Academic self-promotion is the latest subject to tumble out of the ivory tower and into the zeitgeist.* Blame the MLA for that, and for this post. But I’ve have been up to things elsewhere, even during this blog’s long fallow 2011, things some of you might find interesting.
If you seek additional five-hundred word chunks of medieval levity,** you ought to consider subscribing to Medieval Warfare magazine, a publication aimed squarely at the buff set–you know, the original target audience that the History Channel abandoned in favor of meme-generating ancient aliens. Even though I know precious little about medieval warfare,*** as of volume I issue 4, my once-a-magazine thoughts have been promoted to official column status and now trade under the brand name “On the Margins by Carl Pyrdum”. So far, I’ve discussed:
- “King Cnut’s Skalds and the War of the Words,” II.1 (forthcoming): A look at the way medieval kings used poets to advertise their technological superiority, particularly the Scandinavian ones who conquered England between the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans.
- “Look for the Norman Label,” I.4 (out now): How William I of England traded in his nicknames, swapping out the Bastard for the Conqueror, and how Normans in general asserted their brand identity.
- “If You Can’t Beat’em, Dazzle’m With Your Elephant” I.3: A light-hearted look at the medieval practice of war by conspicuous generosity, as conducted by Aaron the Just and Charlemagne, according to their later**** chroniclers.
- “The Mercenary’s Funny Bone” I.2: The lesson Geoffrey Chaucer learned from John Hawkwood: medieval mercenarys’ jokes were brutal and short, so unless you wanted your life to be the same, maybe lay off them.
- “Medieval Screenwriting” I.1: Regarding the medieval historian’s complete lack of fidelity to the facts when a good story opportunity arose.*****
If you prefer my long form work, particularly if you liked the Bad Medieval Movie Club entry I did with Bettina, you have about 17 days yet to read my collaboration with leVostreGC (Geoffrey Chaucer who Hath a Blog) in the most recent issue of the journal postmedieval. Their director of marketing emailed me yesterday to let me know that “On Medieval Blogging” is free to read until the end of the month. After that, it goes back up to the absurd academic price of $30.******
Stay tuned for more outside work.
- * The geist that zeits about academia, anyway. [↩]
- ** Editorial word count limits and their dogged refusal to let me footnote result in some very focused discussions, I might add. [↩]
- *** My rapidly approaching deadline requires me to find something funny to say about the Thirteen Years War, the conflict between the Teutonic Knights and a Polish-Prussian alliance which I know even less about than the magazine’s previous issue themes. [↩]
- **** Read: less trustworthy. [↩]
- ***** I do seem to be on that theme a lot lately, don’t I? [↩]
- ****** No, really. Academic publishers are insane. [↩]