Letter From The Editor

Dear Hortulus readers,

We are pleased to offer our Spring 2016 general issue.

This issue features articles by Kim Lungociu and Stephanie Grace-Petinos. Kim Lungociu is a PhD candidate in Medieval History at the Catholic University of America. Lungociu’s article traces renowned scholastic thinker Peter Abelard’s trajectory from worldly teacher who seduces his protegée Heloise to famed monk following the discovery of their affair and his subsequent castration at the order of Heloise’s uncle, arguing that the transformation is accomplished through Abelard’s intentional development of the persona of St. Jerome.

Stephanie Grace-Petinos is a PhD student in French at the Graduate Center, City University New York.  In our second article, Petinos reads the figure of Le Fresne in Marie de France’s lai of the same name as both victim and vehicle of redemption, arguing that Le Fresne’s suffering, mirroring the charitable suffering of Christ, paves the way for not only her own, but also her family and future husband’s, redemption and well-being in the wake of the tale’s events.

The five book reviews in this issue span a variety of topics. Three of the reviews focus on books dealing with religious subjects, including the figure of the Virgin Mary–Gary Waller, The Virgin Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Literature and Popular Culture, reviewed by Joseph Morgan—cathedral architecture—Arts of the Medieval Cathedrals: Studies on Architecture, Stained Glass, and Sculpture in Honor of Anne Prache, a collection of essays edited by Kathleen Nolan and Dany Sadndron and reviewed by Meg Bernstein– and diocesan rites—William Smith’s The Use of Hereford: the Sources of a Medieval English Diocesan Rite, reviewed by Matthew T. Vander Vennet. In the fourth review, Nadia Van Pelt examines The Medieval Account Books of the Mercers of London: An Edition and Translation, by Lisa Jefferson, while in the fifth I review Megan Leitch’s Romancing Treason: The Literature of the Wars of the Roses.

We are currently accepting applications for the Hortulus co-editor’s position. This is a two-year position open to graduate students at any level and in any field of study, with the stipulation tht you must have two or more years left in your degree program at the time of appointment. The first year is spent as junior co-editor, during which time you are mentored through the publication process, and the second year as senior editor. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable skills in journal editing, peer review, and digital publishing. All Hortulus positions are unpaid. More information on this position, as well as the application form, can be found here: https://hortulus-journal.com/job-openings/ .

We are also currently accepting submissions for our Fall themed issue, “Gendered Spaces.” Article guidelines can be found here: https://hortulus-journal.com/submission-guidelines/. Please send queries and articles for consideration to  [email protected].

As I look back and reflect on my past two years as co-editor of Hortulus, I am proud of our team and the many initiatives we have undertaken to facilitate a more robust online community for graduate students, in particular our #AskaDHMedievalist campaign last Fall, which resulted in a wonderful web-based interview with Dorothy Kim (Vassar College) that can be accessed here: https://hortulus-journal.com/kim/ . Going forward, we would like to see more submissions for our “General Interest” and digital publishing columns. 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 digital publishing column is intended to provide a space for reflecting on experiences both editorial and authorial in nature as regards publishing on a digital platform like Hortulus. If you are interested in contributing a post of between 300-800 words for either the general interest column or the digital publishing column, please contact us with your ideas! Send your suggestions and queries to [email protected].

Finally, I would like to extend a special note of thanks to the incredible editorial team that worked on this spring issue. Our book reviews editor, Paul Brazinski, has proved a steady and consistently excellent colleague, and it has been my distinct honor to work with him for the past two years. Thanks as well to the assistant reviews editor, James Adams, who worked closely with Paul to ensure that every review meets Hortulus standards. We rely heavily on our assistant editors, who shepherd the articles through peer review and serve as primary contact persons for our authors during the reviewing and editing process, and Kimberly Tate Anderson and Ruth Gripentrog were a joy to work with and instrumental to keeping us on schedule for publication of the spring issue. As I step down from the senior editor’s position, I am confident that I am leaving the journal in good hands with Nadine Kuipers, who is everything one could wish in a digital publishing co-editor and colleague.

Melissa Ridley Elmes
Hortulus co-editor