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This analysis focuses on the institutional talk of sea-kayak guides and their clients in order to understand how guides negotiate the interactional balance of giving orders to maintain a safe and timely excursion while facilitating a fun and recreational experience. Using a mixed-method analysis including Conversation Analysis, ethnography, and statistics, this study examines 576 instances of directives found in video recordings of twenty-five Alaskan kayaking ecotourism excursions and explores the practices guides use in their talk to maintain control of an excursion while not coming across as domineering. By systemically examining directives’ design, directives are found to reveal both their temporal urgency in addition to the precipitating events that necessitate them, such as client behaviors or environmental stimuli. This study's analysis contributes to our understanding of how interactants mitigate face-threatening actions and focuses attention on the interactional work that directives and their accounts achieve in an institutional setting currently underinvestigated (Directives, mixed-methods, Conversation Analysis, ethnography, ecotourism)*
Declining sea ice is expected to change the Arctic's physical and biological systems in ways that are difficult to predict. This study used stable isotope compositions (δ13C and δ15N) of archaeological, historic, and modern Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) bone collagen to investigate the impacts of changing sea ice conditions on walrus diet during the last ~4000 yr. An index of past sea ice conditions was generated using dinocyst-based reconstructions from three locations in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. Archaeological walrus samples were assigned to intervals of high and low sea ice, and δ13C and δ15N were compared across ice states. Mean δ13C and δ15N values were similar for archaeological walruses from intervals of high and low sea ice; however, variability among walruses was greater during low-ice intervals, possibly indicating decreased availability of preferred prey. Overall, sea ice conditions were not a primary driver of changes in walrus diet. The diet of modern walruses was not consistent with archaeological low sea ice intervals. Rather, the low average trophic position of modern walruses (primarily driven by males), with little variability among individuals, suggests that trophic changes to this Arctic ecosystem are still underway or are unprecedented in the last ~4000 yr.
In the Middle Ages, Christian women as well as men committed themselves to the practices of prayer, meditation, and asceticism that were the conditions usually associated with the mystical life. Some of them also committed themselves to producing texts in which they strove to communicate what they learned through their practices. The history of scholarship on medieval Christian mysticism has traditionally privileged texts by male authors as representing the pinnacle or at least the mainstream of mystical accomplishment, thereby marginalizing texts by women as secondary or derivative. Recent attention to women's texts as representing “feminine” mysticism is usually marked by an insistence on their affectivity and on “paramystical” physical phenomena. These approaches obscure how thoroughly affective many mystical texts by men are, how male mystics were often influenced by women, and how male texts about female mystics tended to emphasize paramystical experience. “Women's mysticism” is thus a problematic category, and the attention to women's mystical texts in this essay is not an assertion of any inherently female essence to the subject matter. What is common to most if not all women's mystical literature is an awareness of the suspicion about women's authority to teach, or a discomfort with cultural assumptions about the nature of women and their religiosity. These commonalities are due, of course, not to an essential female nature but to women's awareness of cultural norms that ascribed to them a particularly carnal nature, and that positioned men as authoritative teachers, mediators of sacramental grace, and confessors of sins.
I offer here a characterization of mystical life that is relevant for the study of both male and female medieval mystics. It is a life structured by “tuning” the self – body, mind, and emotions – to seek the presence of the divine, and preparing the self to be invaded or flooded or lifted up, thus losing a clear sense of the boundaries of the self. The emphasis here is on a structured life of practice, not a single type of “peak experience.” Furthermore, where extraordinary psychological experiences are described, they are often not the primary focus of the authors’ concerns; rather, mystical authors are often primarily concerned with praising God, teaching proper devotion, and leading the moral life.
This volume has grown out of a conference on ‘The Prelate in Late Medieval and Reformation England’, held at the University of Liverpool in September 2011. All the papers delivered at that conference are published below, apart from those given by Natalia Nowakowska and Brigitte Resl. The volume also includes a chapter by Cédric Michon, offered subsequent to the Liverpool conference. I would like to thank the contributors to both the conference and to the volume, all of whom have been stimulating and good-humoured collaborators throughout this project.
I would also like to acknowledge gratefully the work and expert guidance of all those at Boydell & Brewer and York Medieval Press who have been involved with this volume and especially Caroline Palmer, Rohais Haughton and Professor Peter Biller. The Liverpool conference was funded partly by a British Academy Research Development Award, and partly by financial contributions from the department of History of the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, without all of whose generous support the event could not have taken place. This publication has also been made possible by a grant from the Scouloudi Foundation in association with the Institute of Historical Research, acknowledged here with gratitude.
The years between the early fourteenth and the mid sixteenth century are of considerable interest in the history of the prelate. In some respects, this era might be regarded as a golden age of prelacy, culminating in the appearance of great ecclesiastical dignitaries across much of Europe, such as Wolsey, d'Amboise, Cisneros, Lang and Jagiellon. In terms of their political weight, their grandeur and their wide-ranging cultural patronage, these early sixteenth-century ‘cardinal-ministers’ arguably represented a high point in prelatical influence. Nor should they be regarded as wholly distinct from their clerical contemporaries: recent studies of Renaissance cardinals and the early Tudor episcopate indicate that the next rank of senior churchmen were no less concerned to express the importance and dignity of their office. However, the period c. 1300–c. 1560 also witnessed a developing critique of prelacy – not unconnected with these eye-catching assertions of ecclesiastical status and power – with complaints about senior members of the Church hierarchy a commonplace in the literature and preaching of the day. To these criticisms were added attacks on the very concept of the prelate, which was rejected as unscriptural by John Wyclif and his followers: a critique which would be taken up enthusiastically by sixteenth-century reformers in England and Europe.