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Re: Robin Netherton visits the Philadelphia area!

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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