Category Archives: Academia

Sowing Seeds: On the Duties of Professors

From the Novel Readings archives, a post that addresses issues still very much on my mind: what we mean by the terms “research” and “scholarship,” and what we take to be the duties of professors and the work of the humanities. A friend and colleague who read and sympathized with my previous post passed along to […]

What We’re (Really) Talking About When We Talk About “Time to Read”

Recently I went out for a very pleasant lunch with a group of local Victorianists. One of the topics of discussion was retirement, and particularly how demoralizing it has been for people we know who have given literally decades of their lives to their universities only to be urged to consider retirement before they themselves feel […]

Responding to Srigley, Over and Over and Over

I have been very glad to see eloquent and well-informed responses to Ron Srigley’s screed “Pass, Fail” in The Walrus (which largely reiterates his screed in the Los Angeles Review of Books). I was disappointed in both venues, frankly: it seems to me to show poor editorial judgment to publish rants of this kind without checking their […]

The Conference Convention

I’m back from Louisville, where Dan Green, David Winters, and I presented a panel of papers on criticism in the internet age at the 44th annual Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900. The panel itself was something of an anticlimax (more on that in a bit), but it was a genuine pleasure to meet […]

This Week in ‘Not My Sabbatical Any More’

My sabbatical actually ended officially on June 30. I marked the transition with my week’s vacation in Vancouver, and returned to Halifax ready to get back to “regular” work. It’s summer, of course, which means I’m still not teaching, but there’s definitely been a shift in my attitude, attention, and priorities. For one thing, the fall term […]

Some Afterthoughts on Academic Blogging

Some follow-up comments on academic blogging, prompted by comments on my previous post here and on Twitter. My main take-away at this point is that there are a number of further refinements that matter to any attempt at generalizing. Here are the ones I’ve been thinking about the most so far: 1. Disciplinarity makes a difference. […]

The Case for “Intelligent, Bloggy Bookchat By Scholars”: How’s It Looking?

On Thursday I participated in a Twitter Q&A with the members of Karen Bourrier‘s University of Calgary graduate seminar on Victorian women writers. The students had been assigned my JVC essay on academic blogging (anticipated in my 2011 BAVS presentation, which you can see the Prezi for here, if you aren’t one of those people […]

Where Blogging Leads: A Bit More About How Things Add Up

When I read this post by Eric Grollman at Conditionally Accepted a little while back, it got me thinking about the various opportunities that have arisen for me since I started blogging in 2007. Whether these “extracurricular activities” (Grollman’s term — though he too puts it in scare-quotes) count in some strict professional way is not really […]

Summer Plans: Adding Things Up

Finally, the winter term is well and truly concluded (our annual May Marks Meeting was yesterday). As my last few posts show, I wallowed in aimless reading for a while after classes ended (aimless in the sense of “not in service of anything else,” not pointless or useless: it was certainly a very interesting run of […]

Weekend Miscellany: Good Reading and Common Pursuits

Alex in Leeds has started on a new relationship . . . with Peter Wimsey. We all know where this leads – to Gaudy Night, which means punting fantasies and a new appreciation for academic robes of the same size. It has actually been years since I’ve read any of the early Wimsey novels, because I […]

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