Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's Up with MediEvolution?

Some of you are probably wondering, "What's up with MediEvolution?" It launched weeks ago, and so far the only content on the page is:

A FAQ page
A link to another page, which is hosting our webcast.

Even the guidelines for submission are missing. So what gives?

The problem is both simple and complicated. For boring bureaucratic reasons, MediEvolution started as just a placeholder page that was supposed to get moved to its permanent home. Unfortunately, that move has been plagued by technological problems that always seem to be on the cusp of being solved, but never quite get solved.

Fear not, though. Despite the appearance on the surface, the project continues to go ahead full-bore. We've got two more podcasts shot (one entitled "Larry Monarch Live," and the other "Cooking with Grendel"), have the next one scheduled to shoot, and we are starting to accumulate other materials -- pages of links, commitments to do regular features, and other stuff.

So, in the interest of letting people have the opportunity to get involved, let me post below our guidelines for submission of text (the video, audio, and still image guidelines are not ready, since they depend on the outcome of other technical issues). If you've got something you'd like to submit, or you've just got an idea for now, e-mail me and I'll take a look at it.

MediEvolution invites unsolicited articles and reviews of between 500-1000 words in length. Articles and reviews should be of topics pertaining to the medieval world, modern portrayals of the medieval, or medieval themes in popular culture. We do not accept pornography or erotica.

Articles and reviews should be submitted via e-mail attachment to, with the heading “Submission:” followed by the title or topic of the article; e.g. an article on medieval elements in Star Wars should have the heading “Submission: Star Wars.” Submissions should be as *.doc or *.rtf files. Articles should be in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. Footnotes and endnotes are discouraged because of the online layout. Whenever possible endnotes should be replaced with parenthetical comments or avoided altogether.

The ideal audience for articles is the “smart fan,” i.e. intelligent people without specialized training. Dead and foreign languages such as Latin and Old English should always be translated in the main body of the text. References generally understood only by specialists should be made clear for a popular audience; e.g. a reference to "Ker’s Catalogue” would not be understandable to a general audience, and should
instead be explained more fully, such as in “Neil Ker’s Catalogue of Manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon, considered the standard source for manuscript information on Old English texts…” In the same way, references to “Foucault” or “Žižek” should be disambiguated for audiences unfamiliar with the work of such theorists. Authors should note, however, that the audience is considered “smart fans,” and should therefore be considered capable of understanding difficult concepts when explained. Authors need not patronize the audience or “dumb down” their articles.

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