March 14th, 2003

Fishy Circumstances

Somewhere around Helm's Deep

Five of us stayed up late tonight playing the Lord of the Rings board game. Given it was our first time playing, we did reasonably well, and survived up until we were crushed by orcs at Helm's Deep. It was a good and coherently complicated game. It was a good ending to a rather long, full, and busy day, and involved chocolate cake. Very, very good chocolate cake to tide us through the game.
Fishy Circumstances

The market worth of a Medievalist

Today I was in the unusual and rather exciting position of being told by senior academics that my dissertation topic lends itself nicely to very commercially viable books - several of them. Material history is hot right now. Who knows if anything will come of this in my career, but it's pleasing to think someone thinks my research areas have promise. Of course, commercial feasibility alone does not make an academic career.

Being a Medievalist is not a career naturally designed to bring fame and fortune. Indeed, if you haven't read the article in the current Medieval Academy Newsletter from a woman leaving medieval academia on the subject (and you're a medievalist or heading in that general direction), you should, just for some perspective. She argues, among other things, that academia is training up way too many PhDs in medieval subjects given the demand, and many people take on PhDs for many of the wrong reasons. Read it for perspective, not to discourage you from the field. It's healthy to be able to see both sides.