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Humanist Archives: Jan. 30, 2022, 3:38 p.m. Humanist 35.503 - the fleeting point of it all

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 503.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2022-01-30 15:30:34+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: kissing the joy as it flies

This morning BBC Radio 4, on "A Point of View", broadcast former
professor Rebecca Stott's farewell to academia, "Leaving the Ivory
Tower". There have been more learned, analytic and less anecdotal
condemnations of the state of British higher education, but hers struck
home. I recommend it, for which see

Talking with a doctoral student who happened to find her while she was
packing up possessions in her office, Stott mused on the core experience
of teaching, in those incandescent, untranscribable moments of shared
intelligence. Humanist came to mind in the context of a recent
conversation with a member of our Editorial Board (yes, we have one!),
who was wondering about how its status as scholarly work could be
secured. A fine thought, but given that fleeting moments in the
classroom score low in the calaculation of merit, I think that Blake's
advice, to 'kiss the joy as it flies', is how our shared mode of intellectual
work is signified.


Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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