14 October 2004 - 10:57 AM
Still Scholarly After All These Years
Things are good. The gilding on the page for the raised gold leaf class is done. The Erythronium dens canis bulbs I ordered and was afraid I wouldn't get have shipped. The Blue Duke is back.
With the Oxford DNB in print, I've been recruited to become part of another huge, five-year project to create a reference work, this time on a specifically mediaeval topic, and to be published by Brill. For those of you not familiar with Brill, they are one of the most respected of the continental European academic publishing houses. Being part of this project is an honour. And they asked me.
I'm not sure how big a role I will end up playing in the production of this thing, but even if it's only another relatively short entry or two, it means a huge amount to me to be asked. It makes me feel like I'm still a scholar, still a part of the academy, even if I'm not currently employed by an educational institution. I really like my current job, and I certainly don't regret earning my degrees, but there are times when I feel a little wistful that I'm not working in the field into which I put so much of my time and soul. There are lots of reasons why I'm not in an academic post right now, many of them out of my control, and in retrospect, while there are some things I might have done differently, there's no guarantee that any of them would have made any difference. Still, mediaeval history is something I'm good at, really good at, and I miss it sometimes.
But the editor of the Brill project approached me personally. I still have my membership card for the Funny Hat Union. Go me.
(If you've ever seen an academic procession at a university, you've seen the variety of wacky garments in which highly educated people dress. I have a flowing, ankle-length, sky-blue robe, a matching blue and white silk hood, and a black velvet cap, the style of which hasn't changed since Erasmus and Sir Thomas More wore it. My hobbit-like self looks thoroughly ridiculous in this get-up, as you might imagine).