Greetings from the Editor’s desk at Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies. Since the new issue of Speculum, July 98/3 (2023), will soon post online and land in your mailboxes, I take this opportunity to preview the riches we have in store for you. The issue leads off with Maureen Miller’s presidential address “Reframing the ‘Documentary Revolution’ in Medieval Italy,” given as a show-stopping plenary lecture at the Medieval Academy of America’s annual meeting in Washington, DC in February. Maureen is keeping lively company in this issue: the other four articles are all by early career scholars whose work demonstrates that the future of our field is in good hands. François·e Charmaille’s “Trans Climates of the European Middle Ages, 500–1300” examines the figure of Tiresias in medieval literature, through the lens of trans climatology, a concept that encompasses “the climatically ordered procession of the seasons as transgender change” and a notion of gendered seasons. Turning to Italian literature, specifically Dante, Grace Delmolino’s “Fraudulent Counsel: Legal Temporality and the Poetics of Liability in Dante’s Inferno, Boniface VIII’s Liber Sextus, and Gratian’s De penitentia” shows how the poet’s concept of fraudulent counsel in the Inferno drew on legal ideas, particularly those from the canon law tradition. Joining the animated discussion in art history about medieval diagrams, Justin Willson’s “On the Aesthetic of Diagrams in Byzantine Art” argues for a Byzantine theological tradition of diagrammatic art. And finally, in “Mechanics of Royal Generosity: The Gifts from the Wedding of King Matthias Corvinus and Beatrice of Aragon (1476),” Patrik Pastrnak introduces us to two unpublished inventories that document both the wedding gifts of the royal couple and the relationships that these gifts created.
I am also delighted to announce a new initiative of Speculum—a podcast!—whose release is timed to coincide with the publication of the July issue. Entitled Speculum Spotlight, this pilot podcast is a collaboration between Speculum and The Multicultural Middle Ages podcast. Our vision is to highlight in a 30-minute interview format one article and its author from the most recent issue of the journal, in this case July 2023. The goal is to spotlight the scholarly contribution the research makes and to give the listener a glimpse behind the scenes to explore the research, writing, and crafting of the essay with its author.
Following the advice of the Editorial Board of Speculum and the preferences of the MMA members, we have used this pilot to highlight the scholarship of an early career scholar. In this case, we have selected Francois·e Charmaille’s “Trans Climates of the European Middle Ages, 500–1300” to be the subject of our first episode. Logan Quigley conducts the interview. I hope that listeners will find the sparkling conversation between the two interlocutors as engaging and informative as I do.
My thanks and gratitude go to the MMA series producers, William Beattie, Jonathan Correa, Reed O’Mara, and Logan Quigley, who accepted my proposal for this collaboration with such excitement. I’d also like to thank the members of the Speculum Editorial Board, who also enthusiastically supported this project, and particularly Mohamad Ballan, who has signed on as one of the episode producers. I also want to acknowledge the Speculum staff, Taylor McCall, Carol Anderson, and Jane Maschue, and at the Medieval Academy of America, the Graduate Student Committee, Lisa Fagin Davis, and Chris Cole for his technical support on this project. As of 1 July, you can access the podcast here or click through on the right rail of our website. You can also find it at all the usual podcasts platforms. Happy listening! But do make sure to read the issue too!