Hello! I'm Sara Uckelman (@SaraLUckelman), Lecturer in Philosophy at Durham University, where I'm also affiliated with the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Despite my primary affilation, I hesitate to call myself a philosopher, even though I've been affiliated with philosophy departments for the better part of my education and academic career! This is because my main area of interest (and research and teaching) is logic: A field which is just as happily at home in mathematics and computer science departments, and often it is merely an accident of history where the logicians can be found in any given institution. I did my PhD at the University of Amsterdam, which has probably the highest number of logicians per capita in the world (which made it an excellent place to work), in a department which was half in the Faculty of Science and half in the Faculty of Philosophy. I ended up on the science side, and the academic training I received there, as a "scientist", has influenced my approach to research in the Humanities tremendously -- a topic I hope to explore during my week as WtH curator. My specific area of interest in logic is logic in the High Middle Ages -- roughly from St. Anselm at the end of the 11th C to the decline of Scholasticism at the end of the 14th C, an interest which arose when I discovered, early in my PhD, that I could combine my academic interest in logic with my non-academic hobby of medieval re-creation; I've been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (@SCASocial) since I was a teenager. As a result, in addition to teaching in the philosophy programmes at Durham, I also contribute a few seminars to the MA in medieval studies.
So that's the day job. But I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to research, as I also moonlight (in the sense of, this is how I spend most of my evenings!) as an onomast -- someone who studies names. Personal names, place names, given names, bynames, nicknames, you name it, I love it. I got bitten by the onomastic bug when I was 10, and some decades later that interest culminated in the birth of the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources (@theDMNES, http://dmnes.org/), of which I am the Editor-in-Chief. The Dictionary has a blog at http://dmnes.wordpress.com/, wherein I discuss not only onomastic issues but also issues in the field of Digital Humanities, which is where this project ultimately lies.
Outside my academic activities, my life is kept busy by my husband (also a logician: This makes for some extremely interesting marital arguments), our 4-year-old daughter (who can deploy practical syllogism better than anyone else in her nursery), and our three cats. The medieval re-creation now involves all three of us: In addition to researching medieval logic and names, I'm also interested in calligraphy and illumination (with a blog tracking my creations at http://scriptura-et-pictura.blogspot.co.uk/), while my husband does pewter casting, and our daughter loves to sing and dance. After many years of academia leading us from the US to the Netherlands to Germany and ultimately the UK, we're finally settled down here in Durham and bought a house, the renovations of which occupy the weekends we're not swanning around Europe dressed in funny clothing.
I haven't been on twitter long, but I discovered WtH soon after joining and quickly found that this was where the most interesting and diverse conversations were happening, and I look forward to contributing to them in a more direct role. There are lots of topics I'd like to explore: work/life balance (having kids and hobbies in academia), what really is interdisciplinary research, how to make medieval logic more accessible to the public and why names don't need that sort of work!, teaching practices, the joys and perils of co-authoring, and more. There will be pictures of manuscripts and pictures of cats. Maybe even of manuscript cats.