Welcome

Greetings, and Welcome!

This space will serve as both a sort of online portfolio of mine and my students’ work, and on occasion, an essay or two on current or pressing issues (or just things I find interesting).

Who I am:

I am a professor of humanities, and I have taught courses from the middle school through graduate level in various interdisciplinary topics, ranging from studio art, art history, literature, religious studies, cultural studies, and other related topics in the humanities. I’ve also taught graphic art & design, web coding, and multimedia/video production at the same age range.

I have a BA in Humanities (magna cum), with a Jewish Studies minor, an MA in Humanities (Cultural Studies & Literature), a graduate certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and a second MA in Communication (Medea Studies & Visual Communication). I wrote my undergrad honors thesis on Evolution, Patriarchy, and the Sexual Politics of the Religious Right, and then went on to dive head-first into the Middle Ages, combining the two to write my thesis on the Religious Right and Crusade Language in Post 9/11 America. I then did work in communications, examining media like video games as elements of culture, and the cultural theory behind them.

I am still a rather active visual artist, usually favoring drawing, painting, or calligraphy and illumination, though I still delve into crafting and costume design as well. Frequent topics of research for me range from the application of cultural theory to current events, analysis of media products from various perspectives, video games as culture, and a few medieval throwbacks which remain near and dear to my heart. These include specific segments of Dante’s Divina Commedia and their implications in terms of medieval Eucharistic theology and the theology of eating in the Middle Ages. I am discovering that the medievals were a rather ghastly bunch, in quixotic and wonderful ways. I am also discovering that Aquinas is beginning to make sense to me, which concerns me just the tiniest bit.

Some other areas of interest (currently) include Christianity and its minorities in western medieval Europe and related topics. I am particularly interested in heretics & Jews within Christian societies, parallel developments in Jewish and Christian mysticism, and how these social forces were represented visually. I am also increasingly interested in modern medievalisms, that is, how the Middle Ages are portrayed and understood in modern culture, in particular in video game culture.

Artistically, I continue to work in graphic design whenever I can, but I have also been spending more time using traditional fine arts media as well. Most recently I have been working with historically correct pigments in the creation of illuminated manuscript-style art, often featuring quotes from pop culture sources (because a good culture mash-up just appeals to me tremendously!).

Prior to completing my Humanities education, I spent nearly a decade as a professional graphic designer, and I still keep my hand in both digital and print design. I’m also hopelessly addicted to fountain pens (and inks) which I use and collect, both modern and vintage. I haven’t held a Bic in years! In addition to my passion for books (even beyond the obvious academic addiction), and pens, I am also vegetarian, a Mac geek, a bit of a gamer geek, love coffee & chocolate, and occasionally have residual pretensions of being a costume designer/creator (left over from nearly a decade in that profession!)

Welcome, cheers, and feel free to engage in (respectful) discussion, and most of all, enjoy!

MB