No Trish, there are differences.
One central difference is that most of the people on ANSAX-L
(at least the active ones) are professionally interested in the
area. In general academics have rubbed elbows with each other
long enough to develop shared approaches to doing things. That
doesn't mean we're all dull; we share jokes, as well as ideas,
about our craft. Most of us do this because we enjoy it (any
medievalist who is in the trade for money, power, or some other
external reward should have his/her head examined). Academics
know serious interest in research can be playful. CELTIC-L has a
much more diverse membership, some of whom find our "dry
scholarly research" incomplete, unsatisfying, and even a bit off-
ANSAX-L has a fairly well-defined subject area: It's users'
manual defines it as being for "scholars and teachers of the
culture and history of England before 1100 C.E..., people
interested in the later English Middle Ages and people
interested in the early Medieval period throughout Europe."
CELTIC-L, in contrast, was clearly intended to be broad in scope
and interested in all things Celtic. Besides the announcement on
ANSAX-L, early announcements went to:
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The Celtic world itself encompasses offshoots in modern
Appalachia, the Democratic Party, Nova Scotia, Australia, Latin
America (I've always wanted to learn more about Bernardo
O'Higgins), roots in the continental Celts who invaded Rome and
sacked Delphi, and modern uses as political symbol (Welsh,
Breton,... nationalism) and cultural expression (modern Celtic
mystics). Furthermore, Celtic musicians, readers of modern
Celtic novels, historians, folklorists and linguists don't expect
the same "kind" of discussion. These diversities have led to
some pulling and tugging as list members try to move CELTIC-L
down different paths.
There _is_ a difference between the lists, not one of
seriousness vs. lightheartedness, but one of focus vs. diversity.
I prefer the focus of ANSAX-L, but within a diverse list we can
press the discard key when the diversity gets out of hand, and
contribute ideas that nourish areas we're interested in.
-- Steve McCluskey