Choosing the vicar’s wedding dress

Last month, the Church of England’s governing body, General Synod, met in York.* Alongside conversion therapy and rites of passage for transgender people, the agenda also included a change to rules on what clergy wear during services, including special occasions like weddings and funerals

At present, all C of E clergy are legally required to wear traditional robes, a mode of dress little changed since the question of suitable clothing was debated in the mid-sixteenth century. The new ruling empowers brides, grooms and mourners to make a decision on the vicar’s dress.** The change is not immediate: as with other national laws, the Queen has to give her royal assent. Continue reading Choosing the vicar’s wedding dress

LDNA in Studia Neophilologica

In mid-June, Studia Neophilologica published online the first peer-reviewed article from the Linguistic DNA project:

Linguistic DNA: Investigating Conceptual Change in
Early Modern Discourse
Susan Fitzmaurice, Justyna A. Robinson, Marc Alexander,
Iona C. Hine, Seth Mehl, and Fraser Dallachy. Continue reading LDNA in Studia Neophilologica

Religion, evil and forgiveness: some thoughts off air

Sunflower. Photograph (c) Marcin Szala, used under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Sunflower. Photograph (c) Marcin Szala, used under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Twice in as many weeks, I’ve provided an expert voice to aid discussion on local radio. The first invitation was to talk about Martin Luther and “what he’d ever done for us”. The most recent, to discuss religious notions of evil and forgiveness following the death of an unrepentant serial killer. Continue reading Religion, evil and forgiveness: some thoughts off air

Watching Luther: a prequel to three public talks

On Halloween, 1517, nearly 500 years ago, Luther posted up his debate text on the doors of the Wittenberg Castle Church. Was Luther’s text inflammatory? Composed in Latin, its direct capacity to inflame was limited to his literate peer group. Continue reading Watching Luther: a prequel to three public talks

SHARP 2017: Technologies of the Book

The following abstract has been [Edit: March 2017:] accepted for SHARP 2017: Technologies of the Book (9-12 June, Victoria, BC). It will be part of a panel under the common title “Reading and writing to disk: Sheffield and Books in the Digital Humanities”. Continue reading SHARP 2017: Technologies of the Book

Tools for EEBO-TCP & the challenge of reproducibility

After a gap in posts, this is a somewhat epic effort, following up on a “Language and Society” seminar with University of Sheffield History students this morning. Alongside an overarching interest in “reproducibility”, it contains:

  1. A description and tips for EEBO-TCP tools including the main Continue reading Tools for EEBO-TCP & the challenge of reproducibility

Under the surface: SHARP, LDNA and sundry sources

When I drafted my abstract for SHARP, I recall a keen sense that my doctoral work was very closely tied to the conference theme, and that—being then in an early stage of the Linguistic DNA project—it was harder to anticipate what LDNA outputs might best speak to the 2016 theme “Languages of the Book”. As others will recognise, a 20-minute conference paper often skims over details of process in favour of content. In this post then I want to reflect on how I brought together LDNA with my own prior research. Continue reading Under the surface: SHARP, LDNA and sundry sources

Friendship by correspondence

As you may or may not know, I’m an old fashioned, traditional kind of guy who rejects not only 1990s culture, but also that of most of the twentieth century with discernible vehemence–my use of letters and telegrams rather than telephones, quill pens and ink instead of biros or word processors, and my incessant ramblings pertaining to how things were when everything was fields and you could hang your key outside your front door without a single worry–those were the days!

[M.F.E. Bruce. From a letter postmarked 3 August 1997; in response to my writing ‘having just read a Jane Austen novel’.] Continue reading Friendship by correspondence