The Week In Review, February 16-22, 2015

I really do have big plans for new posts for the blog–I still need to post about the actual comps exams process, I have a post about “what to wear” that’s been in the works for nearly 6 months now, and I’m thinking about posts about graduate students and service, graduate students and fun (yes, we should be having some!) and building a support network both in and outside of your field, for example–but sadly, it seems as though I can barely keep up with these weekly updates, much less some of the other posts I want to add. I imagine many of my readers are similarly swamped, and all I can say is, hang in there…. spring break is coming! Meanwhile, here’s what I was up to this past week…..


For the Dissertation:

Thomas Claviez, ed., The Conditions of Hospitality (Fordham UP, 2013)

Timothy J. Tomasik and Juliann M. Vitullo, eds., At the Table: Metaphorical and Material Cultures of Food in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Brepols, 2007)

The Mabinogion— Davies, Gantz, and Jones translations

Grettir’s Saga (Fox and Denton translation)

“The Intoxication of the Ulaid” (Gantz and Hennessey translations)

For thinking about Text Technologies in conjunction with the Stanford seminar:

M.B. Parkes, Scribes, Scripts and Readers: Studies in the Communication, Presentation, and Dissemination of Medieval Texts (Hambledon Press, 1991)

David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, eds., The Book History Reader (Routledge, 2002)

For the Folger seminar:

Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain (Boydell, 2007)

Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard 2011)

Sharon O’Dair, “Slow Shakespeare: An Eco-Critique of ‘Method'” in Early Modern Literary Studies,” in Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare, eds. Ivo Kamps, Karen Raber, and Thomas Hallock (Palgrave, 2008)


2,000 more words in chapter two of my dissertation, and a 4 page lecture on “Early Modern Women Writing and Publishing” for my Introduction to Poetry class.


On Monday, we worked on the early modern sonneteers, performing an in-class close reading exercise that went particularly well. They worked on sonnets by Shakespeare, Sidney, Donne, Milton, and Mary Wroth. On Wednesday, I lectured on early modern women writing and publishing, and we discussed the poetry of Aemelia Lanyer and Anne Finch. I went over what they can expect from the midterm exam as well (how is it already almost midterm?!)


I held a workshop on GSA funding opportunities and practices  in lieu of my GSA office hours this week.

Other Scholarly Activity

I attended the fourth session of our Folger seminar on “The Scale of Catastrophe.” In this session we discussed the concepts of “slow violence and “deep time,” looking at how historical chronicles are constructed and how we learn to understand time and its relation to violence, both man-made and natural. It was brilliantly interesting. I also completed the work for the fifth week of “Digging Deeper,” an online open course on medieval manuscripts out of Stanford University, which has also been extremely fascinating. As co-editor of Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies, I assigned articles to our assistant editors to be sent to readers for the initial round of peer review, and began reading the book I’m reviewing for this issue. And I began working on the book proposal for a collection of essays I’m co-editing.

Nurturing My Self

I ran on Monday, yesterday, and today, and yesterday I was even able to fit in a short yoga session, which felt incredible–I hadn’t realized how hunched over and cramped my muscles are getting from so much sitting around and reading! Must make a concentrated effort to get more stretching into my schedule. I have also become a huge fan of Korean beauty products–there’s a ten-step process of cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and masking that just leaves your skin feeling so good. Since my skin has been acting up lately (surprise, surprise, with so much stress and being on the go all of the time!) I have been making sure to take the time to pamper it a little, and it really does make a difference. Perhaps most importantly in terms of pampering myself this week, though, I took a LONG nap yesterday. Seriously, folks–never, ever underestimate the importance of the 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.
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