Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Status Competition among English Lit Professors

(This has been a trend for years--sometime around 1993, I recall a professor telling me that there was a sort of boomlet in dissertations on Spencer's Faerie Queen. When I asked him why, he raised an eyebrow and said, "Well, you know, no one's actually read the whole thing, so there's a lot of unexplored territory there.")

So says Megan McArdle


Steve Muhlberger said...

Can't bring up the McArdle article from yr link but I think looking for neglected material to work on is a natural and worthwhile thing for scholars to do. In the case of the FQ, if it is indeed true that few moderns read it all, that suggests a potentially interesting difference between Elizabethans and us. I recently looked at the Walter Scott section of a major scholarly library and found NOTHING written in the last three generations. Looks like WS is due for some reinterp. At some point WS studies will look like the Oklahoma Land Rush. It won't just be a matter of "single spies."

Will McLean said...

Link fixed.