Does history really repeat itself? This episode was very exciting and gives us an opportunity to think about how historical events and practices from all types of cultures affect future events and evolve. One of the areas we can look at is in the area of violence. If we take a look at specific issues from a historical vantage point, we might be able to shift and prevent things from happening. This can hold true in domestic violence, workplace violence, and other types of social violence. Looking back, we can see ahead, which can actually be fun. This is especially true when we look at it where we take a specific topic and apply it to different cultures and see what the potential outcome(s) can be. It’s also fascinat-ing to take current issues, then look back and discover that despite how unique some of them seem to be, there are cultures that have experienced them we can certainly learn from. To gain more insight and enthusiasm on this, you will want to hear what this guest expert has to say.
Guest Expert, Assistant Professor of English and Medieval Literature, Dr. Melissa “Melle” Ridley Elmes, a scholar, interdisciplinary and comparative literary historian and critic, writer of poetry, along with fiction and nonfiction, who specializes in the medieval British Isles and North Atlantic World, with emphasis on Old and Middle English alongside Anglo-Norman, Welsh, and Old Norse/Icelandic literature and culture has much to share on this episode.
She also has interests with research engaged in Arthurian legend; Chaucer; Robin Hood/outlawry; women’s and gender studies, particularly women’s literate practices and women and violence; alchemy, magic, and esoterica; monsters and the supernatural; literature and the law; genre studies and medieval English, Anglo-Norman, Welsh, and Icelandic poetic forms; mythology and folklore; ecocritical and animal studies; manuscript studies and history of the book, philology, and history of the English language.
Melissa is author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems that published in February 2020 by Dark Myth Publications, along with a number of additional scholarly literary works (see link to additional works below). She has several upcoming research projects on the horizon and has a vast array of knowledge and experience that has led to exemplary work. For example, she served at the Avalon domestic violence shelter, with 80 hours of training, working as a volunteer for the shelter on the hotline. She mentioned during this episode, “I think that really started my interest in thinking through questions of trauma, in questions of violence, and intersections of trauma violence, class, race, gender. I do a lot of work with that in my teaching, especially in my composition courses, but I do a lot of it in my Lit classes too.”
Melissa has been monumental in uncovering current issues that need address based on findings from her research. “It's a field that over the past 20 or so years, I'd say medieval feminist scholarship has been conducted, and much more recently, there's been a real push, an important push, for it to be intersectional and inclusive and we're uncovering things that have been hiding in plain sight for 1,500 years. It's dynamic and it's exciting! It's causing some waves. It's causing some problems.”
This is an exciting episode that will draw you in on many levels and allow you to gain a new perspective on how you look at and maybe even conquer new challenges.