9.461 younger and older Humanists

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Mon, 15 Jan 1996 18:24:43 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 461.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: Gloria McMillan <gmcmillan@east.pima.edu> (24)
Subject: Re: fate, young scholars, & Humanist

[2] From: Tom Benson 814-865-4201 <T3B@PSUVM.PSU.EDU> (35)
Subject: younger vs. older humanists?

[3] From: Glenn Everett <geverett@UTM.Edu> (11)
Subject: Re: scholars young and old

Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 06:45:10 MST
From: Gloria McMillan <gmcmillan@east.pima.edu>
Subject: Re: fate, young scholars, & Humanist

I agree, Willard. There is a crying need for some kind
of support to many of the experimental activities going
on on the Net.

I am quite active at Diversity University MOO: have virt.
classroom, many interactive teaching aids, etc. But the
mere task of finding other classes to link up with is
filled with questions. How to find other class meeting
when mine is? Many logistical problems. Some things sound
great at present, but ppl need to have a site they can
go to for the simple "train schedule-like" info w/o
which they cannot proceed. If that is the case for the
above instance, I'm sure many other projects are lacking
collaborators simply because the parties haven't found
each other...

BTW, a new site for "train schedules" for linking classes:


Thanks. I hope ppl take you up on this idea and publish
what they are looking for help/partners to do!



http://east.pima.edu/ ESSAY COOPERATIVE


Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 09:20 EST
From: Tom Benson 814-865-4201 <T3B@PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
Subject: younger vs. older humanists?

I'd like to comment on the turn our discussion has been taking
as the job crisis in higher education is turned into an
exercise in elder-bashing. I guess I'd qualify (to my daily
surprise) as one of those elders, having entered the professoriate
in the early 1960s. Perhaps we would all agree that some senior
scholars are unproductive. Is that universal? I don't think so,
and I don't think I see it around me. Let me put the question
this way--did not we all, younger and older, start out in the
humanities with the hope and the commitment that age would bring
increased knowledge and wisdom--that mastering our many
[inter]disciplines would take years and years of study, and that
such a commitment was worth making? Are those who now criticize
older scholars as a class willing to say that such years and years
of study are not in fact likely to be productive--that THEY intend
to make no such commitment? The accusation that older scholars are
simply dogs in the academic manger seems to me not true, and not
especially useful for younger scholars; it bites back. Today's
younger scholars rightly want to get on the tenure track, which
they hope will afford the security for decades of serious study
and teaching.

I'm not sure this is best posed as a haves vs. have-nots situation;
older scholars now working have seen a revolution in academic
governance and management and, in my view, would be eager to join
with younger scholars to reverse the centralization of administrative
power, the downsizing, the part-timing, and the out-sourcing that
higher education has borrowed from corporate culture. How to do that?

HUMANIST certainly appears to be a useful place to talk with each
other about that; it might even put to the test our repeated hopes
that electronic networking can democratize higher education. We are
in a position to gather and share concrete information from hundreds
of academic institutions, and to carry the shared convictions that
might develop here on HUMANIST into our own departments and faculty

Tom Benson, Sparks Prof. of Rhetoric
Penn State University

Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 09:46:40 -0600
From: Glenn Everett <geverett@UTM.Edu>
Subject: Re: scholars young and old

About those senior faculty clogging the academic arteries, keeping out the
nourishing fresh blood: let's not ignore the economics of the situation.
As Malcolm Hayward points out, they are not lolling in luxury. Some would
prefer to retire, but can't afford it, and thess delayed retirements are
partly responsible for eliminating the hiring boom of the 90s, which was
forecast as early as the late 70s.

Glenn Everett
English Department
University of Tennessee at Martin