Friday, August 5, 2016

And a new era for In Romaunce begins!

I started this blog several years ago, inspired by an array of exciting public work being done by medievalists on the blogosphere. Since 2010, it has been a space for me to share and test-drive ideas I wasn't ready to pursue in (or that wouldn't fit the generic requirements of) article/chapter/conference paper forms. It has been an integral space for me as grad student, adjunct, and postdoc as a result, and I am so grateful for the support the blog has gotten from all its readers!

Shortly after creating In Romaunce, I started to feel as though the blog would be more generative -- not to mention fun! -- if it had more voices than just my own, and so I asked my good friend Kristi Castleberry if she'd like to become a co-author. I am grateful beyond words that she said yes. I could not have asked for a more generous, insightful, hilarious, and kind co-conspirator. I have had such a fantastic time working with her in this space, and my writing (both here and elsewhere) is so much better because of her friendship and collegial spirit. Transitions like these always bring about some wistfulness, but I know that Kristi and I will be co-conspiring for years to come if not here, then elsewhere!

In the Middle was and is a very special source of inspiration for me, and so I am nothing short of thrilled and delighted to be joining forces with Jeffrey, Karl, Jonathan, and Mary Kate as Blogger #5. But before I officially hoist the sails and head over to ITM, I want to share with all of you some truly exciting news about In Romaunce: it's new blogger!

It is a complete delight to say that Kara McShane -- a dear friend and brilliant colleague -- will now be the co-blogger at In Romaunce. She does fascinating work with Middle English romance, travel writing, medievalism, and the digital humanities, and I cannot wait to see what she writes about here. Please join me in welcoming her!

Kara L. McShane is Assistant Professor of English at Ursinus College, where she specializes in medieval literature and digital humanities.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 2014. Her research interests include Middle English romance and dream vision, travel writing, cultural translation, and digital pedagogy; she is especially interested in the intersections between writing and the vernacular in medieval English culture. 
Her work has appeared in the South Atlantic Review, The Once and Future Classroom, and Studies in Medievalism.  She is presently at work on her first book, tentatively titled Exotic Documents and Vernacular Anxieties in Late Medieval England.  In it, she examines instances of non-English writing across a range of Middle English narratives, arguing that these moments of writing create space for authors to express anxieties about writing as a means of memorialization and about the vernacular as a medium.  The fascination with writing within Middle English literature, she argues, is central to understanding the relationship between language and national identity. 
Kara’s interest in the development of English identity in the Middle Ages has led very naturally to an interest in medievalism, particularly how “the medieval” is deployed to address contemporary social and political issues.  She is the general editor of Visualizing Chaucer, a Robbins Library Digital Project, and has contributed to The Camelot Project.  She also serves as an assistant editor for medievally speaking, an open-access review journal supported by the International Society for the Study of Medievalism.
As “the medievalist” of her department, Kara teaches on all manner of medieval topics.  Recent offerings have included courses on medieval & early modern travel writing, medieval women, and medieval romance. She also teaches a course called Structure of the English Language, which combines advanced grammar and history of English and is quite a lot of fun. 
Kara shares her home and her fascination with all things medieval with her wife Karen, three chinchillas, and a grumpy but very handsome cat named Severus.
Kara, with Gower. 

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