It's all over! (Well, it's all over except for two exams and a lot of grading.) In any event, the life of a senior faculty member at a regional comprehensive with a 3-3 teaching load:
Three courses, two of which were new preparations
Chaired Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (this committee was fairly busy)
Academic Senate Representative
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (this will be very busy next semester; it normally has little to do in the fall)
A college-wide awards committee
Drafted and submitted three commissioned articles (about 85 or so manuscript pages). One of these has returned for editing; I'm waiting on proofs for the first and comments for the second
Various Choice reviews
I'm finishing up my revise-and-resubmit, which needs to go back before the end of this year
...in other words, a fairly typical semester. My Tuesdays and Thursdays were the only thing unusual about it: normally I teach MWF and have TuTh to do course preparation and writing, but this time, I taught MWTh(an evening seminar)F, which threw my schedule off a bit. Next semester goes back to normal.
Archive.org has now enabled a full-text search function, which means that those of us on quests for odd Victorian novels now have an even easier time finding them. Yay! (Yay?) It's not on the front page; begin a search in the usual box to get to the results page, where you can toggle the full search option. So far:
1) I've not seen any false positives, which is one of the most frustrating aspects of GoogleBooks' search function. (I mean, it's possible that a children's book about a teddy bear includes a reference to the Scottish Reformation Society, but, you know, it's not what I'd call probable.)
2) The function pulls up results in documents shared with GoogleBooks that GoogleBooks itself misses.
3) That being said, the new search function is still a wee bit buggy. Right now, clicking on results opens the document...and then generates a dialogue box informing you that there's no sign of your search term anywhere. "What?!" you cry, outraged. Actually, it is there, but you have to run the search again inside the book.
Favorite historical novels: Annamarie Jagose, Slow Water; Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project; Ian McGuire, The North Water; Robin Jenkins, The Awakening of George Darroch; Harry Tait, The Ballad of Sawney Bain; Lloyd Shepherd, The Detective and the Devil.
Favorite short story collections: China Mieville, Three Moments of an Explosion; Barbey d’Aurevilly, Les Diaboliques (The She-Devils).
Favorite genre anthologies: Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, eds., Echoes of Sherlock Holmes; Ellen Datlow, ed., Children of Lovecraft.
Snarkiest historical novel: Dario Fo, The Pope’s Daughter.
Least convincingly unretired detective: Inspector Rebus. I mean, I understand why Rankin has decided to keep writing this series, but really.
You learn something new…: I hadn’t realized there was a collection of Ernest Dowson’s short stories out there.
Most interesting older work of scholarship: Richard Griffith’s The Reactionary Revolution (1966).
Most interesting monograph not in my field: Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity.
Most important monograph on Catholicism and Victorian literature that nobody is citing because it’s written in French: Claire Masurel-Murray’s Le calice vide : l'imaginaire catholique dans la littérature décadente anglaise. Seriously. It came out in 2011 and has only been cited twice--by other French scholars. If you’re at all interested in these topics (Catholicism and literature; the Decadents; Catholicism and the Decadents) this absolutely ought to be at the top of your reading list.
Most bloodthirsty take on Jane Eyre: Lyndsay Faye, Jane Steele.
Most puzzling tendency in Jane Eyre rewrites: Marrying the Jane stand-in off to her Rochester equivalent, when the rewrite has otherwise made pseudo-Rochester pretty repellent.
Most successful Sherlock Holmes mashup: James Lovegrove, Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows (Cthulhu universe).
Most successful Sherlock Holmes parody: G. S. Denning’s Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone.
Best potshot at Arthur Conan Doyle: E. O. Higgins, Conversing with Spirits.
Needs more gore: Surely a mashup of Sherlock Holmes and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser universe ought to be “ow-ier”?
Most successful Lovecraft rewrite: Victor Lavelle, The Ballad of Black Tom.
I suppose there’s no use in renewing my annual plea, but yet again: WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE JACK THE RIPPER NOVELS. OR JACK THE RIPPER SHORT STORIES. OR JACK THE RIPPER MASHUPS. REALLY, WE DON’T. PLEASE WRITE ABOUT CUTE KITTIES AND BUNNIES INSTEAD.
Most atypically good-natured novel by Zola: La Rêve (The Dream).
Best nineteenth-century religious novels: Léon Bloy, La Femme Pauvre (The Woman Who Was Poor); Margaret Deland, John Ward, Preacher; Maxwell Gray, The Silence of Dean Maitland.
Nineteenth-century religious novel that seems least like a novel: J. K. Huysmans, Les Foules de Lourdes (The Crowds of Lourdes).
Most gruesome moment in a religious novel: In Bloy’s Le Désespéré (The Despairing), a former prostitute deliberately renders herself unattractive by, among other things, having all of her teeth removed, an event described in some detail.
Crankiest nineteenth-century religious novel: Edmond Randolph, Mostly Fools.
Religious novel with the most recognizable stand-in for Herbert Spencer: Robert Buchanan’s Foxglove Manor.
Religious novelist who makes Thomas Hardy seem bubbly, optimistic, and positively jovial by comparison: Léon Bloy.
Anti-Catholic novel with the weirdest afterlife: Ethel Voynich’s The Gadfly, which was a big bestseller in…mid-twentieth century Russia.
Most dismaying scholarly moment: When I realized that there was another novel by E. H. Dering (a.k.a. Leading Competitor for Worst Religious Novelist of the Nineteenth Century) out there. Noooooo.
Most repetitive nineteenth-century religious novelist: E. H. Dering, besides being bad, only seems to have had one plot.
Best Victorian deconstruction of George Eliot: John Oliver Hobbes, Some Emotions and a Moral.
Novel that prompted my students to ask “What the ?!#* was that?”: Hardy, Jude the Obscure (you can guess which scene).
Novel that presumably would prompt my students to ask “What the ?!#* was that?” were I to teach it: J. K. Huysmans, Là-Bas (Down There).
Novel with which my students had the most fun: Scott G. F. Bailey, The Astrologer.
Best novel reread for class: James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Most antiquarian acquisition: A first edition of J. G. Lockhart’s triple-decker Valerius: A Roman Story (1821).
I’ve been looking for an affordable copy of this for years: Desmond Bowen, The Protestant Crusade; idem, Paul Cardinal Cullen and the Shaping of Modern Irish Catholicism.
Most aggravating postal delay: After several weeks, a copy of Francesco Manzini’s The Fevered Novel from Balzac to Bernanos arrived…a few hours after I submitted the article for which I had ordered the book in the first place. Ah, well, there are always revisions…
Desperate plea: Dear Oxford University Press: please stop publishing books in teensy-weensy font sizes. My hypermyopic eyes thank you.
Thank you: To Purdue University’s library for dumping its set of “Novels of Faith and Doubt,” most volumes of which have now migrated to my bookshelves.
To what extent has academic blogging, and the rise of alternative (non-peer-reviewed) online publishing venues more generally, transformed our approaches to scholarly activity? As Scott McLemee points out in his fine tribute to the late Scott Eric Kaufman, early huffing-and-puffing about academic blogging has long since been consigned to the realm of "dumb controversies." But in practice, what has this meant for academic work? Rohan Maitzen's recent account of her university's nominal vs. actual attitude to public engagement, however that is to be defined, is illustrative. Some administrations encourage faculty to engage in social media "outreach"; others advise graduate students and junior scholars on the market to develop an online professional "presence." At this point, academic blogging has lost most of its novelty in relation to other forms of social media--I've been blogging for, good heavens, about fourteen years now. Some impressionistic thoughts on what has and has not transpired--
The most important changes, it seems to me, have taken place outside individual university folds, not within. Certainly, blogging has helped some academics loosen up their clogged prose. More seriously, blogging and social media have undeniably facilitated networking, especially for scholars with limited travel funding, and in some cases online scholarly communities. Academics like myself, who work on--ahem--more abstruse subjects, have found support in sometimes unexpected places. Blogs have also promoted public outreach--but I suspect that the outreach in question has been most successful (or, at least, most far-reaching) when the academic in question works on questions related to contemporary politics, or, at least, spends a lot of time talking about questions related to contemporary politics. That many of us have no actual skill in politicking is beside the question (I confess that too much time spent reading academics blogging and tweeting about politics has rendered me somewhat cynical on this front). Political debates and social issues in general seem (note the emphasis) more accessible than discussions of Kant or the Geometric period, after all, and thus are more likely to draw audiences from outside academia. The flip side of such popular appeal, of course, is that it may bring the university what we might politely call "unwanted attention," from all political sides, with results not necessarily conducive to a continued academic career. Institutions do love their publicity, except when they find it inconvenient, at which point they don't.
At the same time, because most academic blogs and other social media accounts tend to be "mixed"--that is, a combination of straight-up scholarly writing, memoir, sports commentary, Game of Thrones fan blogging, the occasional cat photo--they are difficult to categorize. Scholar X, a specialist in eighteenth-century French poetry, can't really submit their scintillating commentary on the most recent Dodgers game as an example of their professional work. There are many ways to negotiate around this confusion--for example, by pointing to the scholarly impact of a particular blog post, rather than shoehorning the entire blog into the "Scholarship" section on one's annual report. But this takes time and narrative, and committees may well feel about extensive self-justification the same way that nature feels about a vacuum. For, despite academics' purported love of all things complex, we tend to like our "outputs" (ack) or "products" (ick) easily categorized and numbered; indeed, faculty are often as guilty of such bean-counting as are our much-maligned administrations. And, as Rohan pointed out, you can't actually do "professional" (peer-reviewed) work alongside more popular work at the same time and at the same rate; hence this blog's recent moments of prolonged silence while I dispatch several articles (three down! two to go!).
Universities are, after all conservative. No, not that way. I mean that, like any other bureaucracy or system, universities and the individuals who work within them seek to maintain themselves in a state as close to the status quo as possible, sometimes by ignoring large elephants in the center of the room (see under: adjunctification). Hence the frequently-observed phenomenon of faculty (or administrators) pushing for policies that seem to be in direct opposition to their own supposed politics, but which maintain their current positions, advantages, and/or cash flow. If research universities have warmed up--at least to a lukewarm temperature--to peer-reviewed online publication, they have not shown much in the way of similar fondness for anything that carries the faintest whiff of "the popular." Even teaching-centered campuses, which have traditionally been open to valuing a wider range of academic work (e.g., textbooks, general-interest magazine writing), still look askance at blogging. Where, they want to know, is at least an editor, the guardian at the academic gate? Or, to put it differently: if the publication process appears to be the same thing, even when the final version appears in a new medium, then everyone (at least, everyone on the relevant committees) is reasonably pleased. Professional norms exert a gravitational pull of sorts, so that anything that seems to escape from orbit is, to a certain extent, pulled back and regularized. You can publish online in a "real" journal, and that's OK; but despite gestures to the contrary, there's no sign of any mass movement away from peer review.
Thanks to an inside source, we have obtained a preview of several upcoming issues of Chronicle Vitae. Below are some of the more exciting topics, guaranteed to speak to the needs and experiences of American academics everywhere.
1. I've just received tenure at Harvard. How can I best recover from my guilt?
2. Multiple fly-outs can mean major indigestion. Here are our five tips for maintaining your exercise regimen on the go.
3. My overwhelming popularity with the undergraduates aggravates my colleagues. Here's how I capitalize on their annoyance.
4. Dear forum: "I demanded more release time to finish my sixth book, and now the dean won't take my calls. What would you do in my place?"
5. Our doctoral program has had no job placements in the past thirty years. But cutting it would destroy the real purpose of a liberal arts education.
6. How one academic negotiated for the mahogany desk with brass hardware that she so richly deserved.
7. The case for mandatory faculty attendance at football games.
8. The case against mandatory faculty attendance at football games.
9. I'm a tenured full professor. The following pedagogical reforms will be really convenient for me.
I've been looking for a vocabulary to better describe how English Victorian Catholic fiction works. It's true, as Brian Sudlow has noted, that there is a "divine entente cordiale" between late 19th-c. French and English Catholic writers when it comes to the topic of secularism, but it's nevertheless still the case that in terms of its form, English Catholic fiction doesn't go down the same routes as its contemporary French counterparts.1 This is in large part because French Catholic Revival writing emerges in a majority-Catholic context (although, from the 1880s onward, one where Catholicism's establishment character is under increasingly harsh pressure), and is thus positioned simultaneously against not-good Catholic writing (however "not good" is to be defined), anti-clerical writing, and secular realism. Hence Malcolm Scott's point that the French Catholic Revival was at first self-consciously anti-realist, because realism (and, later, naturalism) were coded secular; when God appears in 19th-c. French realist fiction, Scott suggests, "we know that the novelist is displaying his conjuring tricks, enjoying his own ironic devices," not making a case for the operations of the divine in the everyday world.2 But English Catholic fiction appears in a literary field in which there is, as it were, no "outside": everything has already been staked out as Protestant territory. Protestants have their own providential narrative forms, their own appropriations of Biblical tropes and language, their own protocols for describing how God works in the world; even when Protestants rule things out of realist bounds, as in the case of mystic visions and miracles, they let them in through the back door via psychologization (see, for example, the dream visions in Alton Locke and Tom Brown's Schooldays), or allow them to run free in the Gothic. (One of the objections to both Scott's The Monastery and The Bride of Lammermoor was that they confused Gothic and realist modes.)
What Victorian Catholic novelists tend to do, then, is unwrite genres: the novel appears to be one thing, then turns inside out and becomes an entirely different kind of text. E. H. Dering, whom I have derided at some length, is nevertheless doing precisely that. He takes the sensation novel and transforms its shocking events (child swapping! murder! bigamy! wills! etc.) into moments at which divine grace becomes momentarily visible when human beings attempt to thwart it. Similarly, to use my favorite example, Laetitia Selwyn Oliver's Father Placid appears to be a Gothic, but when Catholics "read" it, it becomes a miracle tale. After thinking about this for a while, it seemed to me that I needed to look again at Gilles Deleuze's and Felix Guattari's Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, which defines the concept of "minor literature" thusly: "the deterritorialization of language, the connection of an individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation."3 That is, minor literature is a "minor practice of a major literature from within" (18), by authors who must write in the dominant language that is at the same time not theirs; is always political, not "individual" (17) in its concerns (or "universal," perhaps?); and not defined by a "literature of masters" (17), singular great authors, but by that "collective" of voices. Now, Deleuze and Guattari phrase this definition in terms of language and style, whereas I'm talking specifically about genre. The Catholic novelist is at ease in the language, but not in the form. But I think that appropriating minor literature in this fashion (which is the sort of thing Deleuze and Guattari approved of, rather than otherwise) is one way into thinking about what makes Victorian Catholic fiction not-Protestant, but also not-French Catholic Revival.
1 Brian Sudlow, "Catholic Realism: Common Ground between French and English Catholic Writings," Chesterton Review 35 3/4 (2009): 575. Sudlow pursues this point at more length in Catholic Literature and Secularisation in France and England, 1880-1914 (Manchester, 2011).
2 Malcolm Scott, The Struggle for the Soul of the French Novel: French Catholic and Realist Novelists, 1850-1970 (Macmillan, 1989), 29.
3 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan (Minnesota, 1986), 18.
Friday evening, I discovered that Allan Armadale had made an excellent start on chewing through the router's power cord. Thanks to his fine contribution, I lost all home internet access until this afternoon. My students were strangely unimpressed by this excuse, no doubt because it sounds vaguely reminiscent of the dog eating one's homework; the tech who delivered my new power cord thought it was hilarious, so at least someone was entertained. I wasn't entertained, but then, my views are not paramount in this household.
Now, it occurs to me that my momentarily unwired situation no doubt calls for one of those trendy thinkpieces about how being disconnected enabled me to Find Myself Again and to Experience the True Meaning of Life and to Slow Down and Enjoy the Everyday Pleasures of Living. I will concede that I did do a fair amount of reading and writing, no doubt to the great joy of my editor. But, you know...
...I didn't Find Myself Again, because I wasn't lost;
I'm old enough to think that life doesn't have a True Meaning;
and personally, I would enjoy the Everyday Pleasures of Life more if I had access to a reliable weather report.
Similarly. Much of the apparatus for doing scholarly work is now online. Want to check a reference? Look up something in a database? Reread something in GoogleBooks? Can't do any of that without internet access. My writing would have proceeded more quickly if I could have accessed primary and secondary materials from home. How about grading those student papers that you collected in an electronic dropbox, the better to save the trees? Can't do that without the internet either. (OK, I'm sure many of my academic readers wouldn't be in mourning about that.) What about something basic, like transferring your work from one computer to another via the fluffy cloud? Nope--time to revisit the thumb drive.
Perhaps, come to think of it, I did Find Myself: I found myself wishing that I had internet access so I could continue doing those things I wanted or needed to do.
As a break from contemplating my participation on what are about to be five committees this semester--I seem to have missed the memo about full professors being able to say "no" to things--I decided to read some Catholic fiction. Louise Imogen Guiney was primarily a poet, and the somewhat awkwardly-titled Lovers' Saint Ruth's: And Three Other Tales (1895) was her only real try at prose fiction, published a few years before she relocated to England. The collection might as well have been subtitled "Three Other Tales of Sacrifice," as all four short stories explicitly address self-sacrifice in its various forms, ranging from the innocent but utterly misguided ("The Provider") to expiatory substitution ("An Event on the River") to sanctified patriotism ("Our Lady of the Union") to well-meaning but problematic (the title story).
"Lovers' Saint Ruth's" and "The Provider" seem to have struck contemporary reviewers as Guiney's most successful attempts, perhaps because both of them imagine how self-sacrifice can run aground. Whereas the tales in the middle see characters abandon themselves fully to a goal that they undertake with no hope of reward--the Union soldier who gives his life for a God-given cause; the wealthy man with a past who gladly pleads guilty to the crime his previously-unknown illegitimate son committed --the first and last tales feature characters who want to sacrifice themselves fully, but misjudge their efforts because they confuse the worldly with the sacred. "Lovers' Saint Ruth's" is, as Alex Murray argues, a tale filled with "gaps and misunderstanding"* in terms of the present narration--an Anglo-Catholic priest, the descendant of the story's seventeenth-century characters, talking to his visiting American friend--but the plot itself is filled with things unspoken. Lord Richard, "almost the only Langham with a conscience" (4), senses some sort of doom for his family; having secretly returned to his family's ancestral Catholic faith (they only have their possessions because a previous Langham apostasized), he woos the beautiful Eleanor, who out of love for him becomes a Catholic. Symbolically, the lovers pledge themselves by the wreck of Saint Ruth's chapel, not by the new Protestant church, an "architectural hodge-podge" (5) whose physical ugliness embodies Protestant degeneracy as much as the ruined chapel embodies Catholicism's tenuous place in early modern England. But before they manage to negotiate both sets of fathers, neither inclined to allow a marriage, Eleanor is abruptly assaulted and raped; the horrified Lord Richard immediately marries her in order to keep her from public shame--deriving less from the rape and more from his bringing her back to his own house, which makes the situation look like a deliberate assignation--and keeps her secret forever, although Eleanor's "reason was shaken" (12). To make matters worse, Eleanor becomes pregnant as a result of the rape, meaning that Lord Richard can only maintain the facade by accepting the child as his own. What follows from this is deeply ambiguous: Eleanor (quite understandably) loathes the child, and both she and Richard conclude that "a curse was upon them, and that they must endure it, and accept the torture of that alien child's presence for some purpose hidden from human eyes" (14). The clerical narrator, though, argues that this position is "mistaken" (14), and the boy's development into a strong, exemplary adolescent is core to the story's great paradox: Ralph, the hated child of violence who dies at thirteen, would nevertheless have been worthier of inheriting the estate than the legitimate son Vivian, who turns out to be an irreligious wastrel. In fact, both of Richard's and Eleanor's legitimate children turn out to be worse than useless, leading to the family's slow moral decay over several generations. Far from becoming a locus of English Catholic authenticity and cultural authority, the Langhams subside into moral nothingness (it's no accident that the narrator's later conversion sees him becoming a monk, ending that line of the family altogether). Ralph, who inherits neither his biological father's criminality nor Richard's no-conscience gene (as it were), can be transformed into a true Catholic gentleman, but cannot maintain the Langham family line; Richard's biological children, deprived early on of both father and mother, lose their faith altogether, but succeed in reproducing. Richard's sacrifice for Eleanor fails, I think, because both he and Eleanor are responsible for transforming Ralph's innocence (announced on his tombstone, when it is too late) into the "curse"; Richard makes the lesser sacrifice (lying to preserve Eleanor's respectability) but neither he nor his wife can make what, on the terms of the collection's two successful sacrifice tales, would be the greater one (loving Ralph). The cult of biological continuity wins the day over the more important promise of spiritual inheritance.
"The Provider," the other failed sacrifice tale, addresses the same cultural anxieties about child suicide as does Thomas Hardy's contemporaneous Jude the Obscure, and for the same reason. Twelve-year-old Hughey is the oldest child in a deeply impoverished Irish family, already marked by multiple deaths; the family's move from pastoral poverty to its darker urban counterpart triggers Hughey's growing self-consciousness about money. There is the "fine monument" to his father, the "enforced luxury" of a sister's funeral, the "costly" nature of his baby brother's chronic illness, and the ever-pressing demand for "rent" (95): domestic sufferings become all the more terrible because they carry a price tag, and each family member turns into potential negative value. By voluntarily leaving school and going out to work, Hughey translates himself, in his own eyes, from the loss to the profit side of the accounting book. But his obsession with money, which leads him to fall prey to a banking con, leads him to tell a "masterly lie" (105) about the amount of money he is making, the better to keep up his investments. His unrepentant sin, no matter how charming it seems in context, signals that his act of sacrifice has gone off the rails. Like Richard and Eleanor, his sacrifice tilts towards the worldly, insofar as his dreams are entirely (and understandably) about rescuing his mother from want; in fact, though, his fantasies about becoming his mother's "deliverer" (107)--an obvious trespass on Christ's territory--interfere with her health and comfort, insofar as he does his best to ensure that nobody else understands the true nature of their situation. Self-sacrifice turns into innocent self-aggrandizement, even though, we are assured near the end, "he had never in his life hugged any thought whose interest centred in himself" (119). His obsession with money-making climaxes in his critical evaluation of the children's value: "Oi've been a-thinkin' wan reason of ut is she has too many childher. 'Tis good little Rosy is with the saints. Childher all eats and wears clothes, and isn't much use" (113). Reducing children's lives to a harsh calculus of consumption without profit, Hughey tips the story straight over into Little Father Time territory--although he ultimately elects to kill only himself, without taking one of his sisters along with him. This sad child's parody of Christ's passion, which Hughey prefaces with "the sign of faith" (122), accomplishes nothing, and his mother dies within a few hours. This makes the story's title all the more bleak, inasmuch as his remaining siblings are now orphaned without a provider. In that sense, the story is on a continuum with "Lovers' Saint Ruth's," but at the opposite end: whereas Eleanor and Richard are psychologically constrained by aristocratic notions of honor, Hughey is equally in thrall to the cruel, all-or-nothing demands of urban poverty, which reduces human beings to sullied cash.
* Alex Murray, "Recusant Poetics: Rereading Catholicism at the Fin-de-Siecle," English Literature in Transition 56.3 (2013): 362.
Now that I've relinquished my temporarily peripatetic existence (a bit of home renovation necessitating my exit), I'm back to work on my two companion articles--one at the formatting phase (as in, I've been formatting and reformatting it for hours on end), one at the writing phase. This led me to look back at the last time I wrote about literary companions, which, by some coincidence, turns out to have been a decade ago. ("Back in the dawn of blogging time...") It seems to me that there are now even more publishers attempting to muscle in on the companion business, fighting Oxford and, in particular, Cambridge for market share. My completely unsubstantiated hypothesis about the phenomenon of companions, companions everywhere, has something to do with the United Kingdom's Research Excellence Framework: that assessment system's requirements for "outputs" appears to drive the appearance of not only companions (home to many articles), but also edited collections and conference proceedings. (It would be interesting to see a comparative study of UK publishers bringing out conference proceedings vs. North American ones.) That is to say, scholarly genres compatible with producing the required number of outputs (four).
After spending yet more time writing for companions, some other aspects of the form jump out at me:
1) The demand for uniformity. Companions are frequently designed to maximize the resemblances amongst all their essays in terms of method and structure.
2) Restricted citations. I've encountered works cited maximums on more than one occasion, whether directly (e.g., no more than twenty-five or thirty sources) or as a side effect (the works cited page included in the word count maximum). This has begun to trouble me a bit: I appreciate that the guidelines prevent multiplying citations to the point of confusing students, but it also means that, in practice, important works of scholarship may have to be shafted if more than one person has written on the same topic.
3) Who is the audience? The answer to this question remains murky. Astronomical prices mean that most companions will never find their way into anyone's personal library (or even, depending on the university library's funding, into a higher ed library). Cambridge tends to make their books accessible enough, price-wise, for classroom use, but such courtesy cannot be counted on. Moreover, some companions appear to be pitched too "high," scholarship-wise, for students, yet too low for academics. Negotiating the audience problem can be fairly tricky, especially if the topic is on the esoteric side.
It's always useful to know what faculty responsibilities are at different types of institution. This is what I'm doing this semester as a full professor at a small (8000+ students) regional comprehensive in the SUNY system:
1) Teaching: Three classes, two of which are new preps. The two undergraduate courses are both fully enrolled (one is overloaded); the graduate course, which I was thrown into belatedly because the instructor moved over to an interim admin position, is, alas, not fully enrolled, but it's required for graduation and offered only once a year, so it couldn't be cancelled. The grad seminar has messed with my schedule a bit, as it was already populated when I inherited it and therefore couldn't be easily moved from Th evening to a M or W slot.
As part of my teaching load, I hold four office hours per week.
2) Service: Four assignments. Within the department, I'm chair of the Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure committee (1), which means that I also belong to the Executive Commitee (2); in addition, I'm serving my second term in the College Senate (3). As part of my senate position, I'm also on a university subcommittee (4). If prior experience is any indication, the senate subcom will meet just about every week during the Spring semester, but relatively infrequently during the Fall. Senate meets every other week, exec com once per month, and APT in bursts depending on the personnel actions calendar. In the Spring, I normally wind up on one of our very short-lived awards committees for various prizes and scholarships.
3) Scholarship: I'm currently finishing article #2 of the four to which I'm committed this year. Article #1 will return for final proofs sometime next month. Article #3, also in process, currently co-exists with a revise-and-resubmit that I'm, well, revising and resubmitting. (Article #4 is already drafted.) I've agreed to do a longform book review of a monograph out in November, and more capsule reviews for Choice are presumably in the offing. And once all the articles are out of the way, I need to get back to Book 3 1/2.