Whats up with shippey and hosstetter? I know i didn’t spell that right, sorry :( I’m extrapolating from your posts that shippey is a racist but Ive never encountered his academic works so I’m like, who is he and why was he associated with trop? And isnt hosstetter one of the guys who put together NOME? the other two incidences of eowyn scholarship you described are ludicrously awful btw. Thinking I need to do some more tolkien scholarship reading simply so that I’m in the loop on the terrible academic takes
Tom Shippey is one of the most well known 'Tolkien Academics' there are. He was incredibly present for the Jackson films and featured on the BTS footage for the extended editions quite a bit. He is also one of the guys who SO insists on comparing Sam and Frodo to 'officer and batman' rather than allowing any queer interpretation. In this paper I just read, Melissa cited Tom Shippey's pushing for the rohirrim to be viewed as a barbaric culture. His academia is as bland and traditionalist as you can find, he works tirelessly to reinforce the most narrow minded catholic-nationalistic ways of reading Tolkien and really the reason he is known so well and cited so widely is because he does indeed have an academic background and can write fairly cogent arguments (not that that's saying much, and memorably he stated that Denethor killed himself because he saw the corsair ships coming up the river, when Beregond says they've been aware of the corsairs for days). Tom Shippey insists on propping up this culture of Tolkien idealism and is a major part of the problem with Tolkien academia.
He's associated with RoP because he was originally a part of the project but left after a while. There is a rumour he was fired, which had the whole goddamn anti-rop mob frothing at the mouth, but Tom Shippey himself stated his leaving was unrelated to the project itself or it's runners and that he'd not been fired. Secretly I still hope they fired him though.
Carl Hostetter is indeed the author and compiler of Nature of Middle Earth. And after that book's publication he went onto reddit and facebook and wrote reams in disgust at 'The Left having to make everything about sex' when some fans were excitedly interpreting the melotorni/meletheldi (love brothers and love sisters) new notes that were in NoME as canonising queer relationships between elves. Carl Hostetter was also involved with RoP, in particular the translations and linguistics of the show, so hopefully not the plot itself. But hell will freeze over before a show set in middle earth gives us a canonically queer character so I doubt he had much impact on that front. In general he is also one of the traditionalists who idolise Tolkien and hold academia back from any interesting directions.
If you want to be more involved with tolkien academia I recommend actually starting with the tolkien society seminars on youtube, specifically the 2021 diversity seminar found HERE. It's both an easier way to get into tolkien academia than just trawling through all the disparate platforms of tolkien academic work in search of something worth reading, whilst also giving you an excellent snapshot of, essentially THE UPPER LIMITS of Tolkien academic progressiveness. I am not kidding when I say the works within are the furthest into feminist/queerfriendly/antiracist/disability-minded academia the tolkien community has ever gotten. So it's good to set your expectations, it's all downhill from here. Dimitra Fimi's work is still considered and often cited as THE best published work to do with Tolkien and racism and she STILL in that work has to devote pages to reassuring people Tolkien himself wasn't racist.
'Dwarves are not heroes: Antisemitism and the Dwarves in Tolkien's Writing' is an excellent piece (the only goddamn mythlore paper that's readable) and really does dig down into the clear issues, but the author, again, has to devote time to reassuring people that Tolkien himself was not anti-semetic. The culture of treating Tolkien like an un-impeachable religious figure is hardwired into the community.
how to "get shit done": uni work addition
hi loveliest people so this is a sort of guide to how i get through uni work without going completely insane (make no mistake there is still some insanity present). I hope you find it helpful, or at least entertaining,
(disclaimer cause this is the internet: these work for me, they may not work for you)
table of contents:
a. date it
b. set reminders
c. how to stay on top of it
d. how to get on top of it if you aren't already
e. learn when your brain needs a break
f. uni is a full time job, treat it as such
A. date it
okay the first thing i do at the beginning of every semester is put uni dates in my calendar.
Term dates: when your term starts, when it ends, and your holidays. this is not just for information purposes but also so you have something to look forward to. additionally, it helps later on when you have to plan out assignment and test dates.
Assignment/ test dates: scour through the course outlines of all your courses and put every single date into your calendar. every assignment, every test, anything you have to submit goes in. that includes things like "weekly quizzes". make it a recurring date and chuck it in there.
B. set reminders
so i usually do this in my calendar but if you have a reminders app, or prefer other ways to set reminders then use that.
these reminders are not to make you feel bad for not doing work, it's to hold you responsible for your work. if you know you spiral at the idea of seeing a reminder when you haven't done work, this strategy may not work for you. don't give up, something will work. keep trying and have patience with yourself
if you know something is approaching it's easier to plan your life and your tasks around it. if you never know how long you have or you're always scrambling to figure out when something is due your mind is so focused on the dates it has no time for the work
2 weeks before // 1 week before // 3 days before // 1 day before // 10 minutes before // on time of event
1 week before // 3 days before // 1 day before // 1 hour before // on time of event
I know this may be excessive but if you're someone like me who constantly forgets things, it is very helpful to keep yourself on track
okay trust me you got this! i promise it's not as bad as it looks. right onto readings and assignments.
C. how to stay on top of it
do one reading per course per day: this is non-negotiable. trust me it is the easiest way to get through readings for a week.
if you have four courses of five readings each you will end up doing four readings a day from Monday to Friday. it is workable and you can do it.
uni is fucking difficult and everyone has a story about why they're there but i promise you if you're there, the selection processes decided you were capable enough to handle it. and you are.
if you can, start a week earlier so you're a little ahead otherwise it's totally okay.
2. start research for assignments 2 weeks before it is due. this will give you time and space to sort through what is relevant, useful, or should be discarded.
i have a folder for each assignment where all my research goes. within this folder there are three other folders:
a. done and dusted
b. too long/ not relevant
c. could be helpful if i cared enough
and as i go through each paper/article/etc. i sort it into one of the three folders
while i am doing my research i also have a google doc open (shortcut that saved my life btdubs: "doc.new" directly into the browser search bar) that i write notes on.
a. things i think will help support my arguments
b. things i found interesting
c. themes that keep cropping up in the literature (advantages, disadvantages, limitations, concepts, theories, future directions)
d. things i disagree with and will either argue against or find some way to bitch about (seriously have fun with your assignments)
3. study notes should be your understanding of the topic:
it is beneficial to write the heading and then write as much as you can on what you know even if it's random words muddled on a page.
then fill in using lecture notes, anything in your readings you found helpful, and obviously your course sources like textbooks.
the most important piece of advice i can give you for study notes is: MAKE THEM FUNNY AND WITHOUT FILTER
you do not have to sound professional, you do not have to sound like you're writing a textbook. i am dead serious:
here's an excerpt from my clinical psychology study notes in 3rd year: Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder: set a boundary between what we would consider to be normal and appropriate grieving behaviour and what we could consider to be disordered or inappropriate grieving behaviour. (literally the dumbest thing i've ever heard? Who are we to tell people they’re grieving wrong????)
D. how to get on top of it if you aren't already
If you’re already behind but you’re attending class, leave the work you’re behind on in the past. (yes that was meant to rhyme).
Spend one weekend going through lecture slides and lecture content only. Don’t worry about the readings for the lectures, just leave those. If you don’t understand what’s happening then go and do readings. Skim the abstracts of those readings and if they look like they’re not going to help you don’t do them.
Reach out to your lecturer or tutor or supervisor and say:
“Good day [name/honorific]
I am struggling to understand [this topic] despite working through the lecture notes and readings on it. Please may I have some guidance as to how I can better understand this.
(alternative: please can I see you during your office hours for a brief explanation and further resources to help me better understand the topic)
Hope to hear back soon!
then apply all this to the above on assignments and study notes.
E. learn when your brain needs a break
sometimes you really just have to shut down. sometimes your brain is saying "if you don't give me a break right now i am going to do it for us and it is going to get ugly". please listen. do whatever you need to.
a. sleep for an entire day, hell an entire weekend.
b. binge watch something
c. read something
d. go out
e. go on a hike
f. stay with a friend
g. visit your parents
F. uni is a full time job, treat it as such
i cannot stress enough that uni literally is a large, possibly the biggest part, of your life. it is very difficult to sideline it without getting overwhelmed.
however, that doesn't mean you don't deserve time off. give yourself insurance, free healthcare, an understanding boss. you are not a robot. you are living, and alive, and you need many things to keep you that way. work alone is not going to help. but play alone is not going to help either. find the balance that works for you by listening to yourself. and then stick to the balance.
goodluck beautiful beans. i believe in you wholeheartedly <3
if you have any questions my ask box is always open. and if you want more detail for anything let me know!
things i learned during finals season because it was rough
start as early as you can, especially for subjects that are cumulative like calculus. you need to understand the basics before you can understand other concepts.
learn how to recognize when you need a break. are you struggling to focus? are you not really engaged with the work? are you actually retaining the information you’re learning?
don’t get too discouraged if you’re not understanding things right away. yes, it’s annoying and frustrating but don’t give up on it so quickly. if the answer key is provided, look at the answers/steps and try to understand why that answer is correct. give yourself a 5 minute break and try the problem again. practice makes perfect. you’re 100% capable of understanding it, even if it feels like you aren’t.
if anyone says it’s easy, they’re lying. everyone is struggling with something.
make your room somewhere where you want to study. light a candle if you need to, open a window, have a warm drink, make sure the lighting is good, wear comfortable clothes, etc.
take advantage of all of the resources available to you. youtube videos, practice quizzes, old tests, office hours, free tutoring if your school offers it, etc. there are so many resources available and there are so many people who are willing to help you succeed; but you have to approach them first.
I think a good part of the reason that Our Flag Means Death is so successful is the lack of an attempt at perfect historical accuracy.
As an English major I see a lot of articles/papers/opinions that focus around literature that “might have been queer, but we have no proof one way or the other so for safety’s sake we’ll claim it was ambiguous or same-sex friendship”.
Shakespeare’s sexuality is a constant point of contention amongst many scholars. Chopin, Rose Cleveland, Isadora Duncan, Marilyn Monroe and so many other lost voices have left behind clues about their queerness that go ignored by the larger narrative.
But Our Flag Means Death turns that totally on its head. Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, one of the most iconic names in the masculine mythos? Yeah he’s wearing silk robes, singing indie music, and kissing fops now.
Is there any historical proof to suggest that Bonnet and Teach were ever lovers? Not really. Did the cast and crew give us a beautiful series of diverse romances and friendships that focus on healthy communication, growth, and mutual understanding? FUCK YEAH.
I love that historical revisionism has snapped back at those who want to silence queer voices, stories, and identities. There had better be a season two because this show and what it stands for are too fucking important to lose any momentum.
We are one community, regardless of who you are or what labels you use/don’t use. We have always been here, whether or not the world wants to acknowledge us.
Tips to learn new languages pt 3
Hi! I've been teaching foreign languages to children for two years and a half now. Here are more tips I learnt by observing the way my pupils overcome their difficulties :
Repetition is more important than quantity. You'll get much more results by practicing your target language for 10 minutes a day, everyday, than by working 30 minutes every three days.
If you're only beginning to learn a new language, watching movies in your target language may not help you very much. It can be easier to start by learning songs in your target language. Grammatical structures tend to be simpler and choruses are repeated several times, so they're easier to remember. Similarly, a melody helps the brain to retain vocabulary.
Kid books are amazing! When it comes to learning a new language, your brain's a baby. It retains vocabulary better when pictures and humor are involved.
Once you start mastering basic structures and vocabulary, try to find a book that you have already read in your target language. It'll be easier to translate when you already have an idea what you're reading about. It doesn't need to be 100% new for your brain to learn new vocab, grammar rules and conjugation.
Don't start learning multiple languages at the same time. I notice that my kids tend to mix up vocabulary and grammar rules when they do so. Try to reach an A2-B1 level before moving on to learning a new language : it seems that once kids master basic structures fairly well, they don't get confused with new information as much.