Back From Hiatus!

Back in 2014, I finally caved and, with Brittany‘s help, I set up this website to establish my own academic and creative corner of the internet. To my surprise, I actually really enjoyed posting here, and I maintained the site through 2014 and 2015, until my family went through a very difficult patch, and I let the site go inactive.

I’ve been meaning to revive the site for almost a year now, particularly as my interest in the digital humanities has grown and the work I do online has expanded immensely. So here I am! Instead of trying to recreate all the posts that I lost when the site went down, I’m just going to pick up from here. I’m still rebuilding the site, adding links and pages, and it will be a work-in-progress for a while, but the bones of it are in place. I’ll be posting about fairy tales, pedagogy, folklore, narrative, travel, disability, 19th-century literature, speculative fiction, and more, but for now, here are some updates:

~ Perhaps the biggest piece of news is that Brittany and I founded The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, an online center for classes on folk narrative and fantastic literature, in 2016. For the last several years, friends and friends of friends have said that they wish they’d had access to courses on folklore when they were in college and that they would love to take our classes, and, eventually, we decided to see what would happen if we tried to make that possible…and Carterhaugh was born. So far, we have taught a short course on folklore loosely associated with Halloween and a long course on the fairy tale. It has been such a fun experience, and I’ve learned so much, both from doing something on this scale from scratch and from our amazing students. We’re looking forward to teaching a long course on the legend and a short course on witches in folklore and literature later this year. We cannot wait to see where this takes us…

~ Derek Newman-Stille, Brittany, and I co-founded Through the Twisted Woods, an online hub dedicated to the discussion of marginalized voices in folk narrative. Our welcome page reads:

“Through The Twisted Woods is a place where people can share ideas, perspectives, and new imaginings of folk narratives. This is a site for representing, but also disrupting, fairy tales, folklore, myths, legends, and fables. We hope to unite scholarship and art, because art is a form of critical thinking and scholarship is a creative project. We hope Through The Twisted Woods can become a hub for Folk Narrative.

We hope to push the boundaries of Folk and Fairy Tale narratives to include those tales that live on the fringes of the enchanted woods, the tales that are underrepresented and that push beyond the traditional. We hope to challenge, interrogate, question, and imagine new possibilities within Folk Narrative.

We hope to examine the power of disabling, queering, gender-swapping, ageing, and disrupting hegemonic whiteness and anglocentrism in Folk Narratives. Through scholarship, poetry, prose, and pedagogy, we will attend to the ways in which these stories shape our perceptions of our cultures and ourselves while also allowing us to imagine otherwise, inventing new ways of examining our world.”

~ I’ve published nearly a dozen poems and short stories since the last time I posted, including “Cordelia, or the Price of Salt” in Faerie Magazine, “Waking” (co-authored with Brittany) in Liminality, and three new stories in Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies.

~ I’ve taught some wonderful classes at OSU, including “Intro to Folklore” and “Folklore and the Fantastic.”

~ I’m well into my dissertation writing, which explores the connections between disability and folk narrative in 19th-century British literature, and I’m aiming to defend and get that PhD by summer 2018. Wish me luck!

Soon, I’ll post more about recent conferences and new publications, but it’s good to be back!

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