-instilled research grants. I’ll need to write those up and get them approved and disseminated within the next week to allow for time for people interested in obtaining the grants to pull together their materials for the application.
I’ve completed second edits on the chapters for irony and drama for Lenses, and we sent the final drafts of the Postcolonial and allusion chapters to our intern for glossing and indexing. We held a very productive meeting on Tuesday afternoon with our intern, and we are on track for an April 23 completion date (believe it or not!)
I attended the English women’s discussion group on Friday afternoon, where we discussed the question of women and ambition in academia. It was a great discussion. We covered issues including the fact that many women seem to think that being “ambitious” is somehow “wrong” or “bad”; the differences and conflations of “ambition”, “motivation”, and “competition”; the sources of our ambitions; and whether there is a difference between professional and personal ambition, ambition for your self as an academic, for your family, and for your outside interests. It really inspired me to think about the sources of my own ambitions, what I am ambitious about, and why. What about you–what do you think about ambition and academia?
Professional Development:
I attended the Meeting in the Middle undergraduate research in medieval studies conference at Longwood University last weekend. This is a wonderful little conference that I have been attending since its inception. I started out as a student presenting and have since graduated to chairing sessions. Mainly, I go to support my former advisor, who is one of the co-organizers of the conference, and to hear excellent student research.
I received a scholarship from my department for excellence in scholarship and service, which was greatly welcome news. I also turned in my materials for an award for assessment practices in the classroom (fingers crossed!)Nurturing my Self:

After the conference last weekend I drove to South Boston, Virginia, where I met my husband for drinks at Bistro 1888 and dinner at Molasses Grill, two of our favorite eateries, in honor of my birthday. On Tuesday night, I went out with my colleagues after class for drinks to celebrate my birthday. On Thursday night, I attended the Geeksboro Trivia Night event, and it was really, amazingly fun. And on Saturday, I attended a bridal tea in honor of my fabulous co-editor for Lenses. I managed to get two runs and some strength-training in this week. And today–I took a three hour nap!


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.
This entry was posted in The Week in Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments Positively Encouraged!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s