Dec. 3rd, 2007

highlyeccentric: Me, in a costume viking helmet - captioned Not A Viking Helmet (not a viking)
I'm sure I've rhapsodised about Early Manuscripts At Oxford University before, but let me just state again the absolute awesomeness of that collection. Assorted MSS from seven Oxford college libraries, available for free in digital facsimile form.

Meanwhile, News For Medievalists gives us the excellent news that Cambridge will soon be following suit, having teamed up with tech-heads from Stanford University to put 538 manuscripts from Parker Library, Corpus Christi College online. The collection ranges from the 6th to the 16th centuries and apparently includes one quarter of all surviving Old English manuscripts.

It won't be available for free, but will have to be subscribed to.1 So Oxford win Internet Brownies for putting theirs up for free; on the other hand, Cambridge are putting far more up. You win some, you lose some.

ed: I tell a lie. Awesome just sent me the link. The site is up in beta-release and subscription is free. She is thoroughly impressed with the quality of the resolutions and recommends the Red Book of Darley as 'exceptionally important'.

~

Speaking of Anglo-Saxonists and the internet, Jeff Sypeck of Quid Plura asserts that Compared to other medievalists, Anglo-Saxonists are numerous on the Web, but then they’ve long been a forward-looking bunch. Now, this description of our noble discipline quite surprised me. I'm rather more used to Awesome's summary, which went something like this: "Now, Medieval Studies is an inherantly conservative discipline, and Anglo-Saxonists are the most conservative of the lot". Still, apparently Anglo-Saxonism has a respectable history on the internet, and Jeff offers some suggestions as to how that came to be.

Some things he didn't mention, however, are that Beowulf has now established itself at the point in the public concious where it becomes a LOLCAT joke, or that there is an Anglo-Saxon language Wikipedia.
Not only are Anglo-Saxonists putting the Internet to use in their best interests... the Internet is putting Anglo-Saxon to use in its own interests (which are, patently, the creation of memes and obscure jokes).
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (up to no good)
Oops. I just realised I forgot to round off the Earliest Memories Meme with instructions and taggings:

1. Describe your earliest memory where the memory is clear, and where "clear" means you can depict at least three details;
2. Give an estimate of your age at the time;
3. Tag five other bloggers with this meme. (Or just extend an open invitation)

So, there you go. If you want to tell us about your earliest memory, go nuts. But [livejournal.com profile] kayloulee, [livejournal.com profile] phrasemuffin, Jennifer Lynn Jordan (use whichever blog you prefer), [livejournal.com profile] rxgra and [livejournal.com profile] mangelbojangel, I want to hear yours. :)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (shock!)
This evening, I feel like putting out a general round of applause for one of Bitch P.H.D's new(ish) co-bloggers, M. Leblanc. I have been reading her posts ever since Bitch took her onboard, and here are some of the reasons why I have decided she is Excellent:

Her introductory post, entitled "Muslim Mean Girls", discusses the question of how western(ised) feminists do and should react to Islam and Muslim women, from her personal perspective as "an Arab feminist and now-atheist".
I tire of seeing Western women pinpoint the headscarf as not only a symbol, but the apex, of oppression. When Karen Hughes, Bush's Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, went to Istanbul, she was surprised that Islamic feminists wanted to talk about the war in Iraq, about poverty, not about the headscarf. And they were pissed at her, for trying to tell them what their oppression looked like.
Speaking of personal stories, I was moved by her post on being sworn in as a lawyer.


Have you got Skirt for that? An offhand comment on her part is transformed into "a new feminist phrase for the lexicon" by her quick-witted boyfriend.

In case you were wondering if Leblanc in fact has skirt for any occaision, check out:
Her policy on terms of endearment
Her impromptu manifesto, a small sample of which I will present here (selections being my own favourite bits, of course):
I'm not a difference feminist. I really believe that men and women are much more similar than we are different... I believe that part of seeing women as human beings means NO EXCEPTIONALISM for women... We are no better or more noble or more pure than men; we are only more oppressed, more beaten down, poorer and with less political power. But we are not better...
I get to fuck up. I get to be rude, I get to be both selfless and selfish. I get to be sexually demanding. I get to want fame, and power, and money and love and to be really, really hot. I get to also want to take care of others, to fight for social change, to help the weak and create art. I get to feel it all, and do it all, because that's what it is to be human.



Last month, M. Leblanc attacked the idea that Men are more "visual" than women. Meanwhile, in her latest post, she talks about her own pornography consumption, and the postive and negative effects it has had on her sexuality and sense of self. Go, read. It's not often you- well, it's not often I- read an article on the problems with porn written by a woman who actually watches, and is turned on by the stuff.


On the topic of self-image, she has also had a fascinating series of posts lately about body image, weight and self esteem. She criticises "the habits of ladies" when it comes to eating in public, suggesting this policy:
If you're going to eat something, eat it. If you're not, don't. Beating yourself up about food, privately and publicly, much as you think might help you stay thin out of guilt, doesn't actually work.

Recently, M. Leblanc linked to Shapely Prose and this excellent essay on "The Fantasy of Being Thin" which points out that, for those who constantly dream of being Thin, Thin is not simply a weight range but an entire new self- cooler, more attractive, more outgoing, more of any given desirable quality. It was an eye-opening read for me, as someone who has never had a Thin Fantasy. She then follows this up with a personal reflection on her own relationship with her body, and its effect on her life choices. It comes up again in the pornography article I mentioned above.


So. There you go. Four or five paragraphs of unadulterated praise for a feminist blogger, from Highly-hater-of-isms-and-Theories. I wonder if I'm ill?

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