As I wait all day for your set of questions and your speculative look-backs on your not-yet-completed academic careers, I’ll pose a few questions of my own, plus answer the question that Dr Ahmad dodged a few weeks ago.
Questions inside of STJ:
1. Should all students have a blog? I’ve found, this semester, that keeping a blog has been great for me, in terms of creating a forum for my own academic memoir-ing and notes. I do wonder, though, if rather than having you all read & comment on my blog, if I should not have had you each create your own & keep them throughout your graduate career here (and after, perhaps). I know some of you are already doing this, but I’d like to have your thoughts about making it a requirement for this course.
2. Who’s is and who’s out? This course, right now, is a requirement for all DA students & more or less off-limits for MA & BA/MA students, though Dane & Gavin managed to sneak in. What are your thoughts about this division of our student populations? Do you like it this way? How would you feel about opening the course up to all MA students?
1. Scholarly organizations: I’m a member, or have been, of the Modern Language Association, the Shakespeare Association of America, the Renaissance Society of America, the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publication, the Society for the Study of Science, Literature, and the Arts, the Maritime Historical Society, and I’m sure a few more. How many of you know what scholarly orgs are in your sub-fields, and how many are already members? Should we spend time on this in class? These organizations are your intellectual conduit for the world beyond STJ.
2. STJ alums: One of the liveliest recent stories about a STJ MA alum is Paul Devlin’s recent writing in slate.com, among other places, in response to a new book on rap lyrics, which Paul claims have been mistranscribed. Paul’s a PhD candidate at Stony Brook now. How much use would it be to you to have some contact with recent grads of our program?
My 30-year legacy: It’s a tough question, and I don’t really blame Dr Ahmad for ducking it a few weeks ago, but I think that 30 years down the road I’d like people to remember my contributions to early modern studies in terms of reaching toward a more flexible notion of style in the writing of literary criticism, and also a more capacious sense of public outreach for literary critical work. I’m somewhat optimistic that we’re moving toward a more open form of of diachronic historicism in literary studies, and I’d like to be a part of that. My meaningful outreach will likely be in ecological and maritime circles, but one of the great things about being a career teacher is that I hope to touch any number of other sub-fields through my students as time passes.