The Corner

Culture

One Gutsy Medievalist

Rachel Fulton Brown

In my column the other day, I mentioned an article by Peter Wood, the president of the National Association of Scholars. He was defending a professor against what he called a “smear.” That professor is Rachel Fulton Brown, a medievalist at the University of Chicago. And she is my guest on my latest Q&A.

What has a medieval historian at one of our most prestigious universities done to excite controversy? In a nutshell, Fulton Brown has offended the usual suspects. I gather they would rather shut her up than argue with her. (I don’t see Professor Fulton Brown losing many arguments.)

In our podcast, we talk about her education: What attracted her to the Middle Ages? What are the Middle Ages, for that matter? When are they, what are they in between? Also, how do you pronounce “medieval”? There are a number of pronunciations, floating around on tongues.

How do you pronounce “Tolkien,” too? Fulton Brown knows a lot about The Lord of the Rings, and she teaches a class on the subject. In our podcast, she gives us a taste of it. We also talk about music and other things . . .

. . . before getting to Controversy. Rachel Fulton Brown is obviously an independent-minded woman. She is also cheerful, a happy warrior, through it all. (She explains why.) Moreover, she is a fencer — and knows the value of being sharp, precise, and prepared. She is just the sort of person who ought to be in academia, I think, and I regard her students as lucky. I bet they do, too.

Most Popular

Immigration

What the Viral Border-Patrol Video Leaves Out

In an attempt to justify Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s absurd comparison of American detention facilities to Holocaust-era concentration camps, many figures within the media have shared a viral video clip of a legal hearing in which a Department of Justice attorney debates a panel of judges as to what constitutes ... Read More
Film & TV

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished Up

I  like Adam Sandler, and yet you may share the sense of trepidation I get when I see that another of his movies is out. He made some very funny manboy comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) followed by some not-so-funny manboy comedies, and when he went dark, in Reign over Me and Funny People, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More