Goscelin, patron saint of academics on contingent, short-term contracts
July 20, 2015 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Eleanor Parker of A Clerk of Oxford writes Public Engagement and Personal Enthusiasm, St Mildred and Me
I can't say how far the personal inspired the scholarly interest, or the other way around - perhaps I was drawn to Mildred because I'm from Thanet, or perhaps studying Mildred has made me more interested in Thanet's Saxon history, which I didn't really know about or think about when I actually lived there. It's probably a bit of both. Who can explain why they're drawn to the subject they study?
posted by the man of twists and turns (3 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This is a great piece. The two posts she links in her first paragraph (background on Mildred) are also wonderful, and give a good idea of the kind of work she's talking about.

Of course, it wouldn't be a scholarly work on Anglo-Saxon literature without a powerful sense of loss and anemoia. I know that people have been discussing the decay of monastic-remnants-in-academia for a while; I wonder if we can use mendicant orders as a new framework for understanding the modern scholar.
posted by Hypatia at 8:10 AM on July 20, 2015

This is good, both as historical thought (I loved the reflections about localism and the medieval lifeworld having such different geography from ours) and as reflection on the awful effects of the academic economy on the intellectual work itself, as well as on academics' lives:
The more academia becomes the preserve of people who are able - financially, practically or emotionally - to move countries every few years and to support themselves through extended periods of part-time work, the more socially and psychologically narrow a world it will become, the more detached from the wide range of human experience it claims to be able to classify and explain.
posted by RogerB at 9:57 AM on July 20, 2015

*rethinks imminent return to academia for the 9,345th time*
posted by Mooseli at 11:14 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

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