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Showing posts from December, 2005

Holiday Challenge

Are you going to try to work on your dissertation or publication over the winter break? I'd like to offer a holiday/winter break challenge to anyone who would like to take me up on it. Post what you'd like to work on (if anything) over the holidays, and the maximum amount of time you'd like to spend on it daily. Please keep this time limit reasonable and low unless you're under huge deadine pressure -- in which case you don't need this challenge in order to get something done! Then you can go back to this post daily, weekly or just at the end of the challenge (shall we say January 15?) to say how you did, to tell us about your problems or to encourage and commiserate with others. So, to summarize: Post what you're working on Post your daily time commitment Post again periodically to tell us how you're doing -- I'll receive all posts as emails and will comment and encourage you! Good luck and happy holidays!

With a Little Help From My Enemies

This is the title of a Dec. 1, 2005 "First Person" article in the Chronicle, by A. Papatya Bucak. She writes about the double-edged sword of jealousy and admiration of role models that compels her to exceed. She laments the fact that the "Life on the Tenure Track" meetings in her department give practical advice instead of allowing the faculty to showcase their work or model their successes. I wish we would all sit in a circle and read from our favorite works. Then wouldn't we all want to go home and write? Isn't that what made us writers in the first place? Jealousy? Most of my colleagues are not creative writers -- they are literature scholars, historians, and sociologists, but surely they have their equivalent inspirations. Rather than warning against failure, our meetings could model success. I don't need any more practical advice: What I need is inspiration. During the three years I was a graduate student, every one of my writing professors publish

More Reactions to "We Need Humanities Labs"

My article in Inside Higher Ed , " We Need Humanities Labs ," has generated a lot of comments, I'm happy to say! I've seen the argument that I made for more interactions among those in the humanities tied in to the need for those in the humanities to collaborate more to compete for funding , and also to the idea of setting aside physical library space for grad students and advisors to meet. John, who writes Machina Memorialis , wrote a particularly thoughtful and well-written post. He writes about his experience in such a "lab." It's about the connections, the associations, the joining of disparate pieces of information into something new. It was the exposure to ideas, to thoughts, to associations and connections I wasn't going to encounter on my own.... And that, I think, is what Gina Hiatt is suggesting in this piece, that by coming together weekly to focus on each others work, to bounce ideas off each other, to tap into and share each others stor