The Lone Medievalist was born at the 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies. Our purpose, as stated on our web site (https://www.thelonemedievalist.com/), is: “The Lone Medievalist is a project designed to bring scholars together who are the only medievalist scholars within their campus or larger community. This community will create a way for scholars to connect with peers and help keep skills such as language fluency, translation, and research sharp, as well as answer questions that medievalist scholars may have. Discussion about any and all topics medieval in nature is also strongly encouraged and warmly welcomed.” We do define “Lone Medievalist” very broadly, and we are inclusive of a variety of ways medievalists can be “lone.” As of the writing of this article, we have attracted 750 likes on the Facebook page for The Lone Medievalist (https://www.facebook.com/thelonemedievalist/). Followers can also find us on Twitter: @LoneMedievalist (https://twitter.com/LoneMedievalist).
At the 2017 Congress, we again attended the CARA luncheon, particularly discussing advocacy with other attendees. In addition, we hosted another roundtable as well as our second business meeting, at which we handed out name badge stickers to allow Lone Medievalists to find each other more easily. Our roundtable this year was entitled “Greater Than the Sum of Our Arts: The Multitasking Life of the Lone Medievalist,” which focused on the “many hats” that medievalists wear, often simultaneously.
Several of the panelists as well as members of the audience discussed ways Lone Medievalists can maximize our teaching and service while being more efficient.
The highlight of our business meeting was the announcement of the forthcoming publication of our collection The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist from punctum press. Drs. John Sexton and Kisha Tracy, the founders of the Lone Medievalist and editors of the collection, are quite pleased with how it has turned out. It includes submissions from over thirty medievalists in seven countries and, within the U.S., nineteen states. These medievalists from a variety of disciplines are a combination of tenured, pre-tenured, early/middle/late career, visiting faculty, adjunct faculty, blended-career faculty, independent scholar, and students. With the forthcoming publication of Ballad, we are beginning to consider ideas for one or more additional volumes.
Potential ideas proposed at the meeting included topics related to the significance of studying the Middle Ages; the CFP will come out shortly.
We discussed strategies for expanding the activity of the Lone Medievalist into regional conferences, especially as a tool for bringing our members together at these events. Pursuant to this goal, we will establish a social media presence for the purpose of allowing Lone Medievalists attending regional conferences to coordinate social and professional contacts. We also will be looking into coordinating with conference organizers to establish ways to promote the Lone Medievalist and coordinate these contacts.
We also discussed the ways that the Lone Medievalist can expand its support of the scholarly work of isolated medievalists. Besides the support of regional conference attendance, we proposed promoting CFPs (especially those which seem friendly to Lone Medievalist interests) and possibly organizing a forum wherein members could ask for help tracking down scholarly materials unavailable to them. We will look into this and determine the best way to proceed.
In addition to the above, we will be hosting the Lone Medievalist Summer Book Exchange again this summer, and the language study groups and writing groups suggested at the 2016 meeting are in development under the direction of Dr. Christine Axen, the newest member of the Lone Medievalist staff. For ICMS 2018, we will propose roundtables on the subjects of “Collaboration as a Key to Professional Productivity” and/or “Technology, Medieval Digital Humanities, and the Lone Medievalist.”
The Lone Medievalist team is quite excited about the continued development of this project. We welcome the help of others; please contact Kisha Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.