On Thu, 19 Mar 1998, Dr. Robert K. Irish wrote:
->authority must be resisted; however, if we think we are going to change
->those structures from the underside we are deluded.
Yeah, I know you're right. I mean, being naive is one thing, but I like to
think I'm not stupid about the possibilities of rearranging the academic
cosmos. I'm just suggesting that the apparent impossibility of radical
change is not a good excuse to acquiesce entirely.
Maybe I read too much into your first comment. But I sense that a lot of
people who teach too much and publish too little to be highly regarded in
the academic heavens will often opt *themselves* out of opportunities to
engage in projects that might be interesting and fun but that won't
increase their career capital proportionally.
I guess what I mean is that, like Richard, I *want* to believe we're all
in this biz because we're committed to the conversations from which
knowledge emerges. But it turns out, in practice, that we're often most
committeed to the conversations (in print, as it happens) that pay off in
terms of recognition and, often indirectly, money.
Understandable, but hard for us idealists to accept without comment :)
->Jim's suggestion of choosing more modest routes to open our exchanges of
->ideas is a good one, but the issue is still about publishing rather than
There are, of course, various ways to read 'publishing.' What I mean by
the term is the broad sense of 'making public' our ideas, participating in
public conversations. The narrow definition, 'making public in very
specific, sanctioned, printed forums' is how the word more often gets
read, I'm afraid, and I guess I ought to get in the habit of clarifying
which one I'm talking about.
->btw, has anyone seen Robert Scholes new book _The Rise and Fall of
->English: Reconstructing English as a Discipline_?
No, but thanks for mentioning it. Sounds interesting.