Good Intentions Lead to Piles…

…of books, that is!

As the teaching term gets underway, one’s good intentions regarding research are mostly (at least in my experience) manifested through stacks of books you fully intend (honest!) to read during the next interval you have set aside (ever the optimist!) for concentrated research time…but the stacks rarely diminish much, because (a) that time gets stolen away by meetings, because strictly speaking you don’t really have something scheduled for that time and it’s the only time the six other people on the committee can meet (I know, administration is important too), and (b) the other way you prove that, nonetheless, you are going to make progress on your research projects is that you drop by the library on your way back from class to pick up a few more books from your working bibliography (and you were going there anyway to get some caffeine, to keep you awake during your next meeting). Here are my most recent additions:

  1. Robert Scholes, The Rise and Fall of English (This one will be sort of a ‘reread,’ but I felt I needed a refresher look.)
  2. Richard Ohmann, English in America (ha–“Why, in America, they haven’t used it for years!”–My Fair Lady)
  3. Richard Ohmann, Politics of Knowledge (or, apparently, English in America 25 years later)
  4. Jonathan Arac, Critical Genealogies
  5. Jonathan Culler and Kevin Lamb, eds., Just Being Difficult?: Academic Writing in the Public Arena (this looks like an interesting review but I don’t have a subscription)

On the bright side, these will all make a nice break–or a change, at least–from the emotional devastation of Oliphant’s Autobiography or (next week’s adventure in literature, depression, and death) Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Bronte.

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