Hello, and welcome to MassMedieval! This journal has been established as a kind of conversation area for the medievalists of the Massachusetts State Universities and Colleges. Right now, there are contributors to this site from Bridgewater and Fitchburg State Universities—but we welcome contributors from the other campuses as well. As one of the elect, I thought I’d start by explaining why I (not we—I’m speaking for myself alone here) thought this was a good idea.
I’ve been wanting to put together a blog for a while, not as a precious or pretentious exercise in academic bombast (though no doubt there will be elements of that on occasion), but as a way of playing with and in the discipline of Medieval Studies. For the four years I’ve been employed as a medieval literature specialist, I’ve been fortunate in my colleagues and my campus. I occasionally want a venue, though, where I can spitball analyses of Anglo-Saxon penitential literature, really think about whether Chaucer was a Lollard, discover and share new bits of scholarship or obscure Anglo-Norman comic poems, and debate the meaning of the medieval world to modern pop culture—and do all this without testing the patience of the non-medievalists I work with.
In short, I enjoy writing a solid argument and finding a home for it in print, and I delight in bringing my students to an appreciation of pre-modern literature and culture…but really, I’m in this because it’s just plain fun, and I’m hoping to help make this a place where I can enjoy an ongoing exploration into all things medieval. This is liable to be something of an eclectic experiment, and I’d rather keep its purpose as open-ended as possible. The rules will most likely write themselves as we go along. In the meantime, let’s see what we can come up with, shall we?