field study

Scientists Make Discovery About World’s Silt Deposits But Understand If You Aren’t Interested In That

A team of geologists from the University of Colorado announced at a press conference Wednesday that they had made a significant discovery concerning the world’s silt deposits, but stated that they understand if you aren’t interested in that sort of thing.

The consortium of silt experts—who acknowledged that the analysis of the loose sedimentary material that gathers in lakes, rivers, and forests was not necessarily up everyone’s alley—nonetheless stressed that the results of their research had wide-reaching implications for those in their specific field of study.

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~Near Future~
  • Professor: *lecturing*
  • Students: ...
  • Professor: ...
  • Students: ...
  • Professor: Okay, in a week we'll have an exam on this.
  • Students: ...*no motivation*
  • Professor: And if everyone gets a 90% and above I'll throw out two lures and we'll go on a field trip.

I want to let you in on the dirty little secret of my field, Medieval Studies: The Middle Ages is incredibly attractive to white supremacists. For people whose vision of a backwards-looking, great world is one with white Christian men in positions of power and the rest of us put in our places, the Middle Ages is a fertile ground for fantasy, where it seems very easy, at least superficially, to ignore the integral role of an incredibly diverse population. There are legends like King Arthur, images like the Bayeaux Tapestries, and long histories of Crusading that, on the face of it, make the Middle Ages look very white and like a world very divided neatly into categories of “us” and “them.”

This vision of a very white, very Christian Middle Ages has been a part of political rhetoric for rather a long time: Anti-feminist politicians exploit their idea of medieval chivalry and courtly love to give their ideas a historical grounding. The British Nationalist party uses the story of Excalibur to promote its vision of a racially pure England. The Crusades, in particular, have factored into that: Crusaders became a favorite theme of 19th-century Romantic writers and thinkers, whose refashioning of these tales were crucial to the creating the popular vision of a very white Middle Ages. T.E. Lawrence, the young British army officer who would go on to be known as Lawrence of Arabia and reshape the map of the modern Middle East came to that region as a student at Oxford writing about Crusader castles. Various European fascist movements throughout 20th-century have adopted Crusader rhetoric. More recently and in our own country, George W. Bush called for Crusade in the wake of 9/11. And the most recent presidential election saw a proliferation of images that have long circulated more quietly in the darkest, most racist corners of the internet that rely on medieval and Crusading themes and images to support both individual candidates and wider worldviews.

But it’s not just political rhetoric: Attachment to a white Middle Ages is also an attitude that has absolutely permeated our cultural outlook: Look at something like the TV version of Game of Thrones and you see a kind of fantasy Middle Ages in which the race politics is incredibly uncomplicated, with a lily-white savior and her dragons redeeming the inarticulate, teeming masses of brown barbarians. It’s a rhetoric that politicians can use because it resonates with the population.

But when we look at the actual Middle Ages in all its complexity, the possibility of this fantasy vision evaporates very quickly.


“Both Sons of Spain”: Medieval Jews and Muslims in the Imagined Nation

My department held a round-table and teach-in yesterday in response to post-election Islamophobic and anti-Semitic vandalism on campus. We felt it was important, as scholars in the humanities, to offer a humanistic intellectual response to the changing tenor of campus discourse; we grounded this response within our discipline, with six speakers offering case studies of how different communities have responded to repression within the Spanish-speaking world. (The event was livestreamed and a recording will be available early next week; I’ll post it as and when.) What follows was my intervention. -S.J. Pearce


Random studies. Animal tails, bird wings in action. Done with BIC’s.

I’m not used to extremely fluffy fur, that is why  I picked a fox tail to draw. I’m kind of proud with it.

forgot to add a subtitle to the tail on the bottom - it’s a pit bull tail. So basically the idea was to make a texture for the short haired dogs kind of thing.

Thank you all for whatching :)

D. Falcão