Friday, December 17, 2010

York Mystery Plays, 2010

I recently discovered that the performance of the Mystery Cycle in York, which I was fortunate enough to see this past summer, is available for purchase from the production's website! A preview/making-of video is available on YouTube:

The plays themselves were truly spectacular and richly inventive. Each troupe had their own, elaborately decorated wagon, and performed their play at various stations throughout the city, much as the guilds would have done centuries ago. I watched all of the 12 plays selected for this past summer's festival, which totaled about five hours of performance time! Rather than traveling to different stations and taking a risk of missing one of the plays, I opted to watch all of them in succession at Dean's Park, with the stunning York Minster just behind the performance site.

If you are at all interested in medieval cycle plays, and/or plan to teach medieval drama at some point, I really recommend picking up a copy of this DVD. Not only is the price rather reasonable, and the plays remarkable, but you'll also be supporting future production of the cycle plays in the town of York. For more info, you can check out the following website:

Finally, here are some photos I took while watching the plays this past summer -- hope you enjoy them!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wessex, Mouvance, and Magnussona Saga

This is just a brief shout-out, of sorts. I am currently working on my MLA paper -- one that explores the nomadic qualities of Manussona Saga -- and am in the process of discussing the text in terms of the theory of 'mouvance' as established by Paul Zumthor and Michel Zink. In my cursory searches for writings on/about this theory, I stumbled upon this wonderful website:Wessex Parallel Web Texts. In addition to providing a wealth of information on medieval Insular lyrics (the Harley Lyrics in particular), it also includes a cogent summation of the theory of 'mouvance' as well as a case-study which can be quite easily incorporated into a lesson-plan on medieval lyric poetry. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Greetings, Kingdom of the Internets!

Having grown inspired by the number of wonderful medievalist blogs cropping up of late, I have decided to create one of my own. I am looking forward to the adventure and hope that this little patch of ether proves itself useful and entertaining to those who stumble upon it.

My main goal in establishing this blog is to create a space in which I can write on anything medieval in nature that catches my interest -- whether it be pop culture, film, television, contemporary poetry and fiction, or (of course) the work I'm currently doing on my dissertation! The latter explores the influence the crusades wielded on late Middle English romance, and I just wrapped up a chapter draft that examines the differing treatments of Eastern races across various Middle English texts.

My hope is to contribute something substantial to the blog at least twice a week, with Fridays being a "special" day in which I offer a random factoid about Medieval England. Stay tuned. They will be strange. And funny. Hopefully very funny.

Additionally, this blog will serve as a way to document and regale readers with my Medieval-Studies related travels -- to conferences, etc.

And, as my little header indicated, I might occasionally branch off from "things medieval" from time to time to write about some of my other great loves: karate, hula, and yoga. The first I have done since 2003 and -- through a series of serendipitous events -- I found myself the head instructor for my university's Shotokan club about two years ago. Teaching and training in Shotokan has helped keep me sane and excited about my work, and I often find myself comparing my work to the things (both physical and metaphysical) I've learned by practicing karate. As for hula, I was born in Kailua, Oahu, and have danced traditional hula since I was a little girl. Finally, I've been practicing Vinyasa yoga for over a year now and it -- like karate and hula -- has helped keep me passionate about living and working. And so, I might slide into talking about these non-medieval topics on my blog -- mainly to comment on the good that they do me in the midst of projects, grading, article writing, and dissertating!