Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Creating an Age Undreamed Of, and Video Scholarship


My esteemed Cimmerian blog colleague Jeff Shanks has adapted his excellent 2011 ACA/PCA paper that studied Howard's worldbuilding and his likely influences into a video presentation, especially looking to how "Men of the Shadows" and "The Isle of the Eons" led to the development of the Thurian and Hyborian Ages. It's really, really good, and well worth a watch.

I'd spoken before about video reviewers like Doug Walker, Noah Antwiler, Brad Jones and the like, but another favourite of mine is Kyle Kallgren, whose Brows Held High is excellent precisely because he does delve into "proper" criticism: that is, exploring and analysing what makes a work what it is, rather than do it entirely for comic purposes. There are others out there, such as SFDebris, C.G.B. Grey and MrBTongue who favour a more analytical, detailed approach, which shows that there definitely is an audience for people who want to learn something.

It got me thinking about the power of video presentations to disseminate information to those who may not necessarily sit down and read the many articles on The Cimmerian, Two-Gun Raconteur, REHupa.com, REH-e-apa.com and others. I had pondered some sort of REH-related podcast, but that might be thinking too big. But Jeff adapting his exploration, truncated as it is from the mountains of research he's done, led me to think of other REH essays that might benefit from exposure in this matter. There are so many excellent, paradigm-shifting essays out there that just aren't going to reach the Youtube generation.

*Thanks to Taran for pointing out a typographic error in the title, though I'd like to say I intended to use the word "scholarshop."


  1. You might want to check out Folding Ideas:


  2. Replies
    1. Funnily enough, I actually watched the Earthsea episode a wee while ago, which rather nicely dealt with most of my issues with the miniseries.

  3. Thanks for the plug Al. I completely agree that doing things like video podcasts is a great way to get more people to appreciate Howard. This is a time when we have so many media and format choices when it comes to disseminating and digesting information that it makes sense to take advantage of all of them. From old-school paper APAs like REHupa to slick fanzines like TGR to peer-reviewed journals like TDM to internet forums, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, there is something for everyone and every different type of audience.

    As far as video podcasts go, this was more of a practice effort than anything else, so it's a little rough around the edges. I'll do my Breck paper from the 2012 PCA next and it should be a little better (plus it's Breck!).

    This year I specifically designed my PCA powerpoint presentation with conversion to video in mind ahead of time so it should work really well---lots of Ken Burns-style pan-and-zoom. The podcast will have to wait until after it's published though.