The Digital Age Historian: A round-up of medieval blogs from the English-speaking world

Greetings, one and all!  I’ve finished putting together a list of medieval studies blogs worth checking out.  This is one of those “short” projects that seemed like a good idea at the time, but which naturally became more complicated than all that.   I have some hesitation about publishing this entry as an entire post, given its size and general awkwardness, but since I’d prefer for everyone to access the links quickly and easily, I’m going to leave this up for a while.  Eventually, I’ll delete most of this, and direct folks to the new Medieval Blogs page I just made.  Happy browsing!

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The History News Network has a large catalog of history blogs on its pages, among them a link to an external listing of medieval blogs.  I’ve been meaning to go through these for a while, as one can never have too many sources these days.  As it stands, many of the blogs on the external list have been inactive for some time, so the list I’ve composed below is a great “winnowing” of inactive cyber chaff (a pity, as some of these inactive blogs looked very good).  I’m just sticking to English-language blogs, not out of any misplaced xenophobia, but simply in the interests of time; the one exception to this is The Medieval Manuscript, which has a great sidebar of medieval centers and institutes throughout Europe.   Incidentally, back in September the BBC had an interesting article on the challenges of data gathering and preservation in the age of blogs, email, and Twitter: “Why everyone has to be a historian in the digital age” (my apologies, but I can’t remember who first pointed me the story).

I don’t pretend that this list is inclusive or comprehensive–that would be a task far greater than my time or energy would permit; I apologize in advance for any blogs I’ve overlooked.  Just shoot me a message if you think the oversight is too glaring to pass unchecked…  Of the quantity that I have surveyed, these seem to be most “on point” and/or to be updated fairly regularly.

1.  Naturally, there are some well-established heavy-weights who deserve top billing:

Blogenspiel: an entertaining, informative, and breezily opinionated blog on all manner of medieval topics.

Muhlberger’s World History: Steve Muhlberger’s great blog, regularly updated and endlessly fascinating.

Unlocked Wordhoard: Richard Nokes’ blog, ditto the comments for Steve Muhlberger’s.

The Ruminate: Larry Swain’s blog.  Of late, he’s had a lot of great Tolkien entries.

Modern Medieval: Larry Swain’s and my friend Matthew Gabriele’s blog dealing with medievalism.  Periodically updated, but always relevant!

In the Middle: most of the recent posting is by Jeffrey J. Cohen, thus lending it an immediate value.  I would recommend reading his recent review of Suzanne Conklin Akbari’s Idols in the East.

The Chaucer Blog, of course, needs no introduction…

Nor does Medieval News, run by my friends over at Medievalists.net.

And, I would have to definitely add Fitzwilliam Museum archivist Jonathan Jarrett‘s blog, A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe, which,  addition to it’s superb entries, has an outstanding listing of medieval blogs and medieval studies resources.   Parallel to this is his colleague Rachel Stone‘s blog, Magistra et Mater; the most recent entry (December 16, that is) is a very thoughtful discussion of “The so-what problem.”

2.  And here’s a list of other blogs well worth checking out…One, which is not featured below, apparently went private, and has an interesting entry on why LiveJournal is no longer an optimal place to blog.  I would recommend reading it…

Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog: exactly what it sounds like!

The Cranky Professor:  a nice, informal blog with some Dante content.

Cronaca: David Nishimura’s blog on a variety of art, historical, and academic subjects.

Early Medieval Art: this hasn’t been updated for a while, but it has the same basic layout as my blog, as well as a goodly number of art history resources.

Edward II: I never would have thought that it would be possible to maintain a blog just on Edward II, but Kathryn Warner demonstrates that it certainly is!!  I’ll have to check this out in greater depth…

Got Medieval?: by Carl S. Pyrdum III; an engaging and humorous blog–you’ll never know what you’re going to find!

Haligweorc: interesting blog on a variety of Old English and Late Antique subjects.

Hefenfelth: has some great links and discussion of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Welsh literature, as well as plagues in Late Antique and early British history.  A newer blog can be found at Selah.

The Heroic Age: the blog of the online journal.  Excellent resource for conferences, CFPs, and so on.

Hwaet?:  a community forum on a variety of medieval subjects.

Medieval Material Culture Blog: Karen Larsdatter’s excellent reports on medieval and academic happenings.

Mirabilis.ca: lots of posts about lots of topics, updated frequently and with some verve.

Mony wylsum way:  Hannah Kilpatrick’s blog, on medieval history and literature.  Great stuff here, including her analysis of Brandt’s The Shape of Medieval History.

The Naked Philologist: entertaining blog with posts on a random variety of medieval literary and cultural topics.

Old English in New York: Mary Kate Hurley’s blog.  I’ve come across her name recently…but, apologies, I’ve been through so much web material today that I’ve lost that reference.  Intermittent posting, but always interesting, I think.

Quid plura?: Jeff Spyeck teaches at College Park, and has written a couple books on Charlemagne (which naturally piques my curiosity–long story, but this fascination with things Carolingian derives from my exam prep a couple years ago).

In Romaunce as We Rede: my English Department colleague Leila K. Norako has very recently started this blog, and as yet it only has a few entries.  But, being a careful and vivacious scholar, she is already blogging great stuff.  Her post on the Wessex Parallel Web Text project is a case in point.

Scela: Lisa L. Spangenberg’s Celtic studies blog, which as received wide acclaim.

The View from Kalamazoo: Elizabeth Carnell’s blog, updated at intervals of roughly three-four weeks; good, among other things, for picking up conference CFPs.

Yalebot: a developing blog by Yale grad student Eric Weiskott.  The content looks similar to mine–a collection of interesting news stories and posts by a developing medievalist (at least, I hope that’s a fair assessment of yours truly!).

9 Replies to “The Digital Age Historian: A round-up of medieval blogs from the English-speaking world”

  1. Hey–thanks for including me on this list! There’s probably not much in my Charlemagne book to interest a professional military historian–it’s an old-fashioned pop-history for non-academics and newcomers to medieval studies–but I do appreciate the link, and I’m glad to have discovered your blog (which I’ve happily bookmarked).

  2. Don’t mention it! And it was precisely that “welcome to medieval studies” approach that I thought was really cool. It’s certainly much needed, that’s for sure. Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you! This looks like a very interesting list. And as soon as I have a modicum of time, I shall look over it.

    And now I feel guilty. Poor Brandt has been little noticed critically, and that usually negatively, and my post was only about the things I felt I needed to rant about before I started writing the chapter in which I used his theories. I didn’t mention the useful thoughts that I ended up using. Perhaps I should do a follow-up post!

    1. You’re welcome! I haven’t read Brandt yet, but I’ve been drifting gradually into discussions of chronicle production and reception, literacy, orality, and so on, so I’ll have to check him out.

      I also really enjoyed your post on Castleford’s Chronicle!

  4. Thankyou for the link, which I seem to have taken a while to notice. I should maybe make clear that I’m no longer at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and was never an archivist there; also, that Magistra et Mater is a pseudonymous blog whose author’s identity, however obvious it may be, has not yet officially been revealed, so it might be courteous of you to avoid identifying them. But I am grateful to be noticed, even if I wade in with two fists of corrections! Sorry about that.

    1. Dear Jonathan, No worries! Thanks for the update and correction–I’m fixing that directly. As for Magistra et Mater, well, Dr. Stone clearly identifies herself, on the “About Me” page –> “More User Data”, through her link to the Fitzwilliam Museum, so I must respectfully disagree with you there. If she should delete that link in the future, naturally, I’ll change my reference.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

      1. I suppose I should leave it to her to comment, then. My internet etiquette is old enough to believe it appropriate to use the handle someone gives you and not identify them unless they choose to be identified. The fact that one can pin them down three clicks down from the blog’s front page doesn’t stop it being pseudonymous. But these are perhaps words from a different age.

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