2018 End-of-the-year review (Or, “And I thought 2017 was busy!”)

It’s December 31; time for another “Year In Review” post! Here’s what I managed to accomplish professionally this year:



“‘Compassion and Benignytee’: A Reassessment of the Relationship Between Canacee and the Falcon in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Squire’s Tale.” Medieval Feminist Forum 54.1 (2018). 50—64.

Book reviews

Emotion in Old Norse Literature: Translations, Voices, Contexts, by Sif Rikhardsdottir. The Medieval Review , 25 October 2018.
Available online: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/tmr/article/view/25858?fbclid=IwAR36L3pa0LL0EZVv70qDW8S_1ifxK5pxbG_LCd1Kwr-4-MR0WA88NJVKd_k

Savage Economy: The Returns of Middle English Romance, by Walter Wadiak. The Sixteenth-Century Journal 49.2 Summer 2018), 635.

Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700-1100, by Max Dashu. Medieval Feminist Forum 53.2 (2018), 129—131.

Conference Presentations

“Diversifying and Decolonizing the Curriculum at a Conservative Midwestern University: An Account.” (paper) Belle da Costa Greene Conference, Saint Louis, MO, November.

“Failed Ritualized Feasts and the Limitations of Community in Branwen ferch Lŷr.” (paper) Harvard Celtic Colloquium, Cambridge, MA, October.

“Violence, Time, and Memory in Beowulf: The Feast Hall as Cultural Reliquary,” (paper) Saint Louis University Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis, MO, June.

Invited presentation: “The Lone (St)ranger: Building a Community of Medievalists When You’re the Lone (New) Medievalist on Campus,” (roundtable) International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, May.

“Examining the Driving Force of Honor in Medieval Welsh Texts: Violence and the Feast in the Second Branch of the Mabinogion, A Case Study,” (paper) Indiana University Annual Symposium on Medieval Studies, Bloomington, IN, April.

“Power, Gender, and Cannibalism at the Medieval Literary Feast,” (paper) Medieval Academy of America Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, March.

Invited respondent: “’Mewn Dau Gae’ (‘Between two Fields’): No State of Security in Medieval Northatlantic Studies,” panel at the Modern Language Association Convention, New York City, January.

Teaching (courses marked with an asterisk are new or fully revised preparations this year)

This year, I taught a 4-1-4 load from Spring through Fall.


Mythology and Folklore*

Medieval Literature: Violence and Trauma from Beowulf to Malory*

Research and Argumentation (2 sections)

British Literature to 1500

History of the English Language*

Senior Thesis*


British Literature to 1500

Medieval Afterlives: Modern Receptions of the Medieval: Medieval Women and their Afterlives*


to the Profession

Elected to the Southeastern Medieval Association Executive Board

Book reviews editor, Medieval Feminist Forum

Book reviews editor, College Literature

Associate Editor, The Heroic Age

Vice-President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship

Member, MLA CLCS Forum on Celtic Studies

Organized and/or chaired 4 conference panels

at Lindenwood

Chair, English Department Curriculum Committee

Member, English department program review committee

Co-chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force

Member, President’s University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Faculty sponsor, Sigma Tau Delta

Humanities blog administrator


Beyond scholarship,  teaching, and service, I also completed two quarters of a five-quarter MFA program in creative writing and coursework in the Icelandic sagas this year, because when such opportunities come available to you and you are a lifelong learner, you take them!

Looking ahead, 2019 will include several article-length publications currently in various stages  of production, alongside the continuation of several ongoing longer projects, including (fingers crossed!) the fully revised first draft of my monograph on violence at the feast in medieval texts, a couple of edited collections, and the two guest-edited journal volumes I began in 2018. I’ll be responding to a panel at MLA again this year, and presenting on teaching roundtables at the Medieval Academy and Kalamazoo. I’ll be teaching some exciting new courses, including an online medieval Celtic literature course, and if everything goes according to plan, completing the MFA and submitting some of my creative work for publication as well. While it sounds like 2019 is already shaping up to be a very busy year professionally, one of my goals for this coming year is to take the advice I so regularly give to my students and slow down, doing more for myself and with my family and taking the time to reflect and meditate upon, and enjoy, my work as well as my play. I hope to cultivate more of an ethos of being, rather than of doing (while still doing … wish me luck!)

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve, and you can look for new posts in 2019.


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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