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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Seminars
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1034  Friday, 4 May 2001

[1]     From:   James Helfers <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 May 2001 15:26:01 -0700
        Subj:   RE: Seminars

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 May 2001 12:11:49 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1023 Re: Seminars


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Helfers <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 May 2001 15:26:01 -0700
Subject:        RE: Seminars

I read with great interest John Cox's report on Jonathan Hope and David
Kathman's seminar on theory and methodology in authorship and
attribution studies.  Such a discussion has relevance not just to
Shakespeare studies, but to all areas of literary criticism.  Since I
know that they are both members of this listserv, I wonder whether or
not it would be too much of an imposition to ask them to share ideas or
resources on the subject with the list.  I'd certainly enjoy seeing if
we could achieve the degree of civility which Mr. Cox describes in our
own discussion here.

Jim Helfers

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Friday, 4 May 2001 12:11:49 +0100
Subject: 12.1023 Re: Seminars
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1023 Re: Seminars

Reading the emails of Messrs Cox and White I'm reminded of the advice
that Patrick Swayze gives to his crew of bouncers in the film
"Roadhouse":  "Be nice...be nice..be nice...until it's time not to be
nice."

The issue of academic debate is an important one, particularly in
relation to a liminal medium such as email. Having said that, there is
always a tendency to confuse ISSUES with PERSONALITIES in literary
debate, and despite the considerable theoretical advances over the last
quarter century or so, the 'presence' of the critic still prevails as a
determinant of the tenor of academic debate.

I have never said anything in a review that I was not prepared to say to
someone's face, but that has never stopped those desperate to become
victims from fantasising that they have been insulted.

Clearly, we would all prefer academic debate to be 'civilized' but there
are occasions when it is not.  I see no reason why we should sacrifice
directness for the touchy-feely world of sustaining each other's fragile
egos.  Either what we are doing is important, and the issues need to be
argued with passion and conviction or we measure out our lives with
coffee spoons.

Messrs Cox and White can retire to the senior common room if they wish.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

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