Thursday, 11 February 2010

Medieval Madeleine?

Taking a short break from the vicissitudes of PhD application (literally one of the worst experiences of my life) I just thought I’d do a short post about this and that.

Today, in my wonderful interdisciplinary seminar on Gender and Sexuality, the lovely Kate Giles took us for archaeology. It was AWESOME. I wish I were an archaeologist now, partly because of the obvious Indiana Jones associations (he is part time, after all, and very rarely seems to have to do any referencing), but also because I’m profoundly drawn towards the way the objects we study absolutely explode with meaning, and tell some wonderful stories. Posthuman anyone? Makes me want to re-read À la recherche du temps perdu.

It was a great class, and one of the broadest and most exciting I’ve been to in a while, partly because we spent some time analyzing the doors of the CMS, which has always been a serious concern of mine, and chewing over the value of medieval studies (which is a bit of a naughty digression, but in these days of funding slashes, must be pretty good for solidarity, even if I am a bit of a traitor these days). Also nice was threatening the Beth with two years in the re-education camp when we have the hard-line Stalinist takeover (JOKES! As the youth say). Though I like all the love given to Marxist theory in the discipline.

I’m also kicking myself as we don’t have any exciting archaeological sources (access plans of buildings, for instance) to spin into our next postmedieval reading group next week on Chaucer’s Cook/Chaucer’s Punks, as that would pretty much be the icing on the cake. It would be wonderful to have some sources that allow us to fully spatialize the taverns, shops and streets in which Chaucer’s Cook/Hogge de Ware have so much fun. So if anybody has any, get in touch. Though it’s funny, living in York, we might as well do a walking reading group, stopping at various Taverns on the way…

Anyway, has anyone got any good dissertation ideas? I’ve got two weeks, and fuck all.


  1. loaded dice?

    kate and I know loads about shops and taverns too

    so glad you enjoyed her class. is she coming to the group?

    she is v smart

  2. I hope she is, and yourself, pleeeaaaaase. I plugged it in the class, though I've no idea if she is coming, though someone could twist her arm. The loaded dice will certainly be there. All knowledge of shops and taverns will be appreciated.

    It's next tuesday evening, not wednesday, as idiotic michael put the wrong date in the email.

    ben x

  3. Oh no!! Martin Biddle is giving a guest lecture in York on Tuesday evening (he is v eminent archaeologist)... hope it is possible to go to both

  4. Look, Ben, I may have put the wrong date on the email - but please refrain from publicly calling me an idiot - that's a private pleasure of mine! :)

    Mike x

  5. Goodness. Well, we start at half five, so if it's later on you can duck out as you please. They're bound to have posher crisps than us mind, we only got pringles last time, let down.

    Watch it michael, I don't want to have to sack you from the group.