The Week In Review: November 2-8, 2015


Clari’s Saga, trans. Dennis Kearney

Geraldine Barnes, Counsel and Strategy in Middle English Romance (Boydell and Brewer, 1993)
Andrew Cowell, The Medieval Warrior Aristocracy (Boydell and Brewer, 2007)
Thomas Ohlgren and Lister Matheson, Early Rymes of Robyn Hood (ACMRS 2013)
Total time spent in research this week: 8 hours


Completed chapter 3; began chapter 4

Total time spent on dissertation writing this week: 5 hours


College Writing I: They finished and submitted the final drafts of their third essay for the course. We went over the portfolio requirements and looked at a number of sample portfolios so they could get an idea of the range of approaches other students have taken. We paid especial attention to the critical rationale, which is the central document for the portfolio.

Literature and the Arts: We worked on Shakespeare’s and Fletcher’s update of Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, The Two Noble Kinsmen. Divided into their working groups, the students completed character archives, pulling images and memes from the internet that they associated with a given character in the play; we used these to think about how visual representations and the items we see associated with them can affect our reception of a character. They also turned in their second critical examination for the course, a comparative multimodal study of a film adaptation of their choice of course texts.

Total time spent on teaching this week (including grading, teaching, office hours, and prepping a lecture and readings for both classes): 15 hours


This week’s service consisted of sitting GSA office hours and responding to email, and a faculty senate meeting.

Total time spent on service this week: 5 hours

Other Scholarly Activity

Degree and Program requirements: I met with the Director of Graduate Studies for the WGS program, and completed and submitted the final plan of study showing that I have fulfilled all of the requirements for the Women’s and Gender Studies graduate certificate. I also completed and submitted for evaluation the final required components for our university’s Preparing Future Faculty program, a pilot program in which graduate students planning a career in higher education work through a series of modules familiarizing themselves with things like institutional governance, the differences between the various types of institutions, teaching, seeking financial support for projects and further study, conference activity, and service activity. Nothing left now but to finish the dissertation–so, this was a major milestone week for me, since I also submitted the third of four chapters of that document to my committee for comments!

Job search: Sent requested materials to one insitution, and learned I was rejected as a candidate for another school.

Scholarship: scanned and created PDFs of a number of book chapters to add to my dissertation archive.

I also wrote a letter of support for a professor nominated for a teaching excellence award and wrote a letter of recommendation for a student seeking a study-abroad opportunity next spring.

Total time spent on Other Scholarly Activity this week: 8.5 hours

Nurturing My Self

Two short runs and one long run this week, and I toured Old Salem and read part of a book for pleasure (Bruce Holsinger’s The Invention of Fire). As a means of celebrating the milestones of completing some degree requirements and finishing up a chapter, I bought a ticket for myself to go see Henry VI Part I at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton next Saturday–really looking forward to this!


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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