I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Sometimes in academic life there are moments of great pride.

I had a minor triumph over the last twenty-four hours when I got the scanner to work to make images of different picture-book illustrations of Beauty and the Beast for my lecture on fairy-tales this morning. In 80 minutes I covered Apuleius' Cupid and Psyche, Aarne and Thompson's classifications of fairy tales, the C18 Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie de Beaumont, brief allusions to Marie de France (Bisclavret, Yonec), and Wife of Bath's Tale, a bunch of C19 and C20 images of the story (Beardsley, Walter Crane etc.), lightly or heavily pornographic images, Disney's movie, some holiday snaps of the Beast from our trip to Disneyland a couple of years ago, and YouTube comments on the opening song from the Disney movie, e.g.
  • "I am like Belle in so many ways";
  • "Belle reminds me so much of myself; Want more out of life, and I love books. Daydreaming of adventure";
  • "I wonder if people sing about me when I'm not looking";
  • "If Belle was real, I would marry her in a heartbeat";
  • "I really agree with all of you. how freakin' kick ass would it be if we lived in singing towns?!"
Also some stuff from Jack Zipes, a clip from Cocteau's extraordinary film from 1946, an extract from Carter's Sadeian Woman on the "moral pornographer"; and a discussion of her "Tiger's Bride". We are using Maria Tatar's terrific Norton Anthology of Fairy Tales for our 3-week segment.

And as I packed up my tapes and my powerpoint CD, and unplugged myself from the lectopia recording mike, I played this clip of Carrie Underwood's "Ever After" from Enchanted:

Utterly exhausting, these lectures! I sometimes feel as if I have actually sung my way through them. But a ninety minute lecture needs to be broken up somehow, and these tales (and medievalism generally) just cry out for this kind of discussion and range.

But the real excitement this week came from the work of my students. Anne has had an article accepted for Exemplaria, and Lisa's book is out! My copy arrived yesterday and it looks wonderful: it's a terrific study of performativity, heterosexuality and speech-act theory in historical fiction (Heyer, Fowles, Byatt and others). Here's the blurb from Ashgate. And to anticipate, another student, Helen, has her book coming out with Boydell and Brewer in a few months, Desire by Gender and Genre in Trouvère Song. No image, yet, but here's her blurb. How very satisfying and rewarding it is to see these clever women producing this wonderful work.


Suse said...

It was a fabulous lecture.

(Outing myself here ...)

Stephanie Trigg said...

Oh noes! My worlds: they collide!

Thanks, Suse. I must say, while I find those lectures hard to put together and exhausting to give, I also get a huge buzz from them, so I'm really not complaining.

Pavlov's Cat said...


"ninety minute lecture"?


Ampersand Duck said...

Oh, I wish I'd been there! I've been fascinated with fairy tales for years, and can't quite reconcile my love of them with the cynicism I feel for those who believe in them. Sigh.

Re. the clip: it's amazing how much her face changes from vital singing hopeful woman to girly piece of nothingness as she melts into his arms.

See? There's the problem. I'm in love with the witches and stepmothers and ogres and frogs and talking trees. It's the princesses that bother me. Have you read AS Byatt's 'The Second Princess'? (Or is it 'The Eldest Princess'? My copy is at art school after I photocopied it for a student.)

innercitygarden said...

My heart just sank at the mention of Lisa's book. She was working on that research when I was in first year!

Just in case anyone thinks a PhD is a walk in the park, and that academics have an easy ride, I can assure you that I was not in first year recently. My sister outlaw just finished her PhD last year, twelve years after she started.

It is an amazing bit of stick-to-it-ness to finish a thesis after so long. I'm in awe of both of them. Perhaps I will even finish the last little bit of my Masters...

Stephanie Trigg said...

Yeah, Lisa took a while, but she also produced two beautiful children over the course of her degree, and now has a tenured position at Tasmania, so she is absolutely a success story. And of course you have to deduct the several years between finishing the thesis and actually holding the book in your hand.

But ... you say you have a Masters with only a little bit to go? You know what to do...

And, &Duck, no I do not know that Byatt story, but will chase it up. I bet Pavlov's Cat has read it.

And yeah, 90 minutes is ridiculous, I agree: it's a cost-saving measure. Actually, in this all-singing, all-dancing subject it's not too bad, as there is so much visual and cinematic material in the course, but for some of the subjects, it's completely inappropriate.

I used to mind taping the lectures, but now I don't, just so long as I don't have to listen to myself. *shudders*...

Kate said...

I'm glad Lisa's got a job. My sister outlaw also produced two children in the course of the PhD. They aren't very good for productivity, but I suppose lots of people have slow PhDs without reproducing. My supervisor confessed that her supervisor used to ring her every morning to remind her to start work.

I'm having a Masters day today. Really. It's just that it's such a boring essay...