On EEBO on my Day Off

All Summer I vowed to use the field-specific databases at my university’s library even though I work a 12-month desk job and don’t do much actual research right now; I did that and tried to write about it as a way to ensure I did my weekly visits to these resources and get my clicks and pageview statistics counted, using it so as not to lose it, so-to-speak.

Today I took the day off work, mostly because I need to use vacation days before I leave my administrative appointment in June. …


Unless you have to write it this way

I am using part of today to do something that, in my current position as a middle-management dean, is as close to writing a book as it typically gets.

By “writing a book,” I mostly mean pasting stuff from one document into another document. In 15 years, one can generate a lot of documents. This book isn’t even half-finished, and it’s already twice over too long.

I used to get tired of people saying “maybe it’s two books,” because frankly, nobody is looking for even one book on my topic. There are also a fair number of long books, like…


Can we Talk about Teaching without Talking?

A month or so ago, when we were still laughing nervously about plexiglass barriers, I started writing a post here where I imagined myself going step by step teaching in a room on my campus this Fall.

I’m teaching a class on a subject that I know well and have taught quite a bit in various courses, though the specific Fall 2020 course is new. These factors mean I am intellectually equipped and organizationally flexible; I’m planning it from the ground up, so there is no “adapting” or retrofitting it. Unlike faculty who are changing in-person courses to online courses…


Weekly EEBO, etc.

I’ve been doing these posts now for 8 weeks. (!!!)

[links to weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7].

At the beginning, I was thinking I was helping my librarians so that they’d be able to help me better in the future. But very quickly my use of library resources turned from playing around to doing real research as I began to dive back into the book chapter I was writing.

This is not to say I didn’t keep playing while I was also doing serious work, and that is as true of this week as it was…


Weekly EEBO Etc.

This past week I was on vacation and furlough, so my activity was much more substantive and sustained. I used my library & many others by using Interlibrary Loan and electronic resources made available to readers by the Folger Shakespeare Library. [I wrote about weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

I read two articles by Ian Archer (whose book, The Pursuit of Stability [Cambridge 1996] I also bought and began skimming last month): A Gazetteer of military levies, which he’s made freely available in the hopes that others will do work on these records, and this essay:

Ian W. Archer, “The Burden of Taxation on Sixteenth-Century London” The HIstorical Journal 44 (2001): 599–627.

If you…


Weekly EEBO, Etc.

Earlier this week I wasn’t really feeling the chapter writing. And I was pretty miserable about most things. On Tuesday I was in fact so grouchy at the end of my work day that I decided I needed to focus on something entirely pointless.

And so — with the caveat that this is not about my library use, but rather, my inability to do any actual thinking or reading, I made this video, an addition to the “This is a thing, oh wait, it’s a different thing: it’s Cake!” …


Weekly EEBO ETC

Here is another installment of my attempts (weeks 1, 2, 3, 4) to make sure I use the resources my library affords, particularly EEBO. I started this to make sure my librarians had the stats to justify keeping the database I knew I was going to rely on for my Fall semester teaching. …


Final week of June

This week I’ve been looking at some sources that identify London as an exceptional place (exceptional within England, that is).

I used EEBO to track down and review a few quotations that I found in articles by literature scholars and historians. This is from The annales of England Faithfully collected out of the most autenticall authors, records, and other monuments of antiquitie, lately collected, since encreased, and continued, from the first habitation vntill this present yeare 1605. By Iohn Stow citizen of London. (London, 1605), STC 23337.

This quotation is about the assembly of the Trained Bands, an Elizabethan innovation…


3rd week of June

Today’s post recaps some of my reading in the third week of June.

First, I read this short piece by Sharon Achinstein, ““Here at least / We shall be free”: The Places of English Renaissance Literature,” whose title I repeatedly kept misreading as “Free at Last / We shall be Free,” despite (or maybe because) of the fact that I had just taught Paradise Lost and had given a lecture on its implications for American democracy to a bunch of second-semester college freshman back in February, “Democracy Dies In Pandemonium.

It focused on the recent conversations in the Milton Society…


The one neat trick that made zero difference

In 2020, there have been so many opportunities to look back even just a few months with nostalgia, even as there’s ample evidence that things were quite shitty in America and the world before the last day of 2019. Before 2016. Before 1619. As somebody who studies a domestic institution in an age of imperialism, I know better than to romanticize the past. That doesn’t mean I don’t think back wistfully to 2 days ago, when I did not know about this horrific trafficking ring on top of everything else.

Anyway, the other night, a twitter friend noted the loss…

Vim, Ph.D.

Early Modernist, Associate Prof, college hoops fan, crazy cat lady. Tweeting out of conviction or exhaustion or both. Views my own. My head hurts.

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