Happy Star Wars Day! I think the saga has so much teaching potential, from learning about political theory to the development of myths. Even what we might call the lesser installments have something important to teach us–or they at least reflect us back to ourselves as all pop culture does. For this May the 4th, … More Happy May the 4th!
I think we’ve all seen the recent inflammatory article about people with Down syndrome. I can’t stop thinking about it or the debate that it’s brought to the surface–a debate that, if you’ve followed Down syndrome advocacy groups, you know is nothing new. And by “debate” I actually don’t mean the abortion debate. In the … More We Need People with Down Syndrome
What do we do with old books? I mean really old books. How do we understand them when they seem so alien to us? Time can seem to be the enemy of understanding. Past texts can seem cryptic. We wonder if Chaucer is as ironic as we may like to see him or if we … More How Temporal Distance Helps Us Read
Nothing is so purely the trace of the mind as writing, but also nothing is so dependent on the understanding mind. In deciphering and interpreting a miracle takes place: the transformation of something strange and dead into a total simultaneity and familiarity. This is like nothing else that has come down to us from the … More The Miracle of Reading
The holiest attribute of a temple is that it is a place where men weep in common. A Miserere sung in common by a multitude flailed by destiny is worth a whole philosophy. To cure the plague is not enough, it must also be lamented with bitter tears. Yes, we must learn to weep! Perhaps … More A Miserere Sung in Common
Today, in the tradition of Pavia, is the feast day of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius. That’s the Boethius. Living from around 480 to his execution in 524, he was a statesman during the rule of Theodoric and a contemporary with Benedict of Nursia (480-547). He is a liminal figure like these others described by Lorenzo Valla, … More Hail Last of Romans and First of Scholastics
UPDATE! During the conference, I am adding Twitter feeds to the sessions in the schedule below, so keep coming back! The 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies starts in full swing tomorrow with sessions and mead tastings and vespers and teaching workshops! If you haven’t heard of the conference at Kalamazoo before, here’s their about … More Follow Kalamazoo 2017 Online