About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Settling into a routine...

I apologize for the paucity of my posts over the last few weeks; a combination of factors has led to it. First, I've been busy getting into the swing of the semester (I have just finished the second week of classes) and getting established in my research; and second, I have found myself faced with my own personal expectation that when I write a post, it should be lengthy and detailed, and that it should live up to the eloquence of some of my previous missives. I have decided, however, to free myself from such obligations, and to simply write whenever and whatever should be of immediate pertinence.

Unlike my previous posts, which have been written from either an Internet Cafe or from the university's computer lab, I am writing to you now while sitting at my desk in the offices of the Seminar for Latin Philology of the Middle Ages and Modern Era. This is, perhaps, one of the more important developments of the last few weeks; I did not expect that when I sat down to first meet with my adviser two and half weeks ago that she would, at the end of the meeting, hand me a set of keys and lead me to my office. Earlier this week, the Seminar's resident technology guru, Prof. Lesser, finally got the internet connection working, and so here I sit.

The use of this office has, and will be, however, a God-send to the work I am going to be doing this year, because it gives me (1) a place to seclude myself and get work done; (2) a place to keep all of my books, notebooks, and other research materials; and (3) access to the Seminar's fabulous library, where many of the books reside that I will need and that one is not allowed to take out of the normal university library. As some of you will probably note, it seems that my life is starting to be defined as a series of workplaces that I colonize (see my post from Thursday, October 2, 2006).

So far, my "research" has been limited to lots of reading--though I surmise that that will be the name of the tune for much of the year to come. It finally dawned on me about a week and half ago that one of the great opportunities this year affords me is simply to spend lots of time reading. Accordingly, I've spent several hours combing through the university library's catalogue finding books (preferably in English) that both intrigue me and will serve me well on my journey as a medieval scholar. Though I'm currently finishing up a book on the Crusades that I brought with me (I bought it at the beginning of the summer with a Barnes and Noble gift card given to me for graduation, but never got around to it), next on my list are several books from the library on medieval apocalypticism, two of them by the renowned scholar Bernie McGinn.

I'm also taking a couple of classes: one, which meets on Monday mornings, is a reading class of St. Bernard of Clairvaux's "How to Be Pope Manual" to Pope Eugenius III, De Consideratione ad Eugenium Papam (Pope Eugenius was one of Bernard's students before he was elected to the papacy); and two classes on Thursday, a lecture class on what the Germans call "Bibeldichtung", a genre of literature that is based on the Bible, the most famous example in the English language being John Milton's Paradise Lost; and a class on palaeography. I was going to take class on Friday afternoons that I thought focused on Saints and Relics in the Middle Ages, but after talking with the professor, it turns out it is an introductory class in studying medieval history, and I have decided not to take it, since it would be elementary (and a waste of time, as it meets for 3 and half hours on Friday afternoon!).

So I'm going to settle in for another relaxing weekend with some more good books, and I promise to try to post more frequently.

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