Author Archives: Brandon W. Hawk

Source Study in a Digital Age

Like many other medievalists, this past weekend I attended the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. While there, I was privileged to present on a special session titled “Source Study: A Retrospective,” sponsored by the Sources of Anglo-Saxon Culture (my thanks to Ben Weber for organizing and for including me). I was […]

Reflections on My Postdoc Year

This academic year was Year One after my PhD, which I defended early last August, just in time to move for a teaching postdoc in English at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My year at UTK has been filled with great experiences and opportunities, so as the spring semester (and the academic year) comes to an end, I’m reflecting on it […]

OCR and Medieval Manuscripts: Establishing a Baseline

[N.B. If you only skim this post, or read just a part of it, please jump to the last few paragraphs to read my call for help and collaboration.] Introduction Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software has increasingly been a part of scholarship, particularly in digital humanities. For example, it is fundamental to the Google Books […]

Teaching Anglo-Saxon Science

By now, the news of the Anglo-Saxon recipe that kills modern day superbug MRSA is old (find a good article on it here). When news hit the internet a few weeks ago, my social media was buzzing with medievalists proud to point out the relevance of our work. I first found out about it because Judy (my […]

#RhymeYourPhD

Something wonderful is happening on Twitter. Of course, that could be said of various trends on that social media outlet, but one that’s striking early academics right now is the #RhymeYourPhD trend. Liesbeth Corens brought the idea to life over the weekend: Now I want ‘Rhyme your PhD’ like ‘dance your PhD’. Could be part of our ‘creative […]

An Ox, an Ass, and Three Kings: A History of Apocryphal Christmas Traditions

This time of year, holiday symbols surround us on all sides. Some of these are fairly recent phenomena, like Santa Claus (a twentieth-century creation in his popular culture incarnation), electric lights, and decorated fir trees in many homes; some are much older, like Hanukkah menorahs and Nativity scenes. Among those associated with Christmas are a few that particularly […]

What Have Manuscripts to Do with HEL?

This semester I had the pleasure of teaching a graduate seminar on “The History of the English Language” (from beginnings up to the early modern period), and it has led me to all sorts of useful reflections on language and history. Foremost, I have my students to thank for such an exciting and engaging seminar–and next semester I get […]