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Re: Robin Netherton visits the Philadelphia area!

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  • sismith42
    ... *snip* ... Do you (or does anyone) know if she s published anything on 14th/15th century clothing (ie gothic fitted dress, sideless surcte, etc)? I ve no
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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      > Robin is a bit of a legend in SCA circles, and is respected in the

      *snip*

      > Her analysis of the construction of an early Norman dress style,
      > published in the Spring 2001 Costume Research Journal, was

      Do you (or does anyone) know if she's published anything on 14th/15th
      century clothing (ie gothic fitted dress, sideless surcte, etc)?
      I've no idea if she'll ever have a lecture close enough to where I am
      for me to attend :-(

      Steph
    • ladymorwenna
      ... While she does have lectures on the gothic fitted dress (a term she coined, I believe) and the sideless surcote, as far as I know, she has not published
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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        > Do you (or does anyone) know if she's published anything on 14th/15th
        > century clothing (ie gothic fitted dress, sideless surcte, etc)?
        > I've no idea if she'll ever have a lecture close enough to where I am
        > for me to attend :-(
        >
        > Steph

        While she does have lectures on the gothic fitted dress (a term she
        coined, I believe) and the sideless surcote, as far as I know, she has
        not published anything on those subjects. Also, as far as I know, she
        won't be publishing anything anytime soon. Sorry...

        --Morwenna
      • aheilvei
        Also remember that her theories are just that, theories. No matter how prettily she packages them, or how many paintings she puts together, they are theories
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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          Also remember that her theories are just that, theories. No matter
          how prettily she packages them, or how many paintings she puts
          together, they are theories until someone rips into a grave from the
          period and place and finds an intact gown.

          Just a bit of advice.

          Despina
        • ACatelli@manafortbrothers.com
          ... 1. Theory is Not equivalent to wild-ass guess . Perhaps you could get confirmation from anyone you might possibly know in the sciences. (such as,
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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            > Also remember that her theories are just that, theories. No matter
            > how prettily she packages them, or how many paintings she puts
            > together, they are theories until someone rips into a grave from the
            > period and place and finds an intact gown.

            1. 'Theory' is Not equivalent to 'wild-ass guess'.
            Perhaps you could get confirmation from anyone you might possibly know in
            the sciences.
            (such as, perhaps, your sweetie)

            2. Robin has great hopes of the Hull finds, as so many of us do. The
            preliminary findings already published are so tantalizing.

            3. Yes, I'm biased--I've heard most of her lectures twice & quite lust
            after her slides. Her theories are based on the closest extant garments
            with minimal assumptions which she explains and labels as assumptions, with
            all the confirmation she can get from pictorial and sculptural arts,
            inventories, and other texts contemporary to the fashion.


            4. There is no one true answer to the construction of the gothic fitted
            gown, the versatile layer gown, the 'cotehardie'.
            Even I admit that, and I have found Robin's evidence and logic very
            compelling.


            Ann in CT
          • sismith42
            ... know in the sciences. (such as, perhaps, your sweetie) I think Despinia was just pointing that out to make sure no-one takes her as gospel or anything.
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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              > > Also remember that her theories are just that, theories. No

              > 1. 'Theory' is Not equivalent to 'wild-ass guess'.
              > Perhaps you could get confirmation from anyone you might possibly
              know in the sciences. (such as, perhaps, your sweetie)

              I think Despinia was just pointing that out to make sure no-one
              takes her as gospel or anything. Besides, a lot of what people
              believe in (and risk their lives on-- ie space-travel) are "just
              theories"... a "fact" is preitty hard to prove... ie,
              Newton's "laws" don't always work.

              > 2. Robin has great hopes of the Hull finds, as so many of us do.
              The preliminary findings already published are so tantalizing.

              yeah... anyone fancy a roadtrip? ;)

              > 3. Yes, I'm biased--I've heard most of her lectures twice & quite
              lust> after her slides. Her theories are based on the closest
              extant

              ...but her work on this not being published is a bit of a bad sign:
              it means either 1)publishers don't considder it "good enough" yet or
              2) she's not satsified with it/ready to send it off for peer-
              review. Plus, without it being published, people like me get (let's
              see: she's doing primary/sencondary research, you hearing it's
              tertiary, so my reading your notes would be... quartirary?... rather
              low on the food-chain, at any rate!) info!

              Steph
            • Colleen McDonald
              ... Robin is going to be publishing articles as soon as the new journal that she and Gale Owen-Crocker are editing is up and running. Something to keep in mind
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                > ...but her work on this not being published is a bit of a bad sign:
                > it means either 1)publishers don't considder it "good enough" yet or
                > 2) she's not satsified with it/ready to send it off for peer-
                > review. Plus, without it being published, people like me get (let's
                > see: she's doing primary/sencondary research, you hearing it's
                > tertiary, so my reading your notes would be... quartirary?... rather
                > low on the food-chain, at any rate!) info! >>

                Robin is going to be publishing articles as soon as the new journal that she
                and Gale Owen-Crocker are editing is up and running.

                Something to keep in mind is that Robin uses *lots* of slides to guide the
                attendees through the evolution of the theory. Publishing in the format
                that she lectures in would mean getting permission to include each and every
                one of those images - time consuming and quite expensive! (She and I
                discussed this during her recent visit to Seattle to lecture.)

                In service, I remain

                Cainder
              • demontsegur
                Hi folks, I don t think any of us have to feel defensive or even disagree on any of this, as Robin herself will be the first to admit that she s offering us
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                  Hi folks,

                  I don't think any of us have to feel defensive or even disagree on
                  any of this, as Robin herself will be the first to admit that she's
                  offering us the results of 20 years of study in the areas of art
                  history, textual sources, and archaeological research -- as _her_
                  view. She doesn't claim to have the gospel truth, only educated
                  theories resulting in plausible methods we modern-day folks can use
                  to reconstruct clothing as we think it was made in the time she
                  covers. Who can do better, given the scant extant evidence?

                  It is not Robin's fault if others repeat her work like it can only
                  be the Gospel Truth; I like to work in the same areas she does, and
                  I've had the same problem. I present things with as many caveats as
                  I can remember to muster, like "As far as I know..." or "That I've
                  seen so far..." etc., and well-meaning folks will still pass on some
                  nugget of information to someone else and say, "Because Marcele de
                  Montsegur said so, that's why." :^P

                  If you have an appreciation for period art, and enjoy delving into
                  historical mysteries on the topic of 14th and 15th century feminine
                  clothing, then these lectures are for you. You can bring your free
                  will and inquiring intellect and make your own decision as to
                  whether or not she's got it right or not. You won't be bored, though.

                  I too wish that Robin would publish more in this area, but she has
                  her reasons, I'm sure. I think she's also quite busy at present
                  getting a scholarly journal on medieval dress together, from the
                  editorial side.

                  All best,
                  Marcele
                • aheilvei
                  I never said that she stinks and her theories are a hock of hooey, I said that they are theories, just like any other theory, and people should remember that
                  Message 8 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                    I never said that she stinks and her theories are a hock of hooey, I
                    said that they are theories, just like any other theory, and people
                    should remember that when sitting in the lecture.

                    For someone who doesn't do the SCA anymore unless she's a paid
                    lecturer she gets a lot of SCA press.

                    She also hasn't ever published anything as far as I know *and* she's
                    tremendously clutchy with her work. Since you've been to her
                    lectures so often, you will have heard the repeated admonitions to
                    not record her lectures, not give anyone notes from her lectures
                    without the caveat that they are your interpretation of her words,
                    not her words, and not to give her handouts to anyone who hasn't
                    actually taken her classes.

                    Her website contains a link to her posts on costume lists and the
                    PDF for one of her workshops which doesn't say much really about how
                    to make one of these dresses according to her theories, just that it
                    works. That's it.. oh, and a link to a picture of her in one of
                    these dresses. No publications. Yes, she's presented at the
                    Kalamazoo conference, but so have a fair number of SCA people who
                    *do* publish and put themselves out in the public eye for this -
                    Drea Leed comes immediately to mind. Drea's website contains a lot
                    of her research and articles, as well as those from other people on
                    similar subjects. Drea has also published a book. Drea has taught
                    at events without needing to have her expenses paid or be paid to be
                    there. Sure, she's still in the SCA but she's also an enthusiastic
                    independant scholar who wants others to see her research and use it -
                    unlike Robin who doesn't seem to want it out there.

                    Yes, many of Robin's theories make sense; however, I don't take
                    anyone's word as the final say on something that has absolutely no
                    extant garment evidence to back it up. I have yet to find the
                    person I believe actually walks on water when it comes to theorizing
                    how something was done with no physical evidence. As we've pointed
                    out here, even Janet Arnold made mistakes and she did have the
                    garments in many cases.

                    Despina
                  • Marc Carlson
                    ... It s still a theory even then :) Moving past that into something being the carven in stone fact merely takes media exposure, or prefereably a
                    Message 9 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, ACatelli@m... wrote:
                      >> ??? said:
                      >> Also remember that her theories are just that, theories. No matter
                      >> how prettily she packages them, or how many paintings she puts
                      >> together, they are theories until someone rips into a grave from
                      >> the period and place and finds an intact gown.

                      It's still a theory even then :)

                      Moving past that into something being the carven in stone "fact"
                      merely takes media exposure, or prefereably a preponderance of
                      evidence. A garment is not a preponderance.of anything.

                      Honestly, I like Robin - she and I don't always agree on every little
                      detail, but we tend to approach these things from radically different
                      directions. Even so, I have to say she knows her stuff. Of course,
                      what do I know - I don't have anything in the professional literature
                      either :)

                      Marc/Diarmaid
                    • demontsegur
                      ... professional literature ... Good point, Marc! Having been published somewhere out there or not is not, in and of itself, a marker of worthiness or
                      Message 10 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Marc Carlson"
                        <marccarlson20@h...> wrote:
                        > Of course, what do I know - I don't have anything in the
                        professional literature
                        > either :)
                        > Marc/Diarmaid

                        Good point, Marc! Having been published somewhere 'out there' or not
                        is not, in and of itself, a marker of worthiness or integrity (but
                        it doesn't hurt, either). As Cainder also pointed out, Robin is up
                        against a formidable barrier, copyright-wise, in order to fully
                        express her theories on paper.

                        I, personally, will jump at my chance to spend a day looking at art
                        slides, but I'm a geek that way, and it is a totally separate love
                        from my historical clothing research. I feel like I'll be getting
                        double the bang for my buck. :^D

                        -Marcele
                      • sismith42
                        ... she s She published something on 12th century clothing in the Winter 2002 edition of TI... but I kinda agree that lecturing & not publishing (how hard is
                        Message 11 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                          > She also hasn't ever published anything as far as I know *and*
                          she's

                          She published something on 12th century clothing in the Winter 2002
                          edition of TI... but I kinda agree that lecturing & not publishing
                          (how hard is it to point to other places images can be found if you
                          are unable to present them in your work?) is a bit... off-putting.
                          Esp when not everyone can attend her lectures.

                          Steph
                        • Colleen McDonald
                          ... Just to ensure clarity, Robin lectures to SCA groups because the groups invite her and she s still fond of the Society, even though she herself has moved
                          Message 12 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                            > For someone who doesn't do the SCA anymore unless she's a paid
                            > lecturer she gets a lot of SCA press. >>

                            Just to ensure clarity, Robin lectures to SCA groups because the groups
                            invite her and she's still fond of the Society, even though she herself has
                            moved on. She isn't actively lobbying to lecture for the SCA - folks
                            approach her. I think she gets a lot of SCA press because people find her
                            work to be helpful and her theories make sense.

                            > Since you've been to her
                            > lectures so often, you will have heard the repeated admonitions to
                            > not record her lectures, not give anyone notes from her lectures
                            > without the caveat that they are your interpretation of her words,
                            > not her words, and not to give her handouts to anyone who hasn't
                            > actually taken her classes.>>

                            This is to ensure that she can actually publish her work/theories in an
                            academic setting. If she allows recordings or publishes her work in a
                            handout for the SCA audience, it will have a damaging effect on her ability
                            to publish it and have it be a serious academic work.

                            <<Drea has taught at events without needing to have her expenses paid or be
                            paid to be
                            > there. >>

                            Drea is still an active participating member of the SCA (as far as I am
                            aware). Robin is not and lectures at events as a courtesy to the group. It
                            is not her primary interest (although she's delighted to discuss with us),
                            so I don't see it as unreasonable to ask for her travel to be included. If
                            she were not lecturing, she wouldn't be in the area.

                            I know that I really appreciate all of the time and energy Robin does spend
                            working with SCA folks and helping to get SCA folks on the presentation
                            schedule at Kalmazoo. Despina, I'm not sure if you realize that Robin is
                            one of the session organizers for K'zoo and she actively encourages and
                            works with SCA folks to get their information out there to the academic
                            community at the Congress? Without Robin's work in this area, I'm not sure
                            how many of them would have been accorded the same opportunity by the
                            academic community.

                            Cainder
                            (who organized Robin's lectures in Seattle last August)
                          • Marc Carlson
                            ... You will pardon me for this, but it s not like THAT s all that hard. As an observation, people who actually do research and make it available tend to get a
                            Message 13 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "aheilvei" <aheilvei@u...> wrote:
                              > ...For someone who doesn't do the SCA anymore unless she's a paid
                              > lecturer she gets a lot of SCA press.

                              You will pardon me for this, but it's not like THAT's all that hard.
                              As an observation, people who actually do research and make it
                              available tend to get a lot of SCA attention. That's not a criticism
                              of anyone or anything - it's a system that's been quite useful for me
                              (not to mention good to me, and I appreicate that).

                              Now, I realize you are talking about theories being just that, and you
                              are prefectly correct. Some theories are well founded, some less so,
                              and it's good to be skeptical. And yes, I think she'd agree if she
                              were here.

                              Personally, while I think Robin's observations on Gothic posture as
                              they relate to how beauty is seen, and the use of garments to attain
                              this are valid (which for the folks who migh not know, doesn't mean
                              that I think they are true or not true - they are internally logically
                              supportable). I think the whole four cornered dress design is
                              intriguing speculation and does not contradict the evidence (note:
                              "speculation" in this context is not a criticism, it's simply a
                              statement that she's moved outside the established evidence and is
                              projecting an extrapilation based on that evidence. In this case that
                              extrapolation is I think reasonable give the current paucity of evidence).

                              I couldn't agree with you more that (and I hope I'm not putting worse
                              into your mouth here - I'm commenting on the general direction what
                              you have said appears to be going, not anything you've said directly)
                              people should keep in mind that what they are being given by any
                              scholar should be examined critically. Personally, I wish people
                              would do that with everything (television, books, academic articles,
                              and so forth), and not just Robin or myself, but if that's where we
                              have to start... Definately point out that the author has no obvious
                              publication (OK, I think she did publish an article in the TI a few
                              years ago) OTOH, the whole DISTAFF thing is pretty impressive,..
                              Kalamazoo doesn't give sessions to just anyone. :)

                              Marc/Diarmaid
                            • aheilvei
                              ... in an ... in a ... her ability ... Drea doesn t seem to have had that problem, or she wouldn t have been invited back to Kalamazoo, nor would she have been
                              Message 14 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                                > This is to ensure that she can actually publish her work/theories
                                in an
                                > academic setting. If she allows recordings or publishes her work
                                in a
                                > handout for the SCA audience, it will have a damaging effect on
                                her ability
                                > to publish it and have it be a serious academic work.


                                Drea doesn't seem to have had that problem, or she wouldn't have
                                been invited back to Kalamazoo, nor would she have been able to
                                publish her book. So I really don't see where giving your
                                information to the SCA or people in the SCA would damage your
                                credibility with the academic community that much. No, people who
                                go to Kalamazoo and are SCA don't shout it from the rooftops, but if
                                asked, they usually fess up and are generally admired as someone who
                                did all the research without academic backing and resourses.


                                Despina, I'm not sure if you realize that Robin is
                                > one of the session organizers for K'zoo and she actively
                                encourages and
                                > works with SCA folks to get their information out there to the
                                academic
                                > community at the Congress? Without Robin's work in this area, I'm
                                not sure
                                > how many of them would have been accorded the same opportunity by
                                the
                                > academic community.


                                Yes, I do know what Robin does at Kalamzaoo (and yes, I do think
                                that having one's own session there is impressive) and I do think
                                that others would have been (and were) afforded the same opportunity
                                as Robin. She wasn't the first SCA person to attend Kalamazoo, I'd
                                bet. And I know that she isn't the only person at Kalamazoo pushing
                                for the inclusion of independant scholars, re-creationists, and re-
                                enactors work to be represented and considered there.

                                Like I said people, I don't have anything against her or her
                                research, just take it with the same pinch of salt you take
                                everything else.

                                Marc, you didn't put anything in my mouth with your last post, I
                                agree with what you said.

                                Despina
                              • sismith42
                                ... work/theories in an academic setting. If she allows recordings or publishes her work in a handout for the SCA audience, it will have a damaging effect
                                Message 15 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                                  > > This is to ensure that she can actually publish her
                                  work/theories in an academic setting. If she allows recordings or
                                  publishes her work in a handout for the SCA audience, it will have
                                  a damaging effect on her ability to publish it and have it be a
                                  serious academic work.
                                  >
                                  > Drea doesn't seem to have had that problem, or she wouldn't have
                                  > been invited back to Kalamazoo, nor would she have been able to
                                  > publish her book. So I really don't see where giving your

                                  has Drea published in any academic journals? I believe they can be
                                  fussy at times about whether something's been published before, and
                                  I think *that* is what Caindeer was refereing to, rather than
                                  the "ewww, you do SCA" thing.

                                  Steph
                                • Marc Carlson
                                  ... Okie dokie :) Which means that probably everyone should take a deep breath and avoid posting for an hour or so after reading all the other mail in this
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                                    --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "aheilvei" <aheilvei@u...> wrote:
                                    > ...Like I said people, I don't have anything against her or her
                                    > research, just take it with the same pinch of salt you take
                                    > everything else.
                                    > Marc, you didn't put anything in my mouth with your last post, I
                                    > agree with what you said.

                                    Okie dokie :)

                                    Which means that probably everyone should take a deep breath and avoid
                                    posting for an hour or so after reading all the other mail in this
                                    thread, because no one's being overly critical here by suggesting a
                                    little critical thinking.

                                    I will say if you are curious about why Robin doesn't publish - ask
                                    her. My observation is that she's trying really hard to get
                                    published, but because of the limited available spaces in academic
                                    journals that have any interest in her topic, she's having to wait her
                                    turn and do the slogging through. [in my case, otoh, I've been sucked
                                    in by the demons of the Internet since it's so much easier to just put
                                    up another wrb site, and revise the old ones, then it is to go through
                                    that whole publication dance (in a much more limited field) every time
                                    something new comes up. But that's MY problem. OTOH, that does
                                    remind me I have an article on lasts to write FOR publication... ]

                                    Just remember, if Publication was -easy- it wouldn't be a requirement
                                    for tenure....

                                    M/D
                                  • demontsegur
                                    ... Just one small point here -- Robin does not require being paid. In negotiating with me for the Philadelphia appearance, she said she only requires her
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                                      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "aheilvei" <aheilvei@u...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > For someone who doesn't do the SCA anymore unless she's a paid
                                      > lecturer she gets a lot of SCA press.

                                      Just one small point here -- Robin does not require being paid. In
                                      negotiating with me for the Philadelphia appearance, she said she
                                      only requires her travel, room, and board expenses be covered so
                                      that she is not paying her own way out-of-pocket. Rather reasonable -
                                      - considering there's a demand for her appearances and by taking
                                      time away from her family, she's flying to far-off places to satisfy
                                      that demand. She likes to receive an honorarium if and only IF the
                                      monies collected can take that hit, as it helps her keep her
                                      prodigious slide collection maintained, covers paper costs, etc. She
                                      doesn't set the number, either, but leaves it up to the host. I get
                                      the distinct impression she is far from getting rich on these
                                      appearances. (As a side note, I won't be making one penny of profit
                                      because any leftover money after expenses will go entirely to her,
                                      with gratitude, because I think she will have more than earned it.)

                                      If her lectures with slides are what she's willing to offer us, I
                                      guess I'm willing to take that, no further questions asked. No-one
                                      owes anyone else anything when they do their own research, right?
                                      They can offer or not offer as much or as little of it as they want
                                      for public consumption, and that's their perogative. Some people
                                      research for their own pleasure. I know I do. I also like to publish
                                      what I've found on my website because it's fun to share it, and I
                                      will chat incessantly on certain topics in forums like this (hee
                                      hee) but that's just me. :^D Everyone else's mileage may vary, and
                                      AFAIK, it definitely does vary. To each their own, when it comes to
                                      sharing research.

                                      In contemplitude, :^)
                                      Marcele
                                    • Ariane H
                                      ... But on the other hand (forgive me if someone else has already said this), just because something has been published does not mean it should be taken as the
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Dec 1, 2003
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                                        marccarlson20@... wrote:

                                        >Just remember, if Publication was -easy- it wouldn't be a requirement
                                        >for tenure....
                                        >
                                        >M/D
                                        >

                                        But on the other hand (forgive me if someone else has already said
                                        this), just because something has been published does not mean it should
                                        be taken as the ultimate authority, either. My English seminar this
                                        semester, while ostensibly about Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, also
                                        requires us to read dozens of scholarly publications and figure out how
                                        useful they are for helping us to analyze the play texts, understand
                                        their historical background, etc. (Most of it is in literary theory,
                                        but there's a lot of "new historicist" work that involves in-depth
                                        research into things like period trade and commerce, medicine and
                                        humoral theory, clothing, gender roles, etc.) Just as with any field of
                                        research, some of this stuff is great, and some of it is seriously
                                        flawed. In fact, the prof said of one unhelpful article we discussed
                                        today, "This ought to show you how easy it can be to get published!" It
                                        wasn't a totally derogatory statement - it would be virtually impossible
                                        to avoid publication of all imperfect or incomplete work - but a
                                        cautionary one. And even flawed or lacking work usually provokes
                                        discussion and debate and further research, which is always a good thing.

                                        In this same class today I had an amusing "You know you've been in the
                                        SCA too long when..." moment (well, moments). We were reading John
                                        Webster's "The White Devil" (1612) and the heroine/villainess of the
                                        play is "Vittoria Corombona the famous Venetian Curtizan." I never knew
                                        of the existence of this other Vittoria (based on the notorious Umbrian
                                        noblewoman Vittoria Accorambini of Gubbio, d. 1585) until last week, but
                                        that aside, it was very weird to be sitting in this discussion for two
                                        hours, hearing the name "Vittoria" every other minute, and making myself
                                        *not* respond to it. ;)


                                        Ariane
                                        (V. knows no literary theory after Aristotle)
                                        ----------------
                                        "...Vittoria's performances deconstruct traditional gendered antitheses
                                        and expose them as contingent on subjective construction.....Similarly,
                                        Vittoria's accomplished performance of masculinity exposes those
                                        cultural paradigms that underlie the rhetorical posturing of the men in
                                        this play."
                                        --C. Luckyj, "Gender, Rhetoric, and Performance in 'The White Devil'"
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