Last year I had a fabulous time at a four-day conference held at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC, where I gave a plenary presentation. The conference was IONA: Early medieval studies on the islands of the North Atlantic—transformative networks, skills, theories, and methods for the future of the field. I not only had a fabulous time, but also met some people to collaborate with.
The first project, already in its preliminary planning stage, is a companion volume to Hild: an accessible guide to the book and its Early Medieval context. Most likely we will aim for publication with a university press, but as the project comes together more clearly, a trade press may be a better option.
This is a call for contributors, and ideas.
- Scholars who might teach the book to undergraduates
- Scholars who may want guidance into certain areas of the field
- Lay readers who wish to pursue the history/historical context of Hild in greater depth
1. Introductory article/s
2. Short survey articles of 10-15 pp each intended to bring the non-scholar into the historical reality in which the book is set, or to guide scholars into particular areas. There will be 7-8 of these. We’re sure of the first four topics and are mulling others:
- teaching Hild
3. A series of encyclopaedia entries on smaller topics. The number and topics are still very much under discussion, but some examples might include:
- textile production
- metal smithing
4. Full bibliography to guide those who want to pursue topics further
Just before Hild was published I bought the domain seventhcenturybritain.com. I’d originally intended it as an unofficial companion to the novels—stuffed with maps, illustrations, family trees, glossaries, all the extra research that wouldn’t fit in the book, and so on. So this is the ideal place to host as much of the book content as we can for free—we believe in open access. Here’s where we’ll put too-expensive-for-print extras for the official Companion: full-colour maps and other illustrations; perhaps sample syllabi, reading lists, and other teaching materials; public domain texts; pre-prints of some Companion articles; specialised bibliographies; interviews with contributors; and whatever else seems appropriate. It’s a website; there are no length restrictions, and nothing is set in stone.
Editors and Contributors
We—me, the editors, other contributors—are fully committed to diversity and inclusion in terms of disciplines, author identity, mindset, and place of origin. Included in the list of those who have already agreed to participate are two historians, two Celticists, three OE lit scholars, and, ahem, one novelist. We’re actively seeking queer scholars, scholars of colour, disabled scholars, and scholars at various stages of their academic careers—including those engaged in independent study.
It’s only human to want to work with those we’ve worked with before, but for this project we’re keen on representing different ways of thinking. So if you have thoughts, please share, either in the comments below or in private email. (If you have my email address please feel free to get in touch privately, or use the contact form on this website.) If you know of someone we should approach, please tell us. And if you think someone you know might be interested, please send them a link.
If you get in touch we’ll share who is already committed, who we’re talking to, and other plans for the project.
I’m excited about this. I hope you are, too.