You know, I’m the first to admit that about 85% of In the Middle sails right over my head— and it’s not because I’m uninterested, or completely uninformed about medieval studies and theory. I suspect my estrangement is partly because I’m very literal and philologically minded; partly it’s a difference in our approach to texts. I am, however, positive about two things.
Whether or not I can follow the arguments and discussions of In the Middle, I am very much aware that the ItM coterie actively mentor graduate students; that they reach out and encourage and engage and include graduate students in their blog and in person at conferences. The other thing I am certain about is that both Eileen Joy and Jeffrey Cohen practice scholarship with not only zeal, but with active, even infectious, joy in the pursuit of scholarship, in text, in learning and in teaching.
I really don’t see any mentoring, any joy, or any value in the exceedingly impenetrable and downright malicious attack blog. It serves no purpose beyond malice, and byte wankery.