Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A round-up of things (mostly) medieval

I’m in the throes of writing a paper this week and haven’t had much time for musing. So, in lieu of a proper post, here’s a quick round-up of interesting things-historical from elsewhere in the webosphere.

The Guardian considers supposed fear of protest harboured by British politicians, putting recent incidents into a longer historical context which incorporates the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt, the 1688 Glorious Revolution (so-called), and Chartist protests in the nineteenth century.

Over in A Corner of Tenth Century Europe, there is a fascinating post that sheds a different light on power structures in 10thC Normandy, pointing to the possibility of heretofore-unconsidered Viking princes operating there independently of the Norman lords.

To continue the theme of power and its uses/abuses, Magistra et Mater has been doing a great series summarising a recent conference dedicated to the historian Pauline Stafford. Stafford’s interests include queenship, family and ‘female lordship’, and Magistra’s posts cover some interesting new scholarship on violence, power and gender in medieval Europe. There’s lots of good stuff here that I’ll be coming back to in a later post (when I have time to write it!).

Clio Bluestocking has a typically insightful post about how the ‘self-help’ culture is producing students with some pretty strange ideas about the abolitionist movement and slavery in the United States.

Closer to home, the winter lecture series at Auckland University is promising to “remove the black singlet ‘straightjacket’ on our history”. Other topics will include the Maori ‘renaissance’, New Zealand at war, and the role of Empire. Also –

It will be argued that “the rebranding of old stuff as trendy and desirable” demonstrates widespread interest in our history. Moreover professional historians cannot ignore the popularity of events such as art deco weekends and medieval jousting tournaments.

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be visiting New York anytime soon, the Morgan Library & Museum – home of some of the beautiful and quirky illuminations featured as Mmm…marginalia at Got Medieval – is holding an exhibition called ‘Pages of Gold: Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan’.

According to The New York Times, “This quietly compelling show assembles ‘orphan’ leaves (illuminated pages separated from medieval manuscripts and sold, individually, to collectors). Organized geographically, the show allows a comparison of illumination styles in England, Italy, Spain and other countries and regions. It also highlights the figures who created and participated in the market for single leaves. They include an Italian abbot, an English art historian and a mysterious artist known as the Spanish Forger.” Sounds intriguing, yes? If you get a chance to check it out, please report back!

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