Letter from the Editor

Dear Hortulus readers,

We are pleased to introduce our fall 2014 issue, “Affect and Emotion in the Middle Ages.”

This issue features articles by Kristi DiClemente and Paul A. Brazinski. Kristi DiClemente is a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa. In her article, DiClemente offers a reading of the Life of Saint Godelieve of Gistel alongside fourteenth-century documents from the Parisian Archdeacon’s court that argues that affection in medieval marriages was culturally expected. In particular, DiClemente notes the use of the words odium (hatred), rancor (rancor), and inimicitia (enmity) to characterize the emotional dimension of failed marriages.

Paul A. Brazinski is a PhD student in Church History at the Catholic University of America. He is also the reviews editor for Hortulus. In our second article, Brazinski explores Gregory the Great’s gift-giving habits, especially with aristocratic women in missionary regions. Brazinski argues that Gregory carefully selected gifts for these women in order to cultivate an emotional connection with them and also to strengthen their commitment to the Christianization of their regions.

We have five book reviews this issue on a variety of topics, time periods, and regions. Two book reviews focus on early medieval topics. In the first one, Darrell Estes reviews Liturgy and Society in Early Medieval Rome by John F. Romano. In the second, Lucas McMahon evaluates Leif Inge Ree Petersen’s Siege Warfare and Military Organization in the Successor States (400-800 AD): Byzantium, the West, and Islam. Moving a few centuries ahead, Grant Schrama reviews Jerusalem in the North: Denmark and the Baltic Crusades, 1100-1522 by A. Bysted, K.V. Jensen, C.S. Jensen, and J. Lind. Our final two reviews explore the merits of two edited collections. The first collection interrogates the question of space in a variety of medieval contexts. Emerson Storm Fillman Richards considers the collection of essays, Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories, and Imagined Geographies, edited by Meredith Cohen and Fanny Madeline. The second collection discusses the relevance of medieval studies to contemporary social justice issues. Yvonne Seale evaluates the collection of essays, Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice, edited by Celia Chazelle, Simon Doubleday, Felice Lifshitz, and Amy G. Remensnyder. Please remember to visit our rolling reviews section on our website regularly to read the latest book reviews.

We have some exciting job opportunities and events coming up in the following year. We are currently accepting applications for assistant editors for our 2015 issues. We have one opening for the spring 2015 issue and two for the fall 2015 issue. Applications are due January 5, 2015. We will sponsor our third panel at Kalamazoo in 2015, which will correspond to the theme for the fall 2015 issue (“Pilgrimage, Travel, and Exploration”). Our spring 2015 issue is an open issue, and the Call for Papers is available now. Submissions are due February 13, 2015, and more details can be found at www.hortulus-journal.com.

Looking ahead to spring, we are developing several new initiatives for the Hortulus website in order to facilitate a more robust online community for graduate students. Look for a more active “General Interest” section, as well as new columns on academic publishing with a digital focus, and for guest writers to reflect on their graduate student experiences. As our website states, the general interest column is devoted to non-peer reviewed (but edited) columns on topics which relate to medieval studies but are not academic articles. Examples of such columns could include: reflections on a museum exhibit, a discussion on a medieval focused television programme, teaching medieval studies in the classroom, a recent play related to medieval studies, a recent conference, or other related topic.” The new graduate student experiences column is intended to provide a forum for discussing things that matter to graduate students more generally—topics might include the application process, deciding which school to attend, choosing conferences to attend, writing conference abstracts, submitting essays for publication or prizes, working on collaborative projects, designing and implementing research projects, new theoretical models or research designs under development, professionalization, and similar subjects. If you would like to contribute a post of between 300-800 words for either the general interest column or the graduate student experiences column, please contact us with your ideas! Send your suggestions and queries to [email protected].

Jenny C. Bledsoe
Hortulus co-editor


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