Hello! My name is Kisha (@kosho22), and I will be tweeting here @WetheHumanities for the week of April 25th.
A little bit about me - I am an Assistant Professor of English Studies, specializing in early British and world literatures, and Co-coordinator of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Fitchburg State University. I received my Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2010. I am currently working on two book projects: Why Do I Have to Take This Course? Theory and Practice of Student Investment in Learning and Sins of the Past: Remembering, Forgetting, and Confessing in Middle English Literature. The former considers how we can encourage our students to be more invested in their courses, and the latter explores how the traditional medieval relationship between memory and confession provides a valuable framework for understanding the employment of recollection in various Middle English literary texts.
I would also like to mention a couple of other projects, both of which I am the co-founder. The first is The Lone Medievalist. I and my colleague, Dr. John Sexton, created this project in 2015 with the help of Sarah Barott and Rachel Munson. Our purpose, as stated on the site: “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.” The Lone Medievalist has emphasized for me the value of online communities and how much social media interaction can enrich thought and study. Look for a collection of short essays from several of our lone medievalists in the future!
Another project, also co-founded with John Sexton, is our MASSachusetts State Universities MEDIEVAL Blog: "The purposes of this blog are numerous and ever-changing. It is designed to be a forum, a meeting place, a soapbox, a discussion board, and a source of entertainment. Everything medieval (or classical or early modern or…), pedagogical, engaging, and amusing is welcome." This too has been a valuable outlet for communication, and it indeed was the locus for creating The Lone Medievalist, among other projects.
As the above might indicate, I have been fortunate to find myself in a unique position as a scholar/instructor of medieval studies as well as the co-coordinator of our Center for Teaching and Learning. Serving as both has given me a chance to develop different perspectives on how to engage those outside of the field - namely, students, but others as well - and encourage - I hope! - excitement about the past and early literature. This is part of what I intend to bring to my week of curation, thinking about the value of humanities, especially as part of a liberal arts education. And about the significance of the past to the modern day, in ways that we potentially don't typically consider. I also intend to post about some of my more specific areas of specialty: memory and disability studies.
There are so many rich topics in the humanities! It will be a pleasure to spend the week discussing at least my particular corner of them with you all!