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Forgive me

It's been ages since I posted. I think that is the most common entry in blogs these days. The tides of enthusiasm and all that.

So one of the beaver articles should be coming out any minute in The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies. It's about the beavers in Aesop's, in Gesner, and elsewhere. 

A sunny Sunday in April

It's been a while. I'm sitting here reading articles about Petrarchanism in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, prepping to set questions for a field exam for a PhD candidate. Very interesting stuff, but there's a kind of scholastic air to the whole enterprise, what dances did people do on the heads of pins? 

Illustrating our programs

The enterprising Sarah Morse and Jenn MacSporran in our office wanted some images for posters to advertise our undergraduate programs for campus day. I came up with these. I've put the literature one up as my header illustration on the site. I like doing this kind of work but it's a good thing I have a real job, as I take too long and don't do everything right. I kind of like them, though.


Style Shift

I spent most of yesterday converting the famous Aesop paper from Chicago style to MLA style. We all have our opinions. Chicago is easier to read once finished, but it's a lot harder to construct and trickier to edit: the first citation gets a full note, and the remainder get short ones. So take out the first quotation, and you might lose the citation information. CURSES! 

Aluminum foil and baking soda?

There's some trick you can use to restore silver plating, when the spoons get scrapey on your tongue; I think it is a kind of electrolysis, such as that which thrilled me in grade 10 chemistry. That's what I've been up to today. (See the Beaver Update for the back story.)

Back on Track

That's me in Rome last summer, near the wisteria that grows on the slope up to the Campadoglio.

Okay, so I'm back on track. I just sent the Aesop essay to Michael, and he'll get back to me when he can. I have to chase some photos of illustrations, and get permissions, but I should be able to do that this week.

The 17th-Century's Top Ten

For English 350B last week I prepared a list of the top ten phenomena of the English 17th century, the main criterion being lasting influence on the modern world. I made this list up, and it is surely arguable. Here it is: 

10. Shakespeare
9. Parliamentary democracy
8. The microscope
7. The beaver hat
6. The city (London)
5. Literacy
4. Calculus
3. Paper money
2. The modern self
1. The Atlantic slave trade

FPR day

  An annual event where I work: yes, it's FPR day! Each year, we submit an account for our Faculty Performance Review. It's a dour day, long faces all around, as we realize how little we got done in the year that went by (which we were otherwise enjoying quite nicely). Even so, it has to be done.

Beaver Update: or, Silver Linings

I'm not entirely sure what this blog is, but I know that it includes the confessions of a middling academic about the thrills and chills that go along with research and writing, and attempts to get that work published (sometimes successful, sometimes not). So here's the latest on a couple of beaver papers.

Refresh, refresh

It's been a while since I posted. I did go to Washington, and managed to get to the Folger a bit and do some homework. I was quite ill with something or other (not terminal. What's the opposite of terminal?) so didn't get as much done as I would have liked. (This is normal.


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